Fruit of the Spirit…“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV).
As you can see, there are nine inward and outward manifestations of the Fruit of the Spirit. The first three are imputed into our lives through Salvation; our personal relationship with God through Christ Jesus. The next three exhibit our developing Christ-like mannerisms in dealing with others and circumstances within our lives, and the last three exhibit a mature, well-disciplined, spirit-filled life style founded upon Christ Jesus and His principles taught within Scripture.
This week I will be looking closer at each one of these three groups; starting today with the first group of Love, Joy, and Peace.
Understanding the Fruit of the Spirit is a valuable treasure in the life of a Christian believer. When we become a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, we are filled with the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. As we become more and more disciplined in Jesus, the manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives becomes more evident. How? Through the works of the Fruit of the Spirit.
The first three characteristics of the Spirit are love, joy, and peace. These are directly related to our relationship with God. “Beloved, let us love one another; for Love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.” ( I John 4:7-8 KJV).
John 3:16 teaches, “For God so LOVED the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” LOVE is the Fruit of the Spirit that is freely given to us by God and only through God. Without the bearing of the Fruit of Love within our hearts, minds, souls, and lives, there is little hope of ever bearing the remaining eight! We receive the Fruit of Love when we receive God’s gift of Love for us through His Son, Jesus.
The Fruit of Joy also manifests itself through our personal relationship with Christ. Biblical Joy is NOT a sense of personal happiness or the world’s definition of happy. Joy is not found in fulfilling our sensual or earthly desires. Joy is knowing that we are in full standing and right relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Joy is possessing a strength of Assurance, Hope, and Faith that no matter our circumstances, no matter our failures and blunders, no matter our past sins…we are firmly secured in our relationship with God through Christ Jesus. (“The Joy of the Lord is my strength.” Nehemiah 8:10). We have Joy in knowing that we are forever His…Like the little child’s song says, “So high you can’t get over it. So low you can’t get under it. So wide you can’t go around it; must be the love of the Lord!” The Love of the Lord brings Joy into our lives.
The Fruit of Peace is the third fruit that exhibits our personal relationship and maturity in Jesus Christ. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 KJV). Sadly, so many people today turn to worldly substitutes to find Peace that can only be found in Jesus.
Our world is filled with the wicked and false substitutes of Peace sought through alcohol, drugs, various addictions, illicit sex and worldly pleasures that try to take the place of Christ within our minds and lives. These substitutes try to provide a sense of false “Peace;” if only for a short time. Oh, to personally know that Wonderful Peace…Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace. When the world around is raging…Stand By Me Wonderful Peace. When the winds around me howl…Stand By me Wonderful Peace. When all seems lost…Stand by me Wonderful Peace. It is only when our hearts and minds are secured and anchored in the Wonderful Peace of God that we can find Joy and Strength to stand firmly and triumph through the many trials and tribulations of this life.
Oh, the precious Fruit of the Spirit…Love, Joy, and Peace. Let me ask you this question, “Are they reigning in your heart and life today?” Oh, I hope and pray that they are.
Join me tomorrow and the rest of the week as we look closer at the manifestations of Longsuffering, Gentleness, and Goodness.
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T. Rollins, Author