The fruits of the spirit are nine distinct behaviors that result from the Holy Spirit's work in a Christian's life. The Greek word translated as "fruit" usually refers to edible fruits and vegetables, but it can also be translated as "offspring," "deed," "action," "result," or "profit." Fruit is a good thing in an agrarian society because it is the result of hard work and careful tending.
In today's world, we might say something like "the fruit of our labor," but the "fruit" you get from your hard work may not be apples, oranges, or corn. In fact, it's more likely to look like a paycheck, a completed project, a triumph over a personal hurt(s) or obstacle(s), or, for some, starting a new family. Each person is blessed differently by the Lord, depending on their needs and, most importantly, His will.
Understanding the various definitions of the word "fruit" will make it easier for you to apply the scripture to your life. Assisting you in grasping the underlying meaning and recognizing the fruits you are producing in your own life.
Life is all about making choices, and the results of those choices are the fruits of our labor!
Read Galatians 5:16-26 in the New King James Version. (emphasis in original)
16 Therefore, I say to you, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill your fleshly desires.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit lusts against the flesh; and these are in opposition to one another, preventing you from doing what you desire.
18 But you are not under the law if you are led by the Spirit.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I warn you ahead of time, just as I warned you before, that those who practice such things will not
22 Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, and self-control are the fruit of the Spirit.
There is no law that protects you from this.
24 The flesh, with its passions and desires, has been crucified by those who are Christ's.
25 Let us walk in the Spirit if we live in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become arrogant, provocative, or envious of one another.
The result of the Holy Spirit working in a believer's life is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, according to Galatians 5.
It also demonstrates that walking in the flesh is the polar opposite of walking in the Holy Spirit. To put it another way, we are doing things our way rather than seeking the Holy Spirit's guidance. It goes on to say what the consequences will be in our lives if we choose to walk in the flesh.
After studying Galatians 5, I believe it is fair to say that we have two options in life: we can walk in the Holy Spirit or we can walk in the flesh.
You Will Recognize Them by Their Fruits, says Matthew 7:15-20.
15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you dressed as sheep but are ravenous wolves on the inside.
You'll be able to recognize them by their fruits. Do men gather figs from thistles or grapes from thornbushes? 17 Even so, a good tree produces good fruit, whereas a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and burned. 20 As a result, you will recognize them by their fruits.
Let us pause for a moment to be completely honest with ourselves and with God. Let us pray for God to reveal our own hearts to us and to open our minds and hearts to clarity in Him.
I am grateful for Your Holy Spirit and the redemption I have in You, Heavenly Father. Please, Lord, assist me in seeing my heart through your eyes. Expose to me what is going on in my mind and heart that I may not even be aware of. God, I pray that You will give me clarity through Your word and that You will help me transform my heart, mind, and entire self to become more like You. God, I recognize that I am far from perfect and that I make mistakes on a daily basis. Please forgive me, Lord, and guide my path, restore my faith, and show me what You want me to learn during my time with You. Help me to see the truth in You, Lord, if I am believing something that is not true. Thank you, God, for your never-failing promises and blessings, which I know you are already working on for me. I pray in Jesus' mighty name.
God is good, amen! Let's take a closer look at the nine spiritual fruits.