Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
God contrasted the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. You notice that there are “works” (plural), of the flesh. However, it is the “fruit” (singular), of the Spirit. This tells us that all the items listed here are part of the same Holy Spirit Who indwells the child of God. All the aspects of the fruit will be present in every born again child of God.
We are reminded again here that it is the Holy Spirit indwelling the child of God that makes the difference. If it were not for God’s gift of salvation, no one would ever do anything of value. The Bible declares that God is hindering evil from having its full effect at this time.
Wars come from the lusts that war in mankind.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
When God saves a person, the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Godhead) indwells that person. That happens immediately. There is no need to pray and seek for the Holy Spirit. There is no need to seek the “second blessing” or “second baptism”. Those are fictional things. God gives the Holy Spirit to every person that is saved. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that enables the true child of God to produce the fruit of the Spirit.
This does not mean that the saved person just sits around and waits for God to force the change on them. God already has done all that is needed to save the individual and to enable the individual to be able to honour and glorify Him. The saved person knows he or she has been saved, and he or she has a desire to know the God Who saved them and he also has a desire to serve the true God.
The true child of God is growing in the Lord and becoming more Christlike as he grows in the Lord. The true child of God cannot live in sin because they have been given a new nature.
The list that God gives us here begins with “love”. The Greek word translated as “love” is “agape” and refers to that selfless love that God has toward man. It is the highest form of spiritual love. It is a willingness to give one’s self to another in a selfless manner.
God’s love provides the means for a man to love his wife whether she is healthy or sick. It provides the means for a man to love his wife, whether she burns the toast or makes the best meal he has ever tasted. God’s love provides the means for a child to love his or her parents even when they do not understand or like some order given them. God’s love is what brings unity in a local church among people of various backgrounds. The uniting factor is the love of God which is in them as the fruit of the Spirit.
The word “joy” is that cheerfulness and calm delight that the Holy Spirit gives the saint.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus knew He was going to suffer greatly. He knew it was going to be painful and He knew the weight of the sin would be overwhelming to the flesh. He knew He would die there. He also knew He would provide the only means for any person to be forgiven and be made that true and righteous child of God.
He willingly went to that cross because He possessed that joy as the second person of the Godhead. Every true child of God is given that joy at salvation through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Every true child of God can walk faithfully with God and can endure the challenges of the earthly aspect of the Christian life. We can face the ridicule and the rejection and all the rest of the attacks of the devil with joy when we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and when we walk in the Spirit.
The third aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is “peace”. The meaning of the Greek word there is described as “exemption from the rage and havoc of war”.
We noted that the works of the flesh involve fighting and trouble. The saved person has been given a new nature and he or she does not act in the same manner as they did before. They have been changed by God. God does for the saved person, what they could never do for themselves. All the self help programs and all the mental health workers cannot fix the problems of the people coming to them. They are overwhelmed with demands for help, and yet they cannot help. Getting into that line of work is a guaranteed job. It is also very stressful for the lost person. Some of them will desire to help others with problems, but they are unable to help because they do not know the Lord themselves. God’s peace is a gift from Him.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Those who know the Lord will testify to the fact that they have been given a peace that they never had before they were saved. They will know they have a calmness in the midst of trouble that drugs cannot give them.
I think of the person possessed with devils who was brought to Jesus. He was a wild man. Jesus cast out the devils and the people witnessed that man clothed and sitting calmly and in his right mind. The people were afraid. This was something they did not expect to see. They saw the power of God at work in such a wonderful way that it made them afraid. Who is this Jesus, that He can cast out devils and make such a drastic change in a person’s life?
They did not need to be afraid, but because they looked at this through dark eyes, they did not see the blessing of having this man healed, both physically and spiritually. They also did not see the blessing they could have had in turning to Jesus Christ for their own salvation.
The Bible tells us that the people asked Jesus to leave their territory when they saw this man changed so drastically. Of course there was a cost to all of this. Three thousand swine were drowned in the sea as those devils possessed them and drove them into the sea. What a small cost to seeing this man sane, and a productive member of society. What a small cost to seeing that their whole region could have been changed to God-honouring people. Life would have been so different for them. They would never have missed those swine had they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. That man was at peace with God, but the rest certainly were not.
We cannot rush through the fruit of the Spirit. We will continue this study tomorrow, Lord willing.
God wants all people to know the fruit of the Spirit in their own life. If you do not have this today, why not turn to God now and ask Him to forgive you and save you by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. You will be blessed beyond expectation. The blessings He gives you now are just a foretaste of what is coming in glory. Don’t miss out!