Fruit of the Spirit
The Presence of the Holy Spirit in a Life Is Not
Proven By Feelings or Gifts But By Spiritual Fruit
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We revel in our deliverance from condemnation with the glorious words of “And Can It Be,” but we must examine ourselves as to whether we are truly walking after the Spirit (Romans 8:1-9).
Since we have been born of God by His Spirit, we have the Life of God – His Presence – Himself – within us in our new man. But rather than being content with regeneration, Paul exhorts us to walk in the Spirit by conforming our lives to His Character (Gal 5:25).
The flesh, which we have by nature, and the Spirit, which we have by regeneration, are opposites. They hate one another. They war against one another. They are the reason for our state of conflict while in the body (Galatians 5:17).
Withered fruit and lack of fruit manifests reprobation, regardless of words (Jude 1:12-13).
The character, or fruit, of heaven or of hell is rather easily and simply observed (James 3:13-18).
If you are a fruitless child of God, you will not be so for long; either God will chasten fruit into your life, or you will be taken in judgment (Heb 12:11).
God is not in all the thoughts of the wicked, for his pride keeps him from seeking God (Ps 10:4).
The gospel bears fruit as the Spirit-led child of God is taught to walk after the Spirit (Col 1:6).
The Holy Spirit moved on the face of the waters (Gen 1:2), and He creates our new man in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:24); but we must choose and exercise our souls to put on the new man and follow His leading. We are not fatalists waiting for overwhelming power, and we are no more “confused” than was Paul who gave credit and took credit (I Cor 15:10).
What is fruit? It is evidence, character, marks, or the manifestation of the nature of a thing. Consider Matthew 3:8 and 7:15-20.
Fruit = works, for the fruit of the Spirit is set against the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19,22).
Fruit is not a vague concept. It means the effect or evidence of the Spirit of God in your life. This is the character of the saints. It is the character of God.
Judas Iscariot had more Spirit GIFTS than Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts, William Branham, Benny Hinn, and Kathryn Kuhlman combined (Matthew 10:1; 26:22).
Amnon had more FEELINGS than your top two infatuations combined (II Samuel 13:1-2,15).
I have recently heard from visitors the following two statements, both of which are hilarious:
“When I visited your assembly, I couldn’t feel the Spirit. Your church is dead.”
“Wow! I could feeeeel the Spirit this morning. You gave me Holy Ghost goosebumps.”
Both of these individuals wouldn’t know the Spirit, if He introduced Himself to them. And they categorically ignore and reject the Book written by the Spirit of God – the Holy Scriptures.
Dealing with this type of effeminate and vague feelings as criteria for truth is a serious problem today and will continue to get worse.
Godly ministers do not care about something as personal as financial support as much as they do the spiritual fruit such giving represents (Phil 4:17 cp Rom 15:28; 1:13).
It is too easy to say you have the Spirit’s fruit, so let us define them primarily as attitudes and actions toward others. We prove our love of God by showing love to His children (I John 4:20).
These cannot be taught in a Dale Carnegie seminar.
The Power is within us for this fruit (II Pet 1:3).
It is fruit, not fruits. The Holy Spirit does not bear distorted creatures. This is one of the safest ways to detect false trust in the flesh, the temperament, the personality, training, circumstances, and the devil. If you are weak in one, you must question the validity of the others.
The glorious blessings of the Lord include visible teachers in the front and the Spirit of God from the rear directing us how to walk (Isaiah 30:20-21).
LOVE is unselfish care for another’s godly benefit. First in the list, it is the first and great commandment (Mark 12:28-34; James 2:8; Gal 5:13-15). It is best described with fifteen descriptive phrases in one glorious inspired sentence (I Cor 13:4-7). A detailed definition for each of these phrases is available. We are to love God, husband, wife, children, brethren, pastor, neighbor, enemy, etc. Love is not words, but deeds (I John 3:16-18). God is love (I John 4:8,16), and true love shows our godly nature. Self-love is a sin; other-love is the golden rule (Matt 7:12). Seeking the benefit of others includes rebukes (Lev 19:17; Pr 27:5). There are bowels, but they are a choice (Col 3:12; I John 3:17); for love is a choice rather than feeling.
