- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
I. CONTEXT OF GALATIANS
(also called the “Circumcision,” Gal 2:12; Tit 1:10) were attempting to bring
the believers at
B. The Judaizers’ gospel taught that a person was saved by faith in addition to keeping the Law.
C. In chapters 1-2, Paul condemned this “other gospel” and vehemently defended the true gospel given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 1:1-9).
D. In chapters 3-4, Paul explained that the true gospel is by God’s grace in justifying a sinner through faith, not the Law (Gal 3:10-12).
E. In chapters 5-6, Paul further taught that the believer’s freedom from the Law was not a license to sin. Rather, it was to be a life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, which manifested itself in the fruit of the Spirit and not the works of the flesh (Gal 5:16, 19-23).
II. DEEDS OF THE FLESH (Gal 5:13, 16, 17, 19)
A. A contrast (but - de) is clearly made in Gal 5:22 between the “deeds of the flesh” and the “fruit of the Spirit.”
B. When looking at the word, “flesh” (sarx - vs. 13, 16, 17, 19), we find that there are a number of meanings in the New Testament.
1. Its literal meaning is to “draw off” i.e. that which is stripped off the bones in reference to the flesh and skin (1Co 15:39; Lk 24:39).
2. Its metaphorical meaning refers to the unsaved man and his fallen nature (Eph 2:3; Rom 8:9).
3. It also refers to the sinful and sensual power tending toward sin in the believer.
a) It is the sinful capacity or sin principle that remains in the believer until he is completely sanctified in heaven.
b) In the present text [Gal 5:17] and others, flesh also relates to the moral and spiritual weakness and helplessness of human nature still clinging to redeemed souls, such as that mentioned by Paul in Romans 7….The flesh of Christians is their propensity to sin, their fallen humanness that awaits redemption, in which the new and holy creation dwells (cf. Gal 2:20; 2Co 5:17). (MacArthur).
C. We learn several truths about the believer’s flesh (sinful desires) in Gal 5:16-18.
1. The flesh possesses sinful desires, and if allowed, will carry them out (epithumía - passions or lust) (16).
2. The flesh’s desire is actually against (kata - in opposition to) the Spirit (17).
3. The Spirit’s desire is actually against (kata - in opposition to) the flesh (17).
4. The flesh, if allowed, can lead the believer to do the opposite of what he (the believer) desires to do (17).
D. The deeds of the flesh come from man’s fallen nature but clearly and outwardly manifest (evident - phanerós) themselves so that they can be recognized (Gal 5:19-20).
E. Though it is possible for a believer to manifest the flesh, one who habitually practices it, having no remorse, repentance or change, reveals that he does not have the new nature and the Holy Spirit’s power (Gal 5:21).
III. WALKING IN THE SPIRIT (Rom 8:11-13; Gal 5:16, 18, 22-23)
A. God does not leave the believer floundering in his conflict with the flesh. Rather, by his new nature (2Pe 1:4) and the Spirit’s power (Rom 8:11-14) he is enabled to walk by the Spirit.
B. It is both a positive and a negative process by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Through the Holy Spirit’s life-giving power to walk in righteousness, the believer is enabled to obey the desires of the Spirit (Rom 8:11; Rom 6:13b).
2. Through the Holy Spirit’s power over the flesh, the believer is enabled to deny (lit. “put to death”, Mk 14:55) the desires of the flesh (Rom 8:12-13; Rom 6:12-13a).
C. This process is described as continuously (present tense, active voice) “walking by the Spirit” and believers are commanded (imperative mood) to do so, signifying an action of the will (Gal 5:16a). The process is also described as being, “led by the Spirit” (Gal 5:18). The Spirit leads the believer and the believer must yield and walk according to his leading.
D. When the believer yields and obeys the desire of the Spirit with reference to the Scriptures, he is then overcoming the flesh and not carrying out its desires and passions (Gal 5:16b).
E. The result of walking by the Spirit will be evidenced by the outworking of the Spirit’s fruit in the life of the believer (Gal 5:22-23).
F. The Spirit’s fruit is completely different from the deeds of the flesh and is described as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
IV. MEANING OF FRUIT
A. Definition of Fruit
1. The word is used some 106 times in the Old Testament and 70 times in the New.
2. The Greek word for “fruit” is karpós and is obviously used quite often in its literal sense from Classical Greek to Koine Greek where it means the produce of trees and vines (LXX Gen 1:11-12; Jam 5:18).
3. It is also literally applied to livestock as well as humans (Luk 1:42) and their descendants (Act 2:30).
4. In its figurative sense it means “consequence,” “result,” or “profit” particularly when it applies to the outcome of man’s nature resulting in his attitudes, actions, and words (Mat 7:15-16).
5. Man is accountable to God for his fruit or deeds and God’s judgment is based upon every man’s fruit or deeds (Mat 7:19; Rom 2:6 cp. Mat 3:10; Joh 15:2).
B. Definition of Spiritual Fruit
1. Spiritual fruit is the outcome of a believer’s new nature, through the Holy Spirit, reflected in his attitudes and character which will inevitably characterize his actions and words.
2. [It is the] …godly attitudes that characterize the lives of only those who belong to God by faith in Christ and possess the Spirit of God (MacArthur Study Bible).
