Fruits Of The Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, Mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).
Some writers extend this term (Fruits of the Spirit; Fruits of the Holy Ghost) to all the supernatural virtues, or rather to the acts of all these virtues, inasmuch as they are the results of the mysterious workings of the Holy Ghost in our souls by means of His grace. But, with St. Thomas, I-II.70.2, the word is ordinarily restricted to mean only those supernatural works that are done joyfully and with peace of soul. This is the sense in which most authorities apply the term to the list mentioned by St. Paul (Galatians 5:22-23): "But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity." Moreover, there is no doubt that this list of twelve — three of the twelve are omitted in several Greek and Latin manuscripts — is not to be taken in a strictly limited sense, but, according to the rules of Scriptural language, as capable of being extended to include all acts of a similar character. That is why the Angelic Doctor says: "Every virtuous act which man performs with pleasure is a fruit." The fruits of the Holy Ghost are not habits, permanent qualities, but acts. They cannot, therefore, be confounded with the virtues and the gifts, from which they are distinguished as the effect is from its cause, or the stream from its source. The charity, patience, mildness, etc., of which the Apostle speaks in this passage, are not then the virtues themselves, but rather their acts or operations; for, however perfect the virtues may be, they cannot be considered as the ultimate effects of grace, being themselves intended, inasmuch as they are active principles, to produce something else, i.e. their acts. Further, in order that these acts may fully justify their metaphorical name of fruits, they must belong to that class which are performed with ease and pleasure; in other words, the difficulty involved in performing them must disappear in presence of the delight and satisfaction resulting from the good accomplished.
God wants all of us to enter into a true sanctification process with Him so that He can begin the process of molding, shaping, and transforming us into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ. He wants to make us into a better and more holy people. He wants to transform us by the renewing of our minds. He wants to put right thinking into our thought process.
Our job will be to get into the Word to find out exactly what it is God is going to want to change about us. We will need to find out exactly what godly qualities God will want us to “put on” into our personality, and what qualities He will want us to “put away.” These fruits are major fruits and qualities that are coming direct from God Himself – and every Christian should do the best they can to work with the Holy Spirit in getting all of these fruits worked into their personality.
Jesus has already told us that He is the vine and we are the branches. The branches draw their life from the vine, not vice versa. Just as the branch draws its life from the vine, so too must we draw our life directly from Jesus. Jesus will release His life directly into us through the Holy Spirit in the exact same way that the vine will release the life of the tree into the branches.
Love will enable us to appreciate our brothers and sisters in the Lord and, of course, our family and others around us. Love is taking the initiative to build up and meet the needs of others, without expecting anything in return. We must allow love to be the foundation of our relationships—the love of our Lord that He gives us. Love manifests patience and kindness and it is not greedy or jealous; it is not prideful nor brags of one's accomplishments. It is not rude or self-seeking, and it allows one not to be easily angered. By this, we do not keep record of others wrongs or enjoy it when bad things happen to others; rather, we rejoice with others to build them up. Love always looks after others, shows trust, hope, and always carries on. Love encapsulates the purpose and role of Fruit, and thus, our furthermost goal, as followers of Christ, is to do all things in love.
John 13:1 Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
John 15:13 Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
1 Corinthians 13:3-8 And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.
1 John 4:16 And we have known, and have believed the charity, which God hath to us. God is charity: and he that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.
Here are some different definitions on what love is from the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:
Unselfish, benevolent concern for another; brotherly concern; the object of brotherly concern or affection.
The self-denying, self-sacrificing, Christ-like love which is the foundation of all other graces.
Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the well being of another.
The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people.
To love, to have affection for someone; to like; to be a friend; the love of brothers for each other.
One of the main messages that comes from studying our Bible is the extreme importance that God is placing on that everyone learn how to love Him, love ourselves, love one another, and to even go as far as to be able to love our enemies and those who will try and hurt us. However, our abilities as fallen humans to love one another is very limited. This is why it is so important for each and every Christian to work very closely with the Holy Spirit to get this fruit worked up into the core of our personalities. It is only when the love of the Holy Spirit starts to flow and enter into our personalities can we even begin to love God, love ourselves, and love one another to the degree and to the intensity that God would like to see from each one of us.