JOY is a heartfelt gladness from knowing the Lord. It is commanded in Phil 4:4 and I Thess 5:16, so it must be a choice rather than a mood or temperamental trait. It may not be shown by a Hollywood grin, which is no evidence anyway. It will not include jesting or foolish talking. Circumstances have little to do with joy, as its Source never changes (Habakkuk 3:17-19). Joy for a Christian is based on our great hope and reward (Matt 5:12; Luke 10:20; Rom 12:12).
PEACE is sweet contentment from trusting the Lord and the absence of hostilities with others. Circumstances should not alter peace, for they do not alter the relationship with God. There is perfect peace waiting those who will trust the Lord (Isaiah 26:3-4) and choose prayer over worry (Phil 4:6-7). Frustration, irritation, depression, and anger are symptoms of a lack of peace. Worry is to be rejected and turned over to the Lord by His Spirit (Matt 6:25-34; I Pet 5:7). Peace is also sown by those who have peace (Matt 5:9; Rom 14:17,19; II Cor 13:11; Eph 4:3; Col 3:15; I Thess 5:13; Heb 12:14; James 3:18; I Pet 3:11).
LONGSUFFERING is patiently enduring adversity without bitterness. It is willing to put up with the weaknesses and offences of others without fighting back (Eph 4:2). It suffers, and it suffers long. It is not quick to react. It is patient. It can be done with joyfulness (Col 1:11).
GENTLENESS is tender kindness shown toward others. It is the opposite of selfish, harsh, and rude treatment. It is more than social etiquette. It is a gentle disposition reflecting the gentleness of Jesus Christ. It is how a nurse tends her children (I Thess 2:7). It is set against striving and brawling (II Tim 2:24; Tit 3:2). How about peaceable and easy to be intreated (James 3:17)?
GOODNESS is moral purity and benevolence. It is the opposite of bad or evil. It never conducts itself in an ungodly way toward anyone or anything. It always does what is right and proper. It will seek the company of good men (Tit 1:8). Goodness is set against severity (Rom 11:22). It is what the world hates today (II Tim 3:3).
FAITH is confidence God keeps His promises. It does not question God or become discouraged by adverse circumstances, but rather it believes His existence and His reward for obedience (Heb 11:6). Faith without works is not faith (James 2:14-26).
MEEKNESS is avoiding personal glory or esteem. It is different from humility, in that it never seeks to promote itself in any way. Moses was meek, for he never sought or enjoyed his position over Israel. Meekness is vulnerability (Gal 6:1). Meekness is like lowliness (Eph 4:2).
TEMPERANCE is self-discipline of natural passions. It is has nothing to do with abstinence from alcohol, but rather it is the Biblical concept of moderation (Phil 4:5). We may build our Bible definition from I Cor 9:24-25.
RIGHTEOUSNESS is keeping all God’s commandments. Without any compromise, it seeks always to find the right thought, speech, or action. Consider Paul’s description of fruits of righteousness (Phil 1:9-11).
TRUTH is love of honesty and hatred of hypocrisy and error. It will never mislead others or choose an error. It hates deception, exaggeration, and compromise. The spirit of truth is known by submission to the Scriptures (I John 4:6; I Thess 2:13). Learning is not truth (II Tim 3:7). Submitting to truth is God’s work (II Tim 2:25; Tit 1:1; II Thess 2:10-13). Spirit-led saints have no use for those without truth (I Tim 6:3-5). Anything in pretense is not truth (Phil 1:18). Truth is the opposite of lying (Eph 4:25; Rom 1:25). Love rejoices in truth (I Cor 13:6). He is called the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). It makes things honest in the sight of all (Rom 12:17; II Cor 8:21). It means having a life of honesty (I Pet 2:12; I Tim 2:2). Do you think of things true and honest (Phil 4:8)?
The Holy Spirit is given to those who ask (Luke 11:13).
Sin grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit for fruit-bearing ability (Eph 4:30; I Thess 5:19).
Though our new man knows these things perfectly, the old man despises these things passionately, so we need to be taught them to instruct our mind and conscience to seek them.
If we seek Jesus Christ and things above as our life’s priority, the fruit of the Spirit will blossom.