The fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5 are much more than a recounting of nice things to develop as Christians. They are fundamental building blocks upon which any productive Christian life must be built. Whenever we refer to any of these nine characteristics, let’s remember there are two ways we can view them. Take love, for example, the first fruit of the spirit. Many people can exhibit selfless love in their lives, even if they’re not Christians. However, the “fruit of the spirit" love is based on God’s own example through Jesus, and therefore has a higher foundational meaning. The key to understanding all of these fruits is to see that they reflect God’s ways and not the best of our ways. In Part V of our series, we complete our discussion of this fruit and absorb their amazing impact.
In Parts I and II of this five-part series, we extensively covered the 15 sinful deeds of the flesh we humans must fight against. We saw how the Apostle Paul grouped these into specific categories of human behavior. We then moved on to Paul’s listing of the nine powerful and healing fruit of the spirit. Parts III and IV covered love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. We learned to go beneath the surface to see how the fruit of God’s influence in our lives each contribute to our transformation.
Next on the list are faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
As with the previous fruit, there is a depth here that needs to be explored and understood. Let’s take faithfulness as an example. Sometimes we as Christians view faithfulness as simply doing the things we know God wants us to do. We go to church to learn about the Bible, and we treat others decently. However, the faithfulness the Apostle Paul is teaching us about here is far deeper than that.
The model we are given of faithfulness is not that of each other or even the Apostle Paul. Because it is a fruit, an outgrowth of God’s spirit, this faithfulness is modeled after God himself. There are several Bible verses that tell us God is faithful. But what does that mean? It means that God is loyal to His word and His promises. If He says He will help us in our darkest trials, then that help is guaranteed to arrive. All we need to do is claim it and apply it.
Does my faithfulness portray such clarity and action?
Check out our December 5, 2022 podcast, “Do I Walk in the Spirit or the Lusts of My Human Nature? (Part V)” for more. We define how our faithfulness should be a driving force in our lives and then go on to examine gentleness and self-control. As you might expect by now, gentleness is MUCH more profound than being nice, and self-control is the grand conclusion of everything! Join us as we conclude this revealing journey into what the fruit of God’s spirit can bring into our daily lives!