I received, as a Christmas gift, a series of devotional books by author Robert Strand titled Nine Fruits of the Spirit. Nine books in all, each one is a small 5.75″ x 5.75″ book, hardback, being a little more than 50 pages in length. In order for me to appreciate my gift to the fullest, I’ll be writing about the fruits of the Spirit for the next 9 weeks, allowing one blog post for each fruit: love (Greek: agape), joy (chara), peace (eirene), patience (makrothumia) kindness (chrestotes), goodness (agathos), faithfulness (pistos), gentleness (praotes), and self-control (enkrateia).
It’s in Galatians 5 that Paul explains to us about the fruits, that there is no law against them, and he contrasts them to a list of (as I call it) rotten fruits of the flesh. Here are the rotten fruits:
“…sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV)
But with the fruits of the Spirit, there is no law:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV)
How, then, should we go throughout life without discussing these important characteristics in length? If there is no law against them, which there’s not, that means we can talk about them and talk more about them, and dwell on them, and never get in trouble doing so! Not just that, but we should dwell on them, so that we can prevent ourselves from acting on the rotten fruits. It’s so easy to fall victim to the lies of sin and think they’re our “blankets” when in reality they are nothing but a lead to nowhere, except death and vanity, because the fruits of God are forever, while sin is temporary and decaying.
“Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn will be lifted high in honor.
“The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.”
Psalm 112:6-10 (NIV)
Before we begin the studies, I made a trivia quiz on Playbuzz to give your skills a test. How well can you feel the Holy Spirit? Do you know how to act according to God and what He wants so deeply for your life? Take the quiz to find out how you “rank” in spiritual quality. (It’s just for fun.)
If you get answers wrong on the test, however, remember not to worry, because God does not require from us perfection. We have Jesus to cover our sins and make us perfect in His blood, and we are all different and perceive the fruits uniquely, but the Bible is clear on what we need to do to be godly. Always get counsel from the Word for wisdom and understanding.
Footnote: Feature image is not owned by Autumn Angel Art. It was found on Public Domain Pictures.