I developed this illustration highlighting the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22, 23— note fruit is singular and not plural. The apostle Paul writes, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Listed first is “Love” that refers to the Greek word agape—an unselfish love that comes from God. God is agape love and agape is the fruit of the spirit. The additional characteristics describe what agape love produces in your life.
- Joy is a consciousness of God’s love— in spite of circumstances. It is not a fleeting response to an event.
- Peace— not void of conflict but a result of surrender to God.
- Patience or longsuffering
- Gentleness— sensitivity to the needs of others
- Goodness— motivated by love
- Faithfulness— trustworthy, loyal
- Kindness or Meekness— humility; the opposite of anger or wrath
- Self-Control— Moderation or Temperance. We use self control but it is actually handing over control to the Spirit of God.
The works of the Spirit of God serve to cultivate and nuture our lives to bring forth fruit. Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa wrote, “Our Christian life should be wholehearted and intense, not a borderline experience.” The works of the flesh result in immorality, and Rev. Smith used the example of a politician who seeks office to gratify his ego rather than to serve the people (not that this would ever happen). The illustration also shows a scripture nourishing the fruit on solid ground, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing”. Abide—love this Word! That’s another post!
I would be neglect not to add Galations 5:25, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Again I will defer to Pastor Chuck Smith who so eloquently comments on this verse:
“Living in the Spirit begins when we are born again.
Walking in the Spirit means that we are conscious of God’s presence with us at all times. An awareness of God’s presence helps us to be obedient to Him and to avoid evil. If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit is walking in love.”
What do you think of the art? I am contemplating developing canvas prints and having them available to sell for the holidays. Do you like? I will be posting the product on my Facebook page once I have the pricing established.