– Galatians 5:22
The Fruit of Love
Gifts of the Spirit are not the same as fruits of the Spirit. We are given gifts, but a saved person will bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, and one of those fruits is first and foremost love. God’s love was displayed on the cross (John 3:16), and our love should be evident to all: those in the church and those in the street.
The Fruit of Joy
I find that far too many Christians are joyless Christians. Isn’t that oxymoronic? In other words, don’t we have every reason to have joy in our lives? We’ve been forgiven, we’ve been redeemed, we have eternal life, and our future is so bright as to be off the charts. Jesus told the disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11), so we ought to be the most joyful people on the planet!
The Fruit of Peace
This is a very violent world. I hate to admit it, but I hate riding with my (unnamed) cousin because he gets road rage so easily. He has such a hair trigger that one of these days it’s going to come back and haunt him (or me if I’m with him at the time). Christians should be the peacemakers of this world, for Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (and daughters) of God” (Matt. 5:9).
The Fruit of Patience
God is surely longsuffering and patient with me, more than I am with myself and sometimes more than others are with me, but one of the fruits of the born-again is that of patience. If you want to know “… an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord” (James 5:10). Christians ought to be the most patient people of all while waiting in line in traffic and at the doctor’s office. I’m not sure about you, but I need to work on that!
The Fruit of Kindness
My beloved wife is so kind to everyone. She is so kind with abandoned animals, too, and her kindness very often reminds me of Proverbs 12:10, which says, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast” (Prov. 12:10a). She rescues abandoned cats and gets them fixed, shots and fed; that is one huge kindness to God’s creatures, whom He also loves.
The Fruit of Goodness
Goodness is as goodness does, and I know a few people who are very good to others. I don’t mean that they consider themselves good, because they realize that “… no one does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:12). What I mean is that they are constantly doing good things for others and sometimes for me, usually when it’s not expected. That is a fruit that should be borne of every believer.
The Fruit of Faithfulness
Talk about faithfulness. I see our Sunday school teacher there every Sunday taking charge of the students and even spending her own money for snacks and arts and craft materials for class activities. She and her husband are both faithful to the max. I need to be faithful, too, because “he who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thess. 5:24). I may not always be able to depend on others, but I can count on her, for she is always faithful, and that’s a fruit that is deliciously evident in her life.
These are seven fruits that every believer should bear. The church ought to be able to harvest them when we need them for the building up of the church because we need each and every one to nourish and strengthen the Body of Christ to do the work of Christ here on earth.