The "fruit of the Spirit" is a term given to the evidence in the life of a believer of the nature of the Spirit of Yahweh God dwelling in them. It is the outward manifestation of His Spirit within them.
A. ABIDING IN MESSIAH TO MANIFEST FRUITEdit
The Spirit of God in a believer evidences His life in two aspects - 1. By the manifestation of His power, and 2. By the evidence of His nature
His power is evidenced by the gifts and enablings which He imparts for service, but His nature outworked in our lives is that which is called the fruit of the Spirit. We have His nature and His power available to us.
Yeshua demonstrated the fullness of the Spirit's power by always doing those things which the Father showed Him to do. He also evidenced the fullness of the divine nature because He constantly abode in His relationship of communion with the Father. John 12:49,50 & 14:10,12 He had a completely yielded walk with His Father and exhorted us to live in that same relationship which He had with the Father. See John 17:20-23, "I in them, and you in me." His prayer was for an impartation of the glory which He had to be made available to us, and we have been given that through the Spirit of God.
"I am the Vine, and you are the branches. He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing" John 15:5 We cannot produce the fruit of His life, nor can we manufacture His power in our life. All our righteousness is as filthy rags and all our efforts are from the energy of the flesh, originating out of the self-life and are unacceptable to God. They that are in the flesh CANNOT please God (Romans 8:8).
Only His life coursing through us can produce spiritual fruit. As we remain in Him, His life force flowing through us as the 'sap', will cause us the 'branches', to bear the fruit of the tree of life, which is Yeshua. We can only bear the fruit of that tree when we are engrafted into it.
The moment a branch is severed from the rest of the vine, it begins to wither and die. That will be our experience if we do not remain in Him, yielded to the flow of His life through us. Independence of heart and seeking to live our own life will sever us from the flow of His life, which is in the Vine. Our own life, our human natural life is by it's nature, that of spiritual death, the end of which is destruction (John 15:6), the only life which we now have when we are in Messiah is that which is given by Him. A branch begins to wither the moment it is severed from it's life-source (the sap of the vine), and the process of 'death' will continue until it is completely dried out. Green branches will not burn, but that which is dry, in which the sap has completely dried out, is that which is ready to be burned. A life cut off from the Vine will for a while be green enough to be grafted back in, but there comes a time when it is no longer possible to do it. When completely dead, then judgment is inevitable.
But, as we abide in Him, His life will motivate us and cause us to keep His commandments and precepts. Yeshua said, "If you keep my commandments, you SHALL ABIDE in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love." John 15:10
If we abide in Him, His life in us will live the life which will produce the fruit. Messiah in us will keep the commandments, for His life is in accordance with all the Father's expectations. We will then have the love of God flowing out from us in all that we do, and love is the fulfilling of the law. By our own efforts we can never do this. See Rom.7:13-25
It is by the evidence of His life that the world will know that we are His disciples. The love of the Father will be in us and we will manifest that to each other (John 15:12,13; 13:34,35)
Yeshua said, "I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit" John 15:16.
We have been chosen and ordained for this purpose, the only condition is to abide!
The fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22-23. These are the qualities of God manifest in the flesh.
B. THE NATURE OF THE FRUITEdit
The scripture says that love is the fulfilling of the law, and the reason for that is that God Himself is love. His love in operation in a human life will keep the law. The law is an expression of love in action.
Love does no ill to his neighbour, but it is not just the lack of evil, it is the ultimate of good. God's love is the highest form of love. Romans 13:8,10 In 1 Corinthians 13, the God-type of love is defined by it's outworking in human relationships. It is AGAPE love, self-giving, self-sacrificial love for the purpose of the highest good of another.
In Galatians we have listed the manifestation of His nature in us in it's various aspects. These are Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Meekness, Temperance
In Galatians 5:25, Paul says, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
No law can come against that which is of Messiah. "And they that are Messiah's, HAVE crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:23,24
C. THE VARIOUS EXPRESSIONS OF THE FRUITEdit
The Fruit of LoveEdit
In the Greek, there are three different words used for love which each categorize the various types of love: 1. EROS This is the physical love as between male and female 2. FILIA This is emotional love such as in friendship, or between parent and child 3. AGAPE This is spiritual love which by it's nature, is divine
The love which is the fruit of the Spirit is AGAPE love. This is the love of God. His love is unconditioned by outside influences and is therefore constant, pure and righteous and highly moral. It is an expression of the highest form of self-less giving.
