One Fruit Leads to Another
The fruit of the Spirit captures the essence of the gospel. They are designed to draw us closer to God, to cleanse ourselves of the pains and burdens of a life lived in sin while striving to live a life that emulates Christ. As we accept Christ as our Savior, the fruit of the Spirit will become more abundant and evolve as we pursue a deeper relationship with Christ.
- God’s love for us must be realized and accepted before we can truly establish a relationship with Him and understand what we gain in eternal life in heaven. The love that God has for us empowers us to love others in the same way.
- Our joy comes from accepting God’s forgiveness and understanding the goodness and blessings of Jesus’ salvation.
- Once we experience God’s joy, peace will come from resting in His presence as we learn to live a life with Him.
- The peace that we experience during times of rest will nurture our spirit for times of trial and tribulation, leading to patience which is the endurance gained during our walk with God as we face hardship and opportunities of growth.
- Kindness comes through having compassion for God’s children as we live life together, bearing with one another, forgiving and building one another up as we strengthen God’s kingdom in community.
- Goodness is godliness, the righteousness and holiness that guarantee our salvation. It is seen by our actions, but gained by our knowledge and acceptance of God. God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), follow Him and commit their lives to Him. He prevails over all situations and makes good out of all things, even when we sin or pull away. Our trust and devotion in God bring Him glory, which demonstrates His faithfulness towards us.
- God’s faithfulness is abounding and reaches the skies. We are to make God’s faithfulness known because He comes to us gentle in Spirit, so we can find rest in Him and He can rescue us from evil.
- As Christians, our gentleness should be apparent. It should be a character trait that is recognized immediately by others because we are reflective of God’s character and love. Having gentleness is seeing the world through God’s eyes, knowing our own strengths and weaknesses while respecting the same in others.
- As we seek God’s calling or purpose for our lives with gentleness and humility, we will gain self-control, giving us the ability to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions. Having self-control helps us live an upright and holy life while we wait for Christ’s return. Through self-control, we keep our focus on Christ and things of Christ to prevent distraction.
There’s a distinct chronology of one fruit leading us directly to the next, so as we strengthen and grow in one, over time we will strengthen and grow in all. 1 Peter 4:7-11 helps us to see how self-control loops back around to love, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Revel in God’s goodness and live abundantly in the fruit of His Spirit as He resides in you.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature 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.