Saturday 9th February 2019
In Galatians 5 v 22 Paul lists nine wonderful qualities which the Holy Spirit seeks to produce in the life of every Christian. The fruit of the Spirit, he says, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These qualities may be seen as a description of the earthly life of the Lord Jesus.
The Fruit of the Spirit could be classified under three headings:
- Fruit for Oneself – Self-control, peace and joy
- Fruit for Others – Patience, kindness and gentleness
- Fruit for God – Goodness, faithfulness and love
It is clear that some fruit falls into more than one category – love, faithfulness and goodness, for example, relate to others as well as God.
It is important to note that these are fruit and not gifts. The Gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities imparted by the Spirit for the purpose of building up one’s fellow Christians and reaching the lost. The Fruit of the Spirit are qualities of character. The Gifts of the Spirit are given selectively as the Holy Spirit determines. By contrast, the fruit (which is referred to in the singular) is all intended to be seen in the life of every Christian.
I often think of it in the illustration of an arrow – the Gifts of the Spirit are the arrow head that make a difference, but the Fruit of the Spirit are the balances that take the arrow in the right direction.
We see the qualities we are speaking about in the life of Jesus in the Gospels. There is no more important pursuit for the Christian than to seek to be more like Jesus, to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit, the highest expression of which is love.
Pray that you might become more like Jesus every day.
Have a great day!
Pastor Peter Jordan