The Fruit of the Spirit
After Paul’s conversion he traveled widely as an ambassador of Christ, he preached the gospel and planted churches in the provinces of Galatia, Asia, Macedonia and Achaia. His visits were followed by his letters, by which he helped to supervise the churches he had founded. ‘Galatians’ is one of the letters that he wrote to the churches of Galatia. The church in Galatia had been troubled by false teachers; they had mounted attacks on Paul’s authority and gospel. The believers in Galatia were believing the false teaching that circumcision was necessary for salvation. (Read Acts 15:1, Galatians 2:12 and Titus 1:10 for details). Paul’s desire to the Galatians is that they may bring forth spiritual fruit that brings praise to God. Colossians 3:5-7, and Galatians 5.
Essentials of growth of a fruit:
Growth of a fruit in the natural requires good seed, prepared soil, moisture, warmth, food or fertilizer, sunshine and time. If we want to know if the tree is alive and healthy, the evidence is its fruit. This is the same with our lives. 2 Cor 13: 5-6. It is those who accept the word who bear fruit (Mark 4:20, Psalm 1:3). For us to bear fruits the Lord will do some pruning so that we can produce more fruits. (John 15:1-2). The fruit of the Spirit appears uniquely in Gal 5:22: But; Eph 5:9 and Phil 1:11. It is the authenticity of the gospel we have received and believed; it’s the evidence that the Lord Jesus lives in us.
Salvation is not dependent upon good works, religious ritual or ceremony, such as circumcision or baptism. God’s plan and will is that we have both in our lives; fruit and gift. The fruit makes us Christ-like in character and the gifts make us Christ-like in power. Fruit is primarily an issue of being and not doing. It is first of all character, not conduct. When we are truly fruitful, our character will show in our conduct. The disciple is only fruitful when he can be identified by his likeness to Christ in inward character that reveals love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Faith as a fruit is concerned with Christian character.
For the gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate effectively, the fruit of the Holy Spirit should be very evident in the believer’s life (1 Cor 13: 1-3, 14:1). E.g Love is not a gift of the Holy Spirit but it is a fruit, and is needed if the gifts are to operate properly. It is possible to have the fruit without the gifts. True believers are recognized by their fruit (Mat 7:20, Luke 6:43-45). The fruit of the Spirit is the natural life style of a believer to those whom the Spirit lives in. Nothing will draw non believers to Christ that you walking and operating in all 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit.
For Paul he discovered for him to be fruitful in character and service he had to die every day 1 Cor 15:31. He was pruned by experience and personal weakness 2 Col 2: 7- 10, Gal 5: 19-21.
The fruit of the Spirt, which is the spirit of our new self appears and flourishes as we put to death, the sad aspects of our old life. (Gal 5:24).