Some may already know, some may think they know and some may ask what is the Fruit of the Spirit? How does one get this fruit? The Fruit of the Holy Spirit are the nine attributes of a person living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” The fruit is contrasted with the works of the flesh which immediately precede it in this chapter. So, these positive spiritual qualities we strive for and negative fleshly qualities we fight against are defined here, but what does the scripture say in more detail? We look at Galatians 5:16 – 24 for the answer.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
The works of the flesh are the complete antithesis of the fruit of the Spirit. What pleases the Lord in our lives is not a “work” but a “fruit” that the Spirit alone can produce. We can avoid works of the flesh by staying continually submitted to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to direct every aspect of our lives. It seems simple enough. We can only produce Fruit of the Spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit. The flesh can only produce works of the flesh, its not possible to produce Fruit of the Spirit from the flesh. I mean, it’s in the name, Fruit of the SPIRIT. It appears obvious and ridiculous to think otherwise, right? You would think so, but many Christians have attempted to produce Spiritual Fruits from fleshly effort. I know, because I am one of them. It’s a constant battle that is waged between our sinful nature and our new spiritual nature. It may be because one was never taught about the power of the Holy Spirit, one may not understand or isn’t ready to understand it yet, or they may be taught and understand the concept, but aren’t actively walking in the Spirit.
So, the next question should be how does one walk in the Spirit to produce Fruits of the Spirit? When we are saved the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, making it possible for us to make choices that are of the Spirit, rather than the flesh, but the flesh does not die easily. A battle still rages within even the most dedicated follower of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote of this battle in Romans 7. Verses 21-23 say, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” So, how does one fight the battle against the flesh with the flesh? We don’t. We fight the battle with the flesh with the power of the Holy Spirit. A Christian will never be completely victorious Walking in the Spirit and producing fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is our walk to become more Christlike each day by allowing the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit in our lives and to allow the Holy Spirit to defeat our flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is what will make us look more like our Saviour and Walking in the Spirit is the path we must choose.
We can be trained to behave more religiously and even find enjoyment in being kind to others. We can even serve in ministry in and on our own power. However, without the power of the Holy Spirit, we remain self-centered. We do what we do, even good things, because we receive some benefit from it. Our sinful motives and fleshly desires permeate everything we do and we will eventually crash and burn.
So, any deed, not empowered by the Holy Spirit, whether its intended for the Kingdom of God or not, is a work of the flesh. So, how does one submit fully to the Holy Spirit and live a life obedient to God ? Romans 12:2 says: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is , his good, pleasing and perfect will. Ephesians 4:22-24 goes on to say: You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.
We accomplish this by being renewed through daily prayer and the reading of the word. We empty ourselves of ourselves daily and get filled back up daily with the Holy Spirit. We do it daily, give us this day our daily bread. Read, pray, submit, obey, be filled and led by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. Its just not possible to produce Fruit of the Spirit without the Holy Spirit.
Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we walk upright and approved.
– Mark Tursi