We began this month by reminding ourselves of several characteristics of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We previously gave thought to Him as the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of holiness.
This week our thoughts turn to what the Bible terms “fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22 directs us to seven basic qualities of this spiritual fruit the Holy Spirit seeks to produce in believers.
Love and joy
This list opens with the godlike quality of love. Not only does the Bible lead us to the truth that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), it goes further, telling us we should be persons of love: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
Another aspect of the fruit the Spirit listed in the Galatians passage is joy.
This was one of the petitions Jesus made to the Father on behalf of His disciples: “I come to You … that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).
While happiness may depend on what happens or as we put it, on our circumstances, joy is dependent on the indwelling fullness of the Spirit in us regardless of the happenings to us or around us.
A third aspect of the Spirit’s fruit in us as followers of Christ is peace.
Inner peace is not dependent on what is going on around us or happening to us. Peace of heart is tied tightly to the inward reality and control of the Holy Spirit in us.
Promise of peace
Jesus left His followers with the promise, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27a).
Outward tranquility around us is not essential to the heart peace the Spirit bestows and maintains in us. If we would live in peace, we must look up and not just around.
Space does not permit an elaboration on the other fruit named in the Galatians passage: patience or longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
As we ponder the range of fruitfulness the Holy Spirit can produce through believers, let’s open ourselves to the Spirit of fruitfulness that He might produce an abundant crop in us daily.
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