Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: I would like to hear about all the fruit of the spirit and the characteristics for each one. Galatians 5:22
Answer: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23) I would like to share with you the thoughts of some others on this subject:
"In contrast to the works of the law, we have the fruit of the Spirit. Works suggest a factory. Fruit gives you the idea of a garden. Works are production, sweat, and toil. Fruit is the natural outgrowth of a relationship.
"If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, these are the characteristics that will begin to mark your life. There are not really nine fruits of the Spirit. There is only one fruit of the Spirit, and is love!
"But this kind of love is not the Greek eros [lust] , or the Greek phileo [brotherly love] . It is the word agape [the love of God, love even when it is not deserved or returned] which was used in the New Testament to describe a depth of love beyond man's capacity- a love marked by joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (The Word For Today Bible, Chuck Smith)
"Note that 'fruit' is singular. There are not nine different fruits of the Spirit, but rather one ninefold fruit of the Spirit. These attributes should characterize all who walk in the Spirit, because He produces that fruit in their lives.
"In fact, this listing seems practically to define the nature of Christ. Christians, therefore, do not need the constrains of the law to make them possess these characteristics (5:23), for they are the fruit borne by the indwelling Spirit.
"It is noteworthy that the 'power' of the Spirit, as promised in Acts 1:8, is best manifest in the fruit of the Spirit. Consider the following:
(1) Love: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
(2) Joy and
(3) Peace: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 13:15)
(4) Longsuffering: "...strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy."
(5) Gentleness (literally kindness): "...by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left." (2 Corinthians 6:6-7)
(6) Goodness: "...(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)." (Ephesians 5:9)
(7) Faith (or better, faithfulness): that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..." "...according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:16-17, 20)
(8) Meekness: "And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
(9) Temperance (or self-control): "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) (The New Defender's Study Bible, Dr. Henry M. Morris)
Here is what our commentary on Bible-Christian.org has to say about love and some of the other fruit from 1 Corinthians 13. We will put up with a lot because we love people. Some people keep track of how many times people offend them -- and they never forget it. God help us if we are like that!
Remember, Christ said if we do not forgive others their faults He will not forgive us our sins. He has forgiven us far more than other people have sinned against us. Love displays itself in us by being kind. Love does not want what other people have. A person who has love in their life, is not bragging about themselves, what they have done or what they have. We will not think that we are better than others. God help me not to think of myself as better than anyone!
We will not do things that will be unbecoming to a Christian. We are not out thinking about number one. (This is just the opposite from the world.) Their slogan is, "I am number one, look out for number one." The world says if it feels good do it. Do not care about others, worry about yourself. A person who is filled with the love of Christ does not get angry over things or with people. There is such a thing as righteous indignation. Christ was angry with sin, but He loved the sinner. We will have to correct our children, and we are angry with their sin, but we love them and will correct them in love. We do not think bad thoughts about people, but we see the good in them.
We should not be happy when we hear that something bad has happened to someone. God forgive us for this type of attitude. We should be rejoicing when the truth and righteousness are prevailing. We should love to see the Church going and growing. Let us get on our faces before God and ask Him to forgive us for our coldness in these last days.
We should be the type of people that whatever circumstances face us we do not give up, but say, "God has a purpose in this thing." We need to believe the promises God has given in His Word for us to believe, and believe them with all our hearts.
Our actions betray what we believe. If we worry or fret over our circumstances then we really do not believe God can help us. If we believe Christ is coming soon, we will be busy telling others the Good News. We should be people full of hope (this includes joy), we have much we are looking for in anticipation of Christ's return.
Christians are not to think about death, but about life. Life with a capital 'L'! Think about it, we have the hope of glory, eternity with Christ! We have much to make us glad; hope makes glad the Word says. When the going gets tough, the tough Christian gets going. Any old dead fish can float down stream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream!
Love will never fail us; it works every time in every circumstance of life. God will continue to love us, and we will continue to love Him. The 'Fruit' of the Spirit is summed up in one word, God's 'love.' "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
I hope this helps to answer your question,
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance