What is the fruit of the Spirit?
Some of the fruits of the Spirit are described in Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
The fruit of the Spirit is the opposite of sin and egoism. The fruit of the Spirit is the same as the life of Christ; it is godly nature. It is the new and refreshing life that becomes part of my nature when I obey the Spirit of God and I say No to sin when I am tempted, and in that way die to the sin I am tempted to. The fruit of the Spirit is the result of walking in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-26.)
How do we get the fruit of the Spirit?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24 (ESV).
For this wheat or fruit to grow, something has to die. But when it dies, there comes new life – we get a bit more of the fruits of the Spirit. We die to sin if we don’t give in when we are tempted from our sinful human nature, through obedience to the Spirit – through walking in the Spirit. And if we die more and more to sin, we get more and more of the fruits of the Spirit.
For example, goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. We want to show goodness to our family, the people at work, and those we meet along our way. But then something doesn’t go the way I thought it should, or someone says something in a way I don’t like, and I feel the opposite of goodness in myself. Something ugly wants to come out. This comes from my sinful human nature, and this is what needs to die so that the precious fruit of goodness can grow!
“Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry… Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another …” Colossians 3:5,12-13 (CSB).
Getting the fruit of the Spirit: a life-long process
This is a process that continues throughout our whole life: something of myself always has to die so that it can make space for godly nature. The more I “die”, the more I can receive truly good thoughts, words and actions, and become more and more righteous and holy. (2 Peter 1:3-9.)
It is the same with love, joy, peace, patience and all the other fruits of the Spirit. This is a life-long work. There is always more godly nature to work towards. We need to always have this longing and desire burning in our hearts, “I need to get more of the fruits of the Spirit, I need to be more cleansed from sin, I need to be filled with godly nature!”
“But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6:22.