Christian growth is about living by God’s character. It is what it means to be transformed into Christlikeness. Real salvation leads us to be transformed. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, we begin to acknowledge that our sins offend a righteous God. We Shouldn’t walk on the path that the Lord despises when we know that He has prepared an immeasurable prize if we walk the path He has laid for us. The journey of a Christian starts with their acceptance of Jesus which continues on a daily persistence of knowing more about Him and being more like Him. Pursuing Christ leads us into a more intimate relationship with Him. However, how do we assure that we are becoming more like Jesus? The characters of Jesus are best indicated in Galatians 5:22-23 (the Fruit of the Spirit KJV).
The Fruit of the Spirit proves that we are followers of Jesus. To follow Christ means to be more like Him in every area of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit shows how our lives are being changed from old to new. Yet, spiritual transformation and Christian growth will never happen with a single prayer to God. Our ability to walk in Christlikeness is the result of the Spirit of Christ working in us. Growth is always progressive. It does not happen overnight, especially when the Lord loves to work in us as He transforms us. If growth is progressive, we have to constantly pursue it.
Galatians 5:22-25 (Fruit of the Spirit KJV) identify the practice of pursuing a godly life as keeping in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:16, emphasizes how we should walk in the Spirit, and know that the more we follow Him, the better we become like Him.
Keep In Step With The Spirit
Galatians 5:16-26 (Fruit of the Spirit KJV) tells us of two opposing factors in living the Christian life. First is the desire to gratify the flesh. Second, is the yearning of the Spirit to walk in holiness. These two are in conflict for one leads to eternal life and the other to destruction. The first directs us to Christ while the latter lures us to temporary pleasure for eternal torment. The temporal pleasures of the world prevent us from putting on God’s character. What are these things? The Bible is clear and specifies the works of the flesh (v. 19-21). These include sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, and orgies. These are the things that the Bible warns us to keep away from.
Since we are still in the flesh, we will struggle with our sinful nature as long as we live. For this reason, we need to practice taking the side of the Spirit each day. Because of these oppositions, what then should we use to combat the desires of our flesh? There is no need to mull over what you can and can’t do for Galatians 5:22-23 (Fruit of the Spirit KJV) has already shown us ways. The Spirit working in us is powerful enough to produce the fruit of the Spirit KJV: These are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Love is the primary character that Christians should put on. Colossians 3:14 says that above all other virtues, it is love that we must put on for it binds everything together in perfect harmony. When Paul wrote the fruit of the Spirit KJV, he started with love. Indeed, every other trait of Christ finds its motivation in love. All the other fruit of the Spirit KJV become lighter when done out of love. Love is the element that fuels us to pursue righteousness with gladness. Anything done with love becomes less of a subject of compliance but of willingness. Hence, it becomes easier to do good things from the perspective of love.
Christianity is about love. It is the reason for Jesus dying on the cross and the reason for our devotion to Him. The Word of God says God is love (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16). Love is Jesus Himself. It is an indispensable part of God’s nature. Since love is Christ, therefore, we can never be assured of receiving Christ unless we also love. The Bible says anyone who does not love God does not know God and whoever loves has been born of God (1 John 4:8). This is how essential this fruit is. It testifies that Christ himself is in our lives.
The two greatest commandments are centered on love and not on law. Fulfilling these two commandments— loving God and loving people is the principle by which every follower of Christ should live by. Love, however, is not an easy endeavor. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes love as patient, kind, not envious nor boastful, not arrogant, nor rude, not selfish, not irritable nor resentful. Love is an action. When we start to love God upon receiving His love, we also begin to love other people.
The fruit of joy is a very uplifting trait compared to the other fruit of the Spirit KJV mentioned in the Book of Galatians. It gives us the encouragement that the Lord works in us so that we can experience full joy even here on earth. Isn’t it the most reassuring fruit of the Spirit? It guarantees God’s concern about our thoughts and feelings. He was not just involved in our actions toward others but in our own thoughts. He cares about what we feel and He is not happy when we are running out of joy. It is comforting to know that the Lord sent His Spirit so He can transform us into more joyful people. In the same manner, God has called us into a life of obedience; a life of joy.