It is not conditioned by the expected response of the recipient, and does not seek to appease or gratify. The whole motivation and intent is in consideration of the highest good of the recipient. it is a strong ardent compassionate devotion - it is the very nature of God in all goodness, kindness and generosity.
When occasioned, it will be CORRECTIVE, for "whom Yahweh loves he chastens" (Hebrews 12:6-11). Genuine love will correct error and discipline accordingly for the ultimate good in the other, without considering personal feelings and what is to one's own advantage in the relationship.
While this love motivates toward being LONGSUFFERING and FORBEARING it does not compromise. In Yeshua we see the perfect balance of grace and truth, never sacrificing standards for emotions. John 1:14
God first showed His love to us and for us, by giving His Son to die for us. This was the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the Father. Romans 5: 8 Not only did he give His Son to redeem us, but He also made every provision that we might be the recipients of all His kingdom in the age to come. (Romans 8:17) In 1 Peter 1: 4, it says that we are given exceeding great and precious promises, whereby we might be partakers of the divine nature. He made provision for us that we might attain to all that He purposed for us.
In Romans 5: 5 it says, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us". That love reflected through us enables us to walk in His commandments and be a manifestation of Himself on the earth. See John 13:34,35 & 1 John 4: 8.
The manifestation of God's nature in us will cause us to be able to give of ourselves. Normal love, no matter how sincere, is given to receive again. There is the expectation of like response, and if not returned, the love is going to be diminished. But as the scripture says, this love (His love),"bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13: 7,8)
This love is unconquerable, it knows no defeat. If insulted or injured, it will remain constant and be undaunted with the view to conquering the situation, or whatever, according to circumstances. This is the love that can love enemies and do good to those who despitefully use you. (Matthew 5:44,45) There should be no more distinctive mark of the believer than love. No matter how else he may bear the testimony for Yeshua the Messiah, the absence of love nullifies it all.
If love is not the motivation in all that we do, it is as a brassy, grating noise which causes disharmony and discord, and it is of no spiritual value. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
The Fruit of JoyEdit
This is a deep and abiding consciousness of the nature and blessing of God within. This joy is eternal, spiritual and not a natural happiness originating out of the circumstances of life. It has it's source in the 'well of water' within, the everlasting life which generates this effervescence that bears the believer up and carries him through life's circumstances to overflow upon all around him.
There is no lasting natural happiness, for it is dependent upon factors over which we have no control. All the things of this life are transient and human needs and emotions are subject to change. To seek to draw out of these cisterns, is to have disappointment and sorrow. See Ecclessiastes 7: 6 & Jeremiah 2:13
The believer is liberated from this world's system, his inheritance is eternal and not temporal, therefore he is liberated from dependence upon life's blessings for his source of joy, and he can have joy in the midst of trials and adversity. Our experience can be one of "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1: 8)
This is an experience beyond natural emotion, indescribable and 'full of glory'. It can so transcend the natural that the believer can be completely caught up in the spiritual realm so as to be somewhat insensible to earth's realities. A believer can rejoice in tribulation for his hope is not set on the things of this life but on the glory which will result from the outworking of God's purposes. (Romans 8:28)
Such hope gives stability and strength. "The joy of the Lord is your strength" His joy enables the believer to effortlessly overcome all that is in this life. This strength has it's origin in the inner vision and zest which energizes the believer's life.
The Fruit of PeaceEdit
This peace is the result of sins forgiven, and a conscience which is clear before God. The basis of this peace was the price paid on Calvary by the blood of Yeshua the Messiah. Because of the relationship which a believer has with God of peace and trust in Him, there is a sustaining power which gives strength to face the world and its pressures.
This peace is not a natural one, it is that which He gives through the impartation of His Spirit. His presence within gives quietness, rest, harmony and security in the midst of life's situations (Isaiah 45: 7). Messiah in us is the master of every situation.
"The peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua." Philippians 4: 7
The mind is a battleground which the enemy will seek to use against us, but His peace will engarrison our hearts and minds to keep us from being shaken in the midst of conflicts and pressures. Discipline and evaluation of our thoughts is of course necessary to experience this. See verses 8, 9 of above
Yeshua said, "These things have I spoken unto you, that IN ME you might have peace. In the world you SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Tribulation is characteristic of the world, Yeshua overcame the world and it's influence in Himself. While we remain in Him we shall also overcome the influence of the world and abide in peace 1 John 4:4
Love, Joy and PeaceEdit
These first three fruit are concerned with our own spiritual lives. Love is the identification of true believers, and definitely the mark of the mature believer. That which is done without love is of no profit (1 Corinthians 13:1-3), and has no eternal value or reward (1 Corinthians 3:11-16) Joy and peace are the outworking of walking in His love.
