Galatians 5:22-23, “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The word “fruit” takes us to the world of agriculture and tells us four things about how the Spirit works.
- Christian growth is gradual. You never see it growing in real time as much as you can over time, but it is measurable. Most of the time we don’t realize it until we have a difficult circumstance rise. Then we see newly formed patience or faith. that shows that the fruit of the Spirit is growing gradually and unnoticed.
- Christian growth is inevitable. If someone has the spirit in them and they are really a Christian, fruit will grow. This is encouraging as we think of how stubborn our sinful, old nature is. But it’s also challenging. It forces us to ask, “Is there fruit growing in my life? We are saved by grace through faith, not by growing fruit; but we are not saved by fruitless faith. A person saved through faith will be a person in whom the fruit of the Spirit grows.
- The fruit of the Spirit has internal roots. Think about apples trees. Do the apples give life to the tree? No! Apples don’t give life, they are a sign that the tree is alive. The life produces the fruit, not the other way around.
- Christian growth is symmetrical. Paul deliberately uses the singular word “fruit” to describe whole list of things that grow in a spirit-filled person. Fruit of the spirit always grow up together. They are one. you do not get one part of the fruit of the Spirit growing without all parts growing. Yes, we may be stronger in some than in others, but that is just due to natural temperament or personality, not the fruit of the spirit-filled life.
Check out 1 John 4:20. True love of God is always accompanied by love to others.