Some people may think that the Lord is a very serious God but the Lord also rejoices when His people rejoice (Nehemiah 8:10). The kingdom of God is not just about righteousness, holiness, and peace. The Word of God says it is also about joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 4:17). Thus, we can see that joy is an essential portion of God’s character. The Lord never promised a life without sadness for the fallen nature of man causes His own sorrows but it does not mean we can never find real joy amid our situations. Several times the Bible instructed us to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4; Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:16). The Lord does not only give His peace but also His joy.
Christians are to be joyful in the Lord. If we are in Christ we have all the reasons to be joyful in the Lord. He alone can fill us with all joy and gladness.
Peace is both a fruit of the Spirit and one of many promises of God to His children. There are three aspects of peace that every Christian needs to completely comprehend and desire. First, we need to first experience being at peace with God. This is the primary peace we ought to realize first before we come to know the other manners of peace. Second, we are to be at peace with other people. Finally, we are to have peace within ourselves. The fallen world makes it difficult for us to attain peace. Maintaining a peaceful relationship with others who are also sinful by nature is utterly challenging. To preserve one’s own peace in a world full of confusion and conflict is also not far from the challenges of keeping at peace with one another. Because of these realities, we need to be at peace with God first.
Each aspect of peace complements each other and produces in us the fruit of peace essential to living a godly life. The Lord gives peace that is perfect and full. It lacks nothing and is not fleeting in any way. The Prince of peace Himself gives His peace at all times in every way by the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives (2 Thessalonians 3:16). It is God’s Spirit that produces in us peace and the ability to practice it. The fruit of the Spirit KJV in Galatians 5:22-23 is a continuous effort of the Spirit of God.
Patience is a powerful quality. It can be very difficult but is also worth pursuing. Patience is a hallmark of an individual who follows Christ. If anyone desires to live a fruitful life, they must learn to be patient in the three different facets of patience. Christians need to engage in exercising patience in these varying aspects. First, we are to be patient in our suffering. Second, we should be patient in waiting for the Lord. Lastly, we need to be patient with other people’s shortcomings.
No doubt, it is already challenging to preserve patience even just on the first facet of it. It is easy to lose one’s patience amid troubles and difficulties. Yet, the Bible raises our spirits with these verses in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” When we look at these bible verses about patience, we realize that the end goal is knowing the faithfulness of God amid these sufferings. As we endure our struggles in this world, let’s continue to look unto Jesus and wait upon Him which is the second area of patience.
Waiting for the Lord means two things: Firstly, it is about waiting for His response to our struggles and prayers. Secondly, it means waiting for the day when anguishes will be no more. The last aspect of patience has to do something with our relationship with others. Understanding others’ failures and forbearing with their shortcomings is a fruit of the Spirit which we need to cultivate to show God’s love through us.
Kindness And Goodness
The most popular characteristic of God is His goodness and kindness. These attributes are often searched by those who believe in Him. And it is true that every follower of Christ should have these two qualities in living a godly life. The Lord is a good gracious God. He is clothed with kindness. Being transformed to Christlikeness is embodying these two characteristics of God which are frequently used interchangeably. Resembling Jesus in our daily lives can be done in little acts of kindness. The fruit of the Spirit requires a great amount of strength, but kindness can begin with the smallest thing in life which we every so often forget. We can show kindness from a simple ‘thank you’ to helping someone. Kindness starts when we choose others’ interests before ours. And it makes this world a happier place.
On the other hand, goodness in the Bible indicates the upright and moral character of God. The Lord does not delight in dishonest acts and motives. Our acts of kindness should still be in conformity with God’s holiness. Somehow, kindness and goodness need to be displayed mutually so that we don’t compromise the good and just things for the sake of being kind. The fruit of the Spirit KJV (Galatians 5:22-23) makes itself visible in our daily lives and in every aspect of it turning our eyes from our own concerns to others. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that our salvation is not a selfish occasion. Our creation prepares us to do good works. Furthermore, let’s make use of every opportunity to do good to all people (Galatians 6:10).
One astounding truth about the fruit of the Spirit KJV is Galatians 5:22-23. The Lord is a model of how we are to act and He expects us to live by His actions. Because we see how the Lord demonstrated His remarkable qualities, we begin to know what it means to present our bodies with these traits. Many times in the Bible, the Lord reveals His faithfulness. From Genesis to Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, Jesus showed how faithful He is to His people, His promises, and His Word. If we encounter God’s faithfulness in the midst of our weakness and shame, it will be extremely desirable for us to exemplify the same faithfulness towards Him.