So although love is experienced toward others, their benefit is secondary. To walk in love, is to walk in Messiah and to have fellowship with Him, and so the primary benefit is in the spiritual life now and in the reward to come. Out of love flows joy. Love expressed brings joy, as the scripture says, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and the one who gives in love receives joy in return. Your cup of joy may be running over toward others, but the joy primarily blesses you.
The same is true with peace. It is that quiet inner rest, which although it may be a blessing to others because of the tranquility which the presence that person possesses, it is the person who possesses it that can delight themselves in the abundance of it's blessings (Psalm 37:11) Peace is a priceless possession!
The Fruit of GentlenessEdit
This has its origin in a longsuffering attitude toward others which tempers our dealings with them. It is a strength of character and power tempered in consideration of the weaknesses and failings of others. It is that quality of the strong bearing the infirmities of the weak (Rom.15:1) which becomes a balancing factor in the knowledge and use of one's authority in God.
"The servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle unto all men, .." 2 Timothy 2:24, for the wisdom which is from above has the quality of gentleness (James 3:17) - It is not forceful in imposing itself upon others. But instead, tending, nourishing and being affectionately interested in them. It is the nurturing self-giving quality of caring for another in their weakness, immaturity or infirmity.
Paul says, "We were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children, so being affectionately desirous of (or, interested in) you, we were willing not only to have imparted the gospel of God to you only, but our own souls also, because you were dear unto us." 1 Thessalonians 2: 7, 8
So it is that caring, tending oversight of a stronger toward a weaker, able to put self interest aside so as to be able to give oneself to another's need.
The Fruit of GoodnessEdit
The word 'good' in Greek means 'godlike'. It is the quality of being godlike in character and behaviour. It is not simply doing good or being good, it is the wholeness and soundness of moral purity which is without corruption, that comes as a result of keeping Yahweh God's commandments.
It is the uprightness of God's character in action in life and conduct, an inner virtue and benevolence toward all which is in accordance with His standards. In His mercy, He is good to us and does not deal with us according to our deeds, but extends grace toward us in a generosity of spirit (Romans 2: 4). This quality in our lives will enable us also to not deal with others according to their transgressions or according to that which they deserve, but going beyond that, the justice we mete will be tempered with divine mercy and undeserved favour toward them.
The outworking of the inner virtue of goodness will cause us to be fruitful in every thing we do. What is within will have it's outflow in good works in our lives (Colossians 1:10), and we are exhorted to be careful to maintain good works - "These are good and profitable to all men" Titus 3:8
"Having your conversation (behaviour) honest among the Gentiles (unbelievers)" 1 Peter 2:12
Our outward behaviour gives testimony to the qualities of our heart attitude. Virtue, uprightness, honesty and benevolence are all included in the goodness of God.
Longsuffering, Gentleness and GoodnessEdit
These three fruit are the harvest of fruit in our lives extended to others. They are the qualities of God's attitudes which are expressed toward us in His mercy.
Romans 2:4 speaks of the "riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering
God in His goodness which is undeserved by us, extends Himself to be merciful to us, and reaching out to us in our need, forbears with us in our sin and rebellion. He deals with us gently in regard to our faults, suffering long with us in order to bring us to repentance. It takes longsuffering and gentleness to have goodness. Irritation and harshness toward others will prevent goodness flowing out from us.
The Fruit of FaithEdit
The word 'faith' should be translated 'faithfulness'. It is that quality of trustworthiness, loyalty, reliability, constancy and steadfastness. These characteristics result from a life of faith, that is, from fully trusting and relying upon God in one's heart. Such a relationship will produce obedience to the will of God and thereby faithfulness will be evidenced in all one does. See Hebrews 3:12-14,19; 4:1,2,11.
The scripture says that God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9), and Yeshua exemplified faithfulness in all that He did (Hebrews 8: 9,10; 2:17; Revelation 3:14).