Joy is our focus on Christ as Lord; this allows us to enjoy our relationship with Him, His creation, and others, regardless of our circumstances, with an expression of delight and real, authentic happiness that comes from and with harmony with God and others. Joy in James refers to declaring our situation as happy and fulfilling, even when it is not. It is to change our mindset and focus. It is realizing the sovereignty of God and that He is in control, even when life seems to be turned upside down and inside out! Joy helps us understand God's perspective and gives us the confidence and patience to endure anything. Joy is not happiness, because we may not be content and pleased with it; rather, joy is hope. It is our real hope. It is not a meager wish; rather, it is the unshakable confidence of our future in Christ. Our pleasure comes from knowing He is in charge and caring for us.
Psalm 31:7-9 (Psalm 32:7-9) Thou art my refuge from the trouble which hath encompassed me: my joy, deliver me from them that surround me. I will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee in this way, in which thou shalt go: I will fix my eyes upon thee. Do not become like the horse and the mule, who have no understanding. With bit and bridle bind fast their jaws, who come not near unto thee.
Psalm 33:1-8 (Psalm 34:1-8) For David, when he changed his countenance before Achimelech, who dismissed him, and he went his way. I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth. In the Lord shall my soul be praised: let the meek hear and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me; and he delivered me from all my troubles. Come ye to him and be enlightened: and your faces shall not be confounded. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him: and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear him: and shall deliver them.
Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by grief of mind the spirit is cast down.
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled.
John 17:13 And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all.
1 Peter 4:13-19 But if you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice that when his glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, you shall be blessed: for that which is of the honour, glory, and power of God, and that which is his Spirit, resteth upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a railer, or a coveter of other men's things. But if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God? And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them also that suffer according to the will of God, commend their souls in good deeds to the faithful Creator.
Hebrews 10:34 For you both had compassion on them that were in bands, and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and a lasting substance.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
James 1:1-4 James the servant of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy, when you shall fall into divers temptations; Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. And patience hath a perfect work; that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing.
In the rough and tough world we live in with all of the crime, disorder, and bad things that can happen to anyone of us at anytime, many Christians have lost a lot of their joy in the Lord as a result of some of the beatings they have taken in this life. With the imperfections of our own fallen nature, and then you combine that with how people react differently to adversity – some Christians have literally had most, if not all of their joy in the Lord, knocked right out of them.
This is why the above verse from Galatians is so powerful and so needed by every single Christian today. In this verse, God is telling us that He can transmit some of His godly and divine qualities right up into the middle of us like filling up a new car with its first tank of gasoline. Many of God’s people need a fresh infusion of His divine qualities due to the leaks that have occurred as a result of some of the beatings His people have taken during the course of their lives.
And the quality of joy is a much needed quality in this day and age. No matter how bad of a beating you may have taken in this life – God can still fully heal, deliver, and restore you if you are willing to work with Him in this healing process. And one of the things that God can fully restore in you is your joy in Him. And not only can the Lord fully restore what joy you used to have in Him, but He can also increase it to a much greater degree and intensity due to the wording in the above verse – with the quality of joy being one of the specific fruits of His Holy Spirit!
Here are some of the different definitions of what real joy is all about:
Great delight; gladness of heart.
The happy state that results from knowing and serving God.
That deep, abiding, inner rejoicing in the Lord.
To rejoice, to be glad.
Happy, joyful, cheerful, rejoicing.
Realize that God can transmit this divine quality right up into your personality – and this will be His joy, not your joy, once it starts to flow up into you. And once God starts to release His joy into your system, you won’t be able to help but feel it. And once you are able to start feeling it again, it will become much easier for you to learn how to walk back in it in your own daily walk with the Lord.
The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is your strength. This is why it is so important that every Christian have some level of God’s joy operating through them in this life. Without God’s joy operating in your life, things can begin to dry up. Nothing is ever fun anymore. Everything can start to become a chore. Before you know it, you will want to start to withdraw from others and life in general. The joy of the Lord can really give you an incredible surge of strength in your own daily walk with God – especially when you have to take on some really tough situations. This is why each Christian should work very closely with the Holy Spirit in not only getting Him to release His joy into their system, but to also keep it running through them on a very regular and consistent basis. The Holy Spirit will do this for you if you are open to receiving this divine infusion from Him and are willing to work with Him to keep it properly flowing through you on a regular basis. And to co-operate with the Holy Spirit to draw down graces from Him is to live as He compels us to do in the holy scriptures.