There are just two things we will focus on regarding faithfulness. First, faithfulness is constant devotion to God. Second, faithfulness is a relentless loyalty to His word. The Spirit of God works in us to increase our faithfulness in Him. We are to participate in the working of the Spirit by consistently seeking Him. We cannot expect to find ourselves faithful to the Lord when we don’t even devote ourselves to Him. Acting on God’s Word also indicates obedience to His voice. And we can hear God’s voice through reading His Word.
In the parable of the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1-12), Jesus uttered “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” Our faithfulness in God is measured by our honesty on the smallest things. Let us always remember that the fruit of the Spirit KJV takes every little chance to practice the habit of Christlikeness.
If there is an underrated fruit of the Spirit, it would be gentleness. But, Christians fail to realize that a very important passage in the Bible shows the gentleness of God (Matthew 11:28-30). The gentleness of Christ provides rest for us. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus continued by expressing His character as a gentle and humble Lord, he uttered, “for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Because of Christ’s gentleness, we can find rest in this troubled world. Apostle Paul once wrote to the Church of Corinth “Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ”. Here he is explaining that a characteristic of Jesus is gentle and meek.
How can we illustrate the same gentleness of Jesus? Titus 3:2 speaks of these practical ways to be gentle. First, gentleness speaks evil of no one. With gentleness, we avoid blunt cursing speeches toward others. Instead, we answer and talk in profiles of respect and humility. Jesus even when faced with mockery and persecution remains gentle in His words. He cursed no one. Jesus even asked the Father to forgive them for persecuting Him (Luke 23:34). The next phrase of Titus 3:2 says “to avoid quarreling”. A gentle spirit knows how insignificant squabble is pointless thus it avoids trouble by treating others gently.
Finally, the Book of Titus speaks of gentleness as showing perfect courtesy towards all people. Gentleness like some of the fruit of the Spirit allows us to have a good and healthy relationships with other people. It’s time we value gentleness in the same way Christ showed His gentleness.
We already know that the desires of the flesh are against the desires of the Spirit. Before the Apostle Paul lists down the fruit of the Spirit KJV, he first enumerates the works of the flesh when we gratify its desires. It reminds us of our new life in God that does not anymore take pleasure in all of those worldly things. Rather, by allowing the Spirit of God to work in us, it produces the fruit of the Spirit KJV (Galatians 5:19-25) which proves that we are in Christ and not of this world anymore. Of all the fruit of the Spirits, self-control is the best means to combat the desires of our corrupt nature. By the Spirit of God, we become in control of our appetite for sinful pleasures.
Galatians 5:24 “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”.
Self-control is about this and more. We are to be in control of our thoughts, desires, emotions, and actions. Proverbs 25:28 teaches us this important metaphor about self-control. “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls”. The city walls are very important in the ancient period. Without it, a city will be subject to the enemy’s attacks and there is no way it can protect itself. The same thing happens to our mind, heart, and soul when we lose our self-control. The enemy sees no guard protecting us so we become vulnerable to its deceitful schemes. We are to always honor God in every area of our being. May it be in our actions, words, and even thoughts. While some emotions are hard to suppress, we must see to it not to commit sin because of them.
Abiding in The True Vine
In the Book of John, Jesus identified himself as the true vine and His disciples the branches (15:5). This was a metaphor for the vine and its branches; how each one of them should abide in Him so they can bear fruit. Before Jesus speaks of this, He was talking about the Holy Spirit. And before the fruit of the spirit was revealed, Jesus had already instructed the disciples on how they can bear more fruit.
John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me”
Do we seek to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives? There is no other method but to abide in Jesus. We need to remain connected to the vine so we can bear the fruit of His Spirit. The Lord said in the next verse “apart from me you can do nothing”. This is indeed the truth. We cannot bear any of these fruit of the Spirit without having a life devoted and connected to Christ.
In bearing more fruit, we need to understand the process of pruning. Those who abide in Christ, He needed to prune, so that they may bear more fruit. Pruning involves the selective removal of certain parts of plants. Therefore, we can understand that bearing more fruit does not in any way will mean comfort in Christianity. In the process of it, God can remove certain things in our lives that might hurt us but are more significant than pleasures. As we are pruned, we will grow stronger in faith and be made new in Christ.