"It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:12 It is a primary requisite to be faithful to be entrusted with the treasures of the kingdom. The degree of faithfulness we show with what we have been given, will determine our progress and also the apportionment that we will receive of our inheritance in Messiah. Matthew 25:21
Those who stand with the Lamb in His glory in Revelation 17:4 are they which have endured, they have been proven and found faithful. Those who have been tested and who have overcome, will receive the crown of life which the Lord has reserved for those who love Him to that degree. Revelation 2:10,11 Faithfulness is only proved under testing, and the adversary will find no ground to tempt a faithful man.
The Fruit of MeeknessEdit
This spiritual fruit is strength yielded to control. It is not meekness which the world pictures of one who is mild, passive and spineless. On the contrary, it is a strength of spirit which has been bridled and is under the harness of the Spirit of Yahweh God.
This word was used in the context of taming a wild horse, restraining and harnessing it's energies, or of that of the forces of a river harnessed to generate power, or that of a fire brought under control and used to give warmth and heat. It is the harnessing of the strength and power of one's own spirit to place it's energies and inclinations under the motivations and impulse of the Spirit of God.
Meekness can be seen in the lives of Peter and Paul, men full of drive, spirit and power, who were tamed to be used effectively for the gospel. Moses was said to be the meekest man on the earth, for his life was fully surrendered and given to achieve God's purposes for His people, Israel. See Numbers 12:3
It is the element of humility brought into one's life that produces meekness. As the life is humbled under the mighty hand of God and the will yielded to submit to His dealings, a graciousness of life is evidenced which has been liberated from self drive and self-interest.
Yeshua said, "I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:29. Rest is the result from a surrender from our works, to His. Lowliness of mind and heart will keep us walking in His ways and guard us from going astray. The promises of the inheritance are to the meek. See Ephesians 4:2 & Matthew 5: 5; Psalm 147: 6; 149: 4
Meekness of spirit gives one a teachable heart. It requires meekness to be able to listen and receive instruction and truth.
"Receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls" James 1:21 - See Psalm 25:9
We are exhorted to walk in meekness in all situations, with all men. See 1 Timothy 6:11; Titus 3:2
The Fruit of TemperanceEdit
Temperance or self-control is the fruit of a life controlled by the Spirit, which produces moderation in all things. It is not self-control and self-discipline where one's life is being brought under the control and direction of one's own will. Rather it is the balance and moderation which results from having a life completely yielded to God, wherein the excesses of self-indulgence have been brought under the control of the His Spirit. It is not allowing the flesh and it's works to influence the life, but rather by an act of the will, yielding one's 'members' to the Spirit of God so that all which is fleshly has been brought into submission to Him.
This fruit is an evidence of the completeness or fullness of the Holy Spirit in one's life (Proverbs 16:32).
It was a term used in ancient times for a ruler who never allowed his self-interest to influence his government of the people. "Every man who strives for the mastery is temperate in all things" 1 Corinthians 9:25
Faithfulness, Meekness and TemperanceEdit
These three fruits are a harvest for God. Faithfulness pleases God, meekness has His blessing and temperance will give the victory to have power with God. To come into spiritual blessings and not be defeated by the enemy, these fruit are necessary. It is only the overcomer who inherits all, and has the one hundred-fold harvest.
Temperance is based upon the foundation of faithfulness and meekness. Faithfulness requires diligence, and meekness is necessary to humble oneself under the difficulties encountered in order to harness one's energies so that the life is brought under the discipline of the Spirit of Yahweh God.
In all, though these various nine 'fruits' are listed individually, they are collectively one "fruit" of the Spirit.
Scripturally speaking, they are not separate fruits which can be developed individually, but they are one 'fruit' (singular, not plural) of the Spirit. Collectively they are the character traits of Yeshua which were worked out in His life through overcoming in the trials of life which He endured. They describe how the fruit of His indwelling presence appears when manifested in the life a human being who has yielded himself to live in communion with the Father through Yeshua, His Son.
If the believer is not abiding in the Vine (which is Messiah), then the fruit will not be manifest. The fruit of the life of the Vine will be borne on the branch only if it is attached to the Vine. (John 15: 1-8)
These qualities or their counterpart, may be evidenced in a person's life as a result of their natural disposition or through self-effort and self-correction. It is possible to produce an imitation of these qualities but they will be self-motivated and for self-satisfaction and not for the purpose of glorifying our heavenly Father.
Only a life yielded to the Spirit of God will produce the divine qualities of Yeshua the Messiah as evidenced in His life upon earth. We are exhorted to "be filled with the Spirit" so that we may have this quality of life. Ephesians 5:18