Peace is surrendering and yielding ourselves to the Lord to be in His control, for He is our ultimate peace! In so doing, tranquility will be our tone, control, and our composure. This will be fueled from our harmonious relationship with God—handing over control of our hearts, will, and minds to Him. We are willing to make peace with others because we have found peace with God. Thus, we can live at peace with our neighbors, proclaiming serenity and rekindling it when it goes down or is lost. Peace is unity, which is more important than just resolving trivial disagreements. Our focus must be on edifying and encouraging. We will either lift people up or bring them down, something we need to know so as to pursue peace and harmony and not let the childish and petty things of life divide us. Our focus must be on keeping our own accounts straight and not worrying or interfering with others. This helps make us peacemakers. Once we make real peace with God, we will be able to make and maintain peace with others. When we are at peace with God, we will also be at peace with ourselves emotionally.
Isaiah 26:3 The old error is passed away: thou wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Luke 19:42 If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.
Romans 5:1 Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Because of the wicked schemes of this world, the temptations, desires, and also from our rebellious flesh that rises against us all the time, to find peace in our souls we need to stay away from these hurtful things. With all of this kind of heightened activity that we are all forced to deal with on a daily basis, it becomes very easy to lose our sense of peace, especially our peace in the Lord. Again, this is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit can really help us pick up the slack if we start losing our own sense of peace over some of the storm clouds that could come against us in this life.
Realize that the Holy Spirit has His peace to give to us and that He can give it to us in great abundance. Once His peace starts to flow up into your mind, soul, and emotions, it really is as the Bible says – a peace that surpasses all human understanding – especially when that peace comes in right in the middle of a severe storm cloud that we may be going through.
Here is how the quality of peace is described in some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:
The presence and experience of right relationships.
The tranquility of soul.
Sense of well-being and fulfillment that comes from God and is dependent on His presence.
The inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ.
Tranquility, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.
Without the peace of God operating in our life, we could become very easily rattled, shaken, tormented, and knocked right off of our striving in the Lord the first time any type of adversity should ever come our way.
Patience, in some translations is called Longsuffering; this calls for showing tolerance and fortitude toward others, even accepting difficult situations with them—and God—without making demands or conditions. Patience is our “staying power.” It is like perseverance and the endurance to not give up; it is about actively overcoming our situation—not just sitting, accepting, and doing nothing! It allows us to endure a less than desirable situation, to make us better, more useful, and even optimistic and prudent. Hence, its other name, longsuffering. It allows us to put up with others who “get on our nerves” without losing other characteristics of grace.
Hosea 2:19-23 And I will espouse thee to me for ever: and I will espouse thee to me in justice, and judgment, and in mercy, and in commiserations. And I will espouse thee to me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day: I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth. And the earth shall hear the core, and the wine, and the oil, and these shall hear Jezrahel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth, and I will have mercy on her that was without mercy.
Psalm 32:20 (Psalm 33:20) Our soul waiteth for the Lord: for he is our helper and protector.
Matthew 27:14 And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly.
Romans 5:3 And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast, and be not held again under the yoke of bondage.
Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
James 1:3-4,12 Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. And patience hath a perfect work; that you may be perfect and entire, failing in nothing. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.
James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, for an example of suffering evil, of labour and patience, the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we account them blessed who have endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and you have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is merciful and compassionate.
One of the main definitions of the word longsuffering is that it is referring to patience. And patience is another sorely needed quality in the fast paced world in which we live in today. Many people have been killed or seriously injured because someone lost his temper over something that was very trivial. With the fast-paced ways of our society, many people, because of their sins have had their temper shortened up and it thus takes very little to set them off. As a result, many people have very little patience operating in their personalities today.
For Christians, this poses a major dilemma. One of the ways of our God is that He is a very patient and longsuffering God. His ways are not our ways. And one of the things you will find out very early on about His ways is that He works on a much slower time frame than we do. And unless you learn to adjust to His slower way of working things out, you will find yourself easily losing your patience with Him and how He wants to work things out in your life. God operates on a much longer and slower time frame than we are used to operating in the fast paced world in which we live in. You will really have to work with the Holy Spirit on this particular quality to get it properly worked up into your personality. The reason for this is that your own impatience will start to act up and try to override the patience and longsuffering that the Holy Spirit will try and transmit to you. At times, it may become of battle of wills – your will against His will.
