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.
Continuing with the fruit of the Spirit the next quality is longsuffering. “Longsuffering” is to be patient and slow to take revenge. Christians do not look to pay someone back for a wrong they did to us. Christians need to learn to forgive and forget. We need to look at how God has been longsuffering with us. Longsuffering does not mean tolerating sin. It involves the willingness to help others to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus demonstrated longsuffering with His disciples. He did not tolerate the jealousy that was there when James and John wanted the privileged spots in His kingdom. He taught the 12 that saints do not function like the world does. We don’t try to push someone else out of the way so we can get the top spot. We accept God’s authority and serve Him faithfully in the place He has chosen for us. He rebuked Peter when he tried to interfere with Jesus’ purpose for coming to this earth, but He did not stop teaching him. He gave Peter that convicting look after he denied Him three times. Later, He restored Peter to right fellowship even though he had yielded to temptation.
“Gentleness” speaks of “moral goodness”. It is that spirit of kindness that we need to have toward others. Jesus demonstrated gentleness in receiving the mothers with their children even though He had a busy day and even though the disciples tried to keep them away from Him. He did not allow the disciples to keep the mothers and children from coming to Him. He taught the importance of becoming like little children to enter into the kingdom.
“Goodness” refers to “uprightness of heart and life”. Jesus reminded the rich young man that there is none good but God. Keep in mind that we are looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Thus the true child of God is given that ability to be good, in the Spirit. Again we see how God changes the nature of man into that which is well pleasing in His sight.
“Faith” is that ability of faithfulness. The lost person must repent toward God and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at salvation. The faith spoken of here is that faith that the child of God walks by.
II Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
The true child of God walks with conviction of truth. He or she should not be swayed by lies and deception because he trusts fully in God and knows that anything that is contrary to God’s Word is a lie.
By faith we can tell that our government has been lying to us and that they are moving us in the wrong direction. True Christians trust God and we know that God designed us to meet with others and to show expression on our faces. We cannot do that when we give in to lockdowns and face masks. We also know that there are times when we need medical help and there are also times when we need to trust in the way God designed our bodies to recover from sickness. When it comes to colds and flus we are wiser to follow God’s design than to allow the “system” to inject things into our bodies that are known to be harmful. We learn these things and many more as we walk by faith.
“Meekness” is a gentleness that comes with humility. It is sometimes referred to as “strength under God’s control”. God’s people need to learn not to be emotional train wrecks. They need to know how to approach each situation with the right response that will benefit those around.
Jesus Christ was meek and He certainly was not weak. He knew how to approach every situation in a right manner that would give those involved the right answer to their need.
“Temperance” refers to being disciplined in nature, avoiding the excesses that the flesh is prone to. King David lacked temperance when he saw Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop. He lusted after her and followed through with further actions of sin. Samson certainly lacked temperance in his life and it got him into trouble and eventually led to his death.
All of these aspects of the fruit of the Spirit can only be had by those who are saved. As we see in the closing words of verse 23, God does not put restrictions on the exercise of this fruit. This is what liberty looks like.
All God’s children will have all 9 of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned here. All God’s children will need to work at developing this fruit under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God and through the faithful study of God’s Word.
We can be a blessing to others as we (those who are saved) submit ourselves to God’s design for His children.
On this Lord’s day, I will again encourage each recipient to go to a good church that can help you to know God’s way and thus to know His blessing in your life. Don’t short change yourself.