But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law
– Galatians 5:22
After being redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ we, who are saved are regenerated after the life of Christ. The Holy Ghost who abides in us sows a seed within our hearts to bring about spiritual maturity and reflect fully the personality of our Lord. The Bible indicates there to be at least nine aspects of this manifestation namely love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
One must clearly recognize and distinguish these characters from the work of the Flesh. Many try to be nice or potray some form of kindness but such works are the product of effort, labor, strain and Toil. The is the product of human achievement where as the fruits that come from the work of the Holy Spirit implies beauty, quietness and unfolding of Life.
Let us briefly meditate the exposition of each quality of these Fruits.
LOVE : In the greek language there are 4 different words translated as love in the English language.
a.Eros: denotes the passionate love between a man and a woman
b.Philia: this concerns quality of love found in warm friendships
c.Storge: This is the kind of affection shared between family members
d. Agape: This is widely known as the Christian Love. It’s self sacrificial and dedicated to the highest good of another. This is the kind of love that Paul describes of acquiring as new born Christians. This love is the characteristic of Christ Jesus and all those who faithfully follow him. This kind of love never seeks its own and is as much an attitude of the heart as an affect or emotion. The perfect example of agape love is Christ Jesus offering himself on the cross for all humanity without so much as a promise that any would accept Him. Romans 5: 8 Declares
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
JOY: Translated from the greek word Chara. This quality of joy is independent of external circumstances of life and is deeply rooted in one’s personal relationship with God Almighty. Psalm 30:11 reads
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit – Romans 14:17
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith – Philippians 1:25
PEACE: This fruit suggests a tranquility of Heart which comes about from knowing that all aspects of life are committed into the hands of the One who has ultimate charge of all things. Hence there is no need for a Christian to Worry! Philippians 4:17 declares
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid – John 14:27
LONGSUFFERING : This fruit is illustrated by a conquering-type of persistence that never gives up, even in defeat. Its meaning is often associated with the patience of God towards humanity. Followers of Christ are to reflect longsuffering toward others through forbearance forgiveness and patience. Ephesians 4:2 declares
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering- Colossians 3:12
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation – Numbers 14:18
GENTLENESS AND GOODNESS: Both these words are similar and connected. Gentleness which comes from the Greek word chrestotes is a quality of kindness often translated as goodness in other biblical references.
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge – 2 Peter 1:5
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith – 2 Thessalonian 1:11
FAITH: Translated from the greek word Pistis , Faith literally means trustworthiness and refers to the Christians need to be reliable in both character and faith.
MEEKNESS: Meekness means
a. Being submissive to the will of God. The gospel of Mathew 5:5 reads
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
b. Being teachable
c. Being considerate
TEMPERANCE : This is better translated as self control. The word for temperance in greek is egkrateia which denotes self mastery and discipline. Paul uses this word elsewhere in noting the discipline needed by the athlete in conditioning his/ her body for competition
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible- 1 Corinthians 9:25
It is also noted by Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:9 in dealing with sexual appetites.
May you all be filled in His Holy Spirit this morning that you may reflect the image of Jesus Christ in your lives.