But once the Holy Spirit starts to try and manifest this quality up into your personality, then you have to try and move with it and allow it to get worked into your mind and emotions. If you do, then His patience will start to override your impatience, and before you know it, your temper will start to lengthen and you will not lose your patience like you used to do.
Here are the different definitions for the word longsuffering:
Patient endurance and steadfastness under provocation.
Forbearance under ill-will, with no thought of retaliation.
Patience, endurance, steadfastness and forbearance.
Forbearance under suffering and endurance in the face of adversity.
Ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment.
With the way all of these definitions are reading, you can really see why we all need the patience and longsuffering of the Holy Spirit to start operating in our souls and personalities – especially when we are forced to face any kind of adversity. Sometimes it will be the patience and longsuffering of the Holy Spirit that will be the only thing that will give you the ability to last the entire length of a bad trial.
Learn how to ride and flow (by reading the scriptures and the lives of holy saints of God) with the patience of the Holy Spirit in your daily life and walk with the Lord – and you will then be able to enter into a much more restful, peaceful state within your mind and emotions.
Kindness is the medium through which Christ's love becomes real, tangible, and knowable through us. It is the application of sincere love that manifests itself in practicing benevolence and a loving attitude towards others. Kindness is the essence that shows the world we are Christians, like the fragrance coming from a beautiful flower. It is being convicted with God's Word, and then modeling it to others. Being charitable is an aspect of good positive relationships of others, and an important part of the Christian experience and duty! Kindness is the subject to the object of who we are in Christ. This is something we replicate as we are kind, and also respond in kindness to others, our response to one another fuels the other's response, and so forth. In this way, we will be escalating love and kindness instead of repression and dysfunction.
Romans 2:1-4 Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For thou dost the same things which thou judgest. For we know that the judgment of God is, according to truth, against them that do such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them who do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?
Romans 12:9-21 Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood, with honour preventing one another. In carefulness not slothful. In spirit fervent. Serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope. Patient in tribulation. Instant in prayer. Communicating to the necessities of the saints. Pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.
2 Corinthians 6:6-7 In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, In the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left;
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.
Colossians 3:12-14 Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:
1 John 3:16-23 In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth. In this we know that we are of the truth: and in his sight shall persuade our hearts. For if our heart reprehend us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Dearly beloved, if our heart do not reprehend us, we have confidence towards God: And whatsoever we shall ask, we shall receive of him: because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as he hath given commandment unto us.
As a result of more people being impatient, having short temper, and with everyone always being in a hurry – many people have lost the ability to treat others with kindness and respect. A kind word, a kind action to another person can really do wonders for them. When we study the life of Jesus in the New Testament, Jesus is without question, the ultimate role model for all of us of someone who was fully walking and operating in all fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The quality of kindness will go hand in hand with the quality of love. Once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His love up into us, the quality of kindness will follow right along with it. It will then become much easier for us to be able to be kind to others once the love of God starts to flow more into our personality. We cannot help but be more kind to others if God’s love is flowing through us. Once the love of God starts to flow and operate through us to touch others, many of the other fruits of the Holy Spirit will then start to follow right after.
Here are some of the different definitions of what real kindness is all about:
Quality or state of being kind.
The steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need.
Goodness of heart, serviceable, good, gracious, pleasant.
Love for mankind, hospitality, acts of kindness, readiness to help, human friendship, benevolence, taking thought of others.
Goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, affability.
The ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience.
As you can see from some of these different definitions, this is a very beautiful quality to have transmitted up into our soul and personality by the Holy Spirit. Not only will we be able to touch others with this godly quality, but we will also be able to touch ourselves – because we will feel so much better about ourselves in a humble tone if we can learn how to treat others with much more kindness and respect in our daily dealings and affairs with them.
Goodness is the engagement of love that shows the application of Christ, His righteousness, and Truth. This models it to others in the action of love, making Christ and us attractive and inviting. This is God at work in our faith, so we are synergized with His power and then engage it to others. This is the fruit that makes people liked by and even lovable to others. This displays integrity, honesty, and compassion to others, and allows us to do the right thing. It is doing the right thing, even when it does not feel like we should, as Joseph did. He was betrayed and sold as a slave, yet, he chose to make his situation into something good, and to help and treat others better than he needed to. Why are we to be good? Because God is good to us (Psalm 86:5; 145:4-13)! Goodness is the model for people to repent, make penance and accept Christ.
Amos 5:15 Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be the Lord the God of hosts may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
Proverbs 25:21-22 If thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat: if he thirst, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap hot coals upon his head, and the Lord will reward thee.
Matthew 19:16-17 And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Romans 12:17 To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things, not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men.
2 Corinthians 5:20 For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God.
Ephesians 5:8-9 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth;
2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you; that our God would make you worthy of his vocation, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power;
1 Peter 3:11 Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace and pursue it:
2 Peter 1:3-8 As all things of his divine power which appertain to life and godliness, are given us, through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue. By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world. And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity. For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that it is the goodness of God that will lead sinners to penance and salvation. The quality of goodness is another real powerful quality to have operating through us. This particular quality has a real drawing power to it. Not only does the goodness of God draw people direct to Him, but this fruit of goodness operating in a believer can also draw people direct to God through the actual believer. Spirit-filled saints who are walking with many of these fruits operating through them are like a magnet. Many people who have been saved through an individual believer say that what drew them in was the love and goodness they saw shining through that believer.
Jesus says that we are to carry His light and let that light shine before men. Part of His light are these fruits of the Holy Spirit shining through a believer. People are really drawn to someone who has some degree of these fruits manifesting through their personalities. However, there is something extra special about the quality of goodness. Many Christians can effectively witness to others by just living right and being a good example and role model for others to follow. Many nonbelievers and believers alike carefully watch and study some Christians because they know there is something really different about them.
One of the key qualities a nonbeliever will pick up on in a solid Christian is this quality of goodness. This quality has an ability to really get down deep into the core of a believer’s personality through the grace of God. As a result of seeing this goodness deeply ingrained into their personalities, there is an immediate drawing towards them. You feel totally safe being around them because you know you can totally trust them, and you know they would never deliberately hurt you. Many times children are quick to sense and pick up on this quality in people who really have it. These types of Christians draw children and adults to them like magnets. This is why this particular fruit and quality is so important for each Christian to have. Because with it, you can easily draw many more people to the Lord.
If the goodness of God will lead people to penance and salvation with Him – then the goodness of God operating through a Christian will have the ability to draw nonbelievers into salvation. And the goodness of God can be transmitted and worked up into our personality through the power of the Holy Spirit (a free gift of God). We can have the actual goodness of God shining through us to reach others if we are willing to work with the Holy Spirit in our sanctification process.
Here follows some of the different definitions of what this quality is all about:
Beneficence, ready to do good, love in action.
Kindness in actual manifestation, virtue equipped for action, a bountiful propensity both to will and to do what is good, intrinsic goodness producing a generosity and a Godlike state or being.
The word beneficence means the fact or quality of being kind or doing good.
This particular quality is a very powerful fruit to have operating in our personality because of the drawing power it has in it. And the beautiful part about this fruit is that this quality is so pure in its goodness – it does not have any manipulative qualities within it. In other words, a truly good person could not even begin to try and use us or manipulate us for their own personal gain because they are too good and too righteous to even begin to think along those lines. This is why these kinds of people are so trustworthy and why so many people are drawn to them – because you feel so safe by just being around them.
Faithfulness is the application of our faith in action; because we are saved by Christ in a state of grace, He dwells in our hearts. Thus, we are infused with dependability because as we praise His name, it hits home in our being. It is not faith itself; rather, it is the fruit and character of faith. It is the “gluing” fruit that will preserve our faith and the other characters of the Spirit, and identify God's will, so we can be dependable and trusting to God and others. Faith is the one fruit that we give back to God, whereas faithfulness and the other fruits, virtues, and characters are from the Spirit working in us! Faithfulness is authenticity that is so absent today and so badly needed to show the power and motivation for Christian living. Because God is trustworthy with us, we can be faith-worthy in Him!
Psalm 118:89-90 (Psalm 119:89-90) For ever, O Lord, thy word standeth firm in heaven. Thy truth unto all generations: thou hast founded the earth, and it continueth.
Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, thou art my God, I will exalt thee, and give glory to thy name: for thou hast done wonderful things, thy designs of old faithful, amen.
Matthew 17:19 Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Romans 1:17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
Romans 5:1-2 Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God.
1 Corinthians 12:9 To another, faith in the same spirit; to another, the grace of healing in one Spirit;
Ephesians 3:16-17 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man, That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts; that being rooted and founded in charity,
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 He is faithful who hath called you, who also will do it.
In the deceiving times we live in and with many people getting back-stabbed with people they thought they could initially trust – this particular quality is one that is really needed in our day and age. This quality is not only needed in our own personal relationship with God, but it is also needed in our own personal relationships with our friends and our families. Once we have entered into a true, personal relationship with the Lord – one of the first things we will really have to grab a hold of is holding fast to the Lord and staying faithful to Him for the rest of our life.
This is what got the Jewish people in major trouble with God back in the Old Testament. They could not stay faithful and loyal to Him on a consistent and regular basis. There were times that God was literally calling them harlots and adulterers because they would not stay faithful to Him, especially when they kept chasing after other gods. God really expect us to operate very strongly in faithfulness – not only in our own personal relationship with Him, but also in our other personal relationships with our family and friends. In other words, He wants us to be faithful and loyal to our spouses, to our children, to our parents, and to our good Christian friends.
Too many people are bailing out from their spouses and their children if they hit a few difficulties in their marriages. Too many spouses are having affairs behind their spouse’s back, thereby destroying all of the trust and faithfulness that may have been built up in the early years of their marriages. Too many fathers are bailing out of their marriages, forgetting and forsaking their own children. If God brings us a wonderful mate, wonderful children, and good and wonderful friends – then He will expect us to stay loyal and faithful to all of them in our own personal relationships with them. A true Christian friend will stay by our side for life – through thick and thin and for better or for worse. Just as God will stay faithful to us in His own personal relationship with us – He will expect us to stay loyal and faithful in our own personal relationships with the other people in our life. And of course, we should not have anything in common with people who deny and reject our Christian faith, because, if after we have tried to convert them and they stay obstinate in their delusion, we should avoid them as much as we can, otherwise they will influence us into their kind of living and drag us down with them to hell.
Here are what some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries have to say about this particular quality:
Fidelity which makes one true to his promise and faithful to his task.
Steadfast, dedicated, dependable and worthy of trust.
Steadfast, unchanging and thoroughly grounded in relation to the other.
Dependability, loyalty and stability.
With the self-centered and materialistic world in which we now live in, many people’s only goals and ambitions are to get as much as they can out of this life while they still can. God is really watching all of us. He is watching who is going to stay true, loyal, and faithful to Him – and who will stay true, loyal, and faithful to others. The flesh is strong – especially in the area of wanting to satisfy its lust for the material things of this life. This is why we all need the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit worked into us to help us keep loyal to God, family, and friends.
Gentleness, sometimes referred to as Meekness, is the fruit that will show calmness, personal care, and tenderness in meeting the needs of others. It is to be more than just a personality; it is to be who we are by the work of the Spirit within us. This is not weakness or a lack of strength; rather, it is being humble and gentle toward God and others. This also means being nonresistant to God and His work in us. Gentleness produces a desire and effort to please God and to submit our will and aspirations to His will and what is best. By keeping our focus on Christ with humility, we can endure being personally attacked.
Psalm 36:11 (Psalm 37:11) But the meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace.
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather together the lambs with his arm, and shall take them up in his bosom, and he himself shall carry them that are with young.
Isaiah 42:2-3 He shall not cry, nor have respect to person, neither shall his voice be heard abroad. The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Philippians 4:5 Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 11:29 Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.
Matthew 12:15 But Jesus knowing it, retired from thence: and many followed him, and he healed them all.
Ephesians 4:1-2 I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.
2 Timothy 2:24 But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient,
1 Thessalonians 2:7 Whereas we might have been burdensome to you, as the apostles of Christ: but we became little ones in the midst of you, as if a nurse should cherish her children:
Since Jesus walked our earth as a man – the Son of Man – study His actions very carefully when you read the gospels and how He handled different types of people. There were times that He would engage and set people straight, like He did with some of the Scribes and Pharisees. But there were other times that He dealt with people very gently, with kindness and love. His gentle way of handling some of these people is what really jumps out at you when you really study how He handled different types of people. Again, Jesus is the perfect role model for all of us to study and learn from – especially with how He handled people while He was walking down here on our earth. For men in particular, His actions and behavior towards others should be a major study for all of us and we should seek to pattern our own daily walk after Him. We can learn of Jesus' gentleness.
We need much of Christian gentleness in our world today. So many people have been beat up and hurt in their dealings with other people – that just a gentle word, a gentle touch from another Christian can really open up the door for that person to be able to receive Jesus and His doctrine. Once we really start walking in the Holy Spirit with His divine fruits operating and flowing through us – we will really be able to feel and sense when we should handle a certain person or a certain type of situation with more of a touch of gentleness rather than with any kind of stern rebuke or condemnation. There is a time for tough love – but there are also times that just a gentle and loving touch is all that is really needed to properly handle a certain situation.
God will guide us in all of this. We need just realize that the quality of gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and specially very good in being able to use it when dealing with and helping out others. Parents need this fruit operating through them, as it is very easy to get out of balance with the way we are correcting our children. Sometimes more of a tough love (spanking, disciplining, etc.) approach is needed, but at other times more of a gentle approach will be better suited for the situation. If all our children ever hear from us are stern words of rebuke and criticism, and it is never properly balanced out with words and actions of love, kindness, and gentleness – then after a certain period of time our children will start to pull away from us, and they then will have no more desire to want to establish any type of good, solid, loving relationship with us.
Here are some of the different definitions on the quality of gentleness:
Mildness combined with tenderness.
Gracious, kindly disposition, controlled strength.
A disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has passions under control.
A character that is equitable, reasonable, forbearing, moderate, fair and considerate.
Power and strength under control.
Willing to pardon injuries, correct faults. One who rules his spirit well.
Not only will other people love and gravitate towards us more if we learn how to walk in this quality – but we will be at much more peace with ourselves since we won’t always have to be fighting and striving with others when trying to help them out.
Self-Control, sometimes referred to as Temperance, is allowing God to be in control of our will and hearts, and to be diligent in seeking the Spirit to enable us. We can know what not to do, and guard the areas in which we are weak. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint, with obedience to God and others. It is not allowing distractions to derail or remove us from His will and plan, so we will not be held back from what Christ has called us to do. This comes down to how we trust in our Lord, we can trust God for the future because we can see what He has done in the past.
Proverbs 16:32 The patient man is better than the valiant: and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh cities.
Proverbs 25:28 As a city that lieth open and is not compassed with walls, so is a man that cannot refrain his own spirit in speaking.
Romans 13:12-14 The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient. All things are lawful to me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air: But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves.
Titus 2:12 Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world,
Hebrews 12:2 Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Peter 1:5-7 And you, employing all care, minister in your faith, virtue; and in virtue, knowledge; And in knowledge, abstinence; and in abstinence, patience; and in patience, godliness; And in godliness, love of brotherhood; and in love of brotherhood, charity.
Once we start to enter into a true, sanctification process with the Lord – expect the Holy Spirit to move on us very early with this specific quality. The reason for this is that we all have a certain amount of character flaws operating in our personalities. There are some bad and negative qualities that will have to go. The Bible tells us that our spirit and our flesh will war against each other in this life. Our flesh wants immediate self-gratification at all costs and will stop at nothing to try and get it. Our spirit know that some of our fleshly desires are not right for us and as a result, there will be a tug of war between the two – and sometimes it will be a major tug of war. And the only thing that will be able to control and curb some of the desires of our flesh is the quality of self-control.
Since we all live in a very self-centered and materialistic type world today, many people have very poor impulse control. If they see something they immediately want, they will do anything they can to try and get it. They will not be denied until they get what they are going after. These people are obviously very weak in the quality of self-control. This is why the Bible tells us that if we can learn how to really walk in the Holy Spirit, then we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Due to our fallen and sinful natures, all of us are weak to some degree in the quality of self-control. This is why God made sure to have this fruit listed as one of the fruits of His Holy Spirit. We all need God’s self-control operating in our lives and in our personalities if we are going to have any hope in getting cleaned up. If we do not have God’s self-control operating through us – we will have very little victory over such things as bad tempers, judgmental and critical spirits, an unforgiving spirit, and vices such as smoking and the abuse of alcohol.
Once the Holy Spirit starts this sanctification process within us – be prepared for battles and tugs of wars with our flesh once He starts coming after some of the negative qualities operating in our personality. But if we are willing to yield to Him and allow Him to start to work all of these fruits into our personality – then we will find ourselves starting to grow in ways and in areas that we never thought were possible in this life. His supernatural power in this area will blow us away once we see how far He can really take us to become the person that God would like us to become in Him in this lifetime.
Here are some of the definitions of what the quality of self-control is all about:
Temperance, rational restraint of natural impulses.
Sober, temperate, calm and dispassionate approach to life, having mastered personal desires and passions.
Calls for a self-disciplined life following Christ’s example of being in the world but not of the world.
Restraint or discipline exercised over one’s behavior.
The above definitions perfectly describe what God is looking for once He starts to work and transmit this quality up into our personalities. This specific quality is one of the major keys in being able to get any kind of victory over some of the lusts and desires of our flesh.
All of the above definitions on each one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit give us a good description of what each one of them are all about, and why God really wants to work each one of these fruits into our personalities. As we can see when reviewing each one of them, they are all very powerful – and they not only have the ability to help change, transform, and sanctify us – but they also have the ability to touch all of those around us. Nothing will draw nonbelievers and believers alike to the Lord than a truly, sanctified saint in the Lord who is walking and operating in all fruits of the Holy Spirit. If we are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work and transmit all of these fruits up into our personality in this life – we will then become a light that will literally radiate the presence of God Himself through our soul and personality. We have no idea how many people we will be able to save, touch, witness to, and help disciple if we have these fruits operating through us.
So let us allow God begin this sanctifying work in our life – keep these fruits of the Holy Spirit directly in front of us – and work very closely with the Holy Spirit once He starts to manifest these fruits up into our personality. These fruits will be coming directly from Him. They will be His love, His goodness, His joy, and His peace that will start to flow into us. But we will still have to do our part in all of this. Once these divine attributes start to be released into our personality by the Holy Spirit – our job will then be to start to walk and operate in them. If the Holy Spirit starts to release His quality of love into our personality, but we start refusing to walk and operate in that love in our words and actions to others – then He will start to pull it back from us after a reasonable length of time. If He starts to manifest His quality of self-control in us in an effort to try and take out some of the negative qualities that He will not want operating in our personality, and we refuse to rely on that self-control, and we override it and continue to operate in those negative qualities – then again, He will pull it back from us until we are ready to work in cooperation with Him. So we need to daily lift up our weapons (e.g. striving towards good, making a virtuous act, also start making self-denial, such as abstinence, fasting, etc. through the grace of the Holy Spirit) given us from God in our baptism and not throw them down on the ground.
This sanctification process is a two way street. God is more than willing and anxious to do His part – but we will have to be willing to do our part. And our part will be to learn what changes God will want to make with us – and then start to live, walk, and operate in those specific changes once the Holy Spirit starts this supernatural, sanctification process within us. This part God cannot do for us. As sooner and the more we make these self-sacrifices the more God can work with us and shape us in the image of His Son. Jesus gave Peter the power and ability to be able to walk on water. But there was one thing Peter had to do before that supernatural power was released to him. He had to get out of the boat and start walking straight forward on that power. It was only when he got out of the boat and started walking straight forward did the supernatural power of God manifest that allowed him to literally walk on water!
It’s the exact same way in this sanctification realm with the Lord. God, through the Holy Spirit, will give us the supernatural power to change, transform, and sanctify us – but we will have to be like Peter and be willing to live and walk in that supernatural power before it can really start to work to change and sanctify us. Jesus is coming back for a Bride that will be without spot or blemish. He is calling His Church to clean up their act and allow His Holy Spirit to begin this deeper sanctifying work in their lives. However, the choice is up to each individual believer. Sanctification is not something that can be forced upon anyone. God has given everyone a free will and He will never force His will or His ways on anyone.
This sanctification process with the Lord – realize that all of this will not occur overnight. The Holy Spirit will set the pace and timetable that He will want to work with us on. We can perfectly trust Him to handle each of the areas that He will want to get into. Though some of this may be a bit painful at times, since none of us likes to admit that we have anything that needs to be changed, let the Holy Spirit take us as far as He will want to go with us in this process – and it's a guarantee that our life and our state of well-being will all be changed for the better – much better!