3. In an ultimate sense this “fruit” is simply the life of Christ lived out in a Christian. It also points to the method whereby Christ is formed in a believer (cf. 2Co 3:18; Phil 1:21) (Walvoord, Bible Knowledge Commentary)
4. The Spirit seeks to produce these by reproducing Christ in the believer (Gal 4:19). Passages like Rom 13:14 suggest that the moral problems of redeemed men and women can be solved by the adequacy of Christ when he is appropriated by faith. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary).
C. Unity of Spiritual Fruit (singular)
1. Gal 5:22 specifies that it is the “fruit” (singular) of the Spirit and not “fruits” (plural) of the Spirit.
2. Gal 5:22-23 gives nine characteristics of the “fruit” (singular) of the Spirit showing that the nine characteristics are related to each other and are inseparable.
3. Furthermore, all of these characteristics are being produced simultaneously in the believer through the Holy Spirit who cannot produce anything other than his own fruit.
4. It is one harvest of multiple characteristics of one Spirit towards the complete sanctification of every believer.
D. Other Kinds of Spiritual Fruit
1. There is the fruit of thanksgiving unto the Lord (Heb 13:15).
2. There is the fruit of winning people to Christ (1Co 16:15).
3. There is the fruit of sanctification of the believer (Rom 6:22, “benefit” is karpos)
4. There is the fruit of good works done by
believers for Christ (
5. Summary: These fruits could be categorized as fruit in the believer’s actions, which inevitably come from the fruit produced by the believer’s new nature through the Holy Spirit.
E. Source of Spiritual Fruit
1. Spiritual fruit does not have its origin from man but from the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). The Spirit is the source of spiritual fruit. However, the means of working out spiritual fruit is a cooperation between the Spirit and the believer (Phil 2:12-13). The Spirit leads and enables (Gal 5:18) and the believer is to yield and walk in cooperation with the Spirit (Gal 5:16). The cliché, “Let go and let God” does not apply to sanctification (Gal 5:25).
2. We also find in the Scriptures that spiritual fruit comes from an abiding relationship with Christ (Joh 15:1-7; “fruit”- 2; “more fruit”- 2; “much fruit”- 5, 8 ).
3. Each of these characteristics is commanded of the believer in the NT (ex. Joh 13:34).
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
I. LOVE (Gal 5:22)
A. DIFFERENT MEANINGS OF LOVE
1. Phílos love is an emotional love between friends (Joh 11:36; 3Jo 1:15; Mt 26:48 – “kiss”).
2. Storgę́ love is a familial love between parents, children, and relatives. It is only used in the Apocrypha (4 Maccabees 14:13, 17).
3. Eros love is a sensual love and is not used in the Bible.
a) Eros was the name for the Greek god of love and sexual desire (Roman name, Cupid).
b) The physical love expressed in the biblical bounds between a husband and wife stems from agápę love (cp. Sol 1:2; 2:4; Eph 5:25).
4. Agápę love is the highest form of love.
a) It is the love that God possesses and is a selfless love that seeks to benefit another.
b) It was coined almost exclusively by the New Testament writers.
c) It is distinguished from the emotional phílos love in that its devotion is not based on emotions but on the will.
d) It is the first characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23.
e) It is the supreme virtue taught in the Scriptures (1Co 13:13; Gal 5:14).
B. ASPECTS OF LOVE (agápę)
1. It is the self-sacrificial love of God manifested in Christ (Rom 5:8; Joh 3:16)
2. It is communicated to man by Christ’s example (1Jo 4:9-10; Jn 15:13-14).
3. It is commanded to all believers at a higher level (Joh 15:12; 17).
4. It is to be the distinguishing mark of every believer (Joh 13:34-35; 1Jo 4:7-8).
5. It is received and appropriated through the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5; Col 1:8).
C. COMPONENTS OF LOVE (agápę) in 1Co 13:1-8a
1. Without love, speech, giftedness, and great deeds are meaningless (1-3).
2. Love is described not what by what it is but what is does (actions 4-8a):
a) Patient - a long fuse (makrō - long thumeō - temper or passion).
b) Kind - benign of all ill treatment (chręsteuomai - to be gentle, gracious).
c) Not jealous - spitefully desire and deprive (zęloō - desire or devotion).
d) Not brag - self embellishment (perpereuomai - over do it).
e) Not arrogant - inflated windbag with nothing inside (phusioō to blow up).
f) Unbecoming - rude or brash (aschęmoneō - without godly decorum).
g) Not seek its own - pursues selfish goals (lit. “seeking the things of itself”).
h) Not provoked - (paroxunetai - severe emotional irritation).
i) Not count wrongs - no bitter accounts (logizetai - an accountant term).
j) Not unrighteously rejoice - not vengefully gloat over misfortunes of others.
k) Rejoices with the truth – joyfully following the Word with integrity.
l) Bears all things - puts up with idiosyncrasies (stegō - keep silent).
m) Believes all things - believes God can and does work through all things.
n) Hopes all things – hope that depends upon reliability of God’s promises.
o) Endures all things - loves under pressure (hupmenō - remain under).
p) Never fails – not ever stumbling because of a lack of love (piptō – fall).
D. CONSIDERATIONS ON LOVE (agápę)
1. Since love is of the will, it is a mandatory choice for the believer to love.
2. Since love is the attribute of God, there really is no circumstance to not show love.
3. Since love is the mark of the believer, there is no justification for an unloving believer.
4. Since love rejoices in the truth, love is not separate from the truth of God’s principles.
5. Since love is self-sacrificial, it seeks to minister to others at its own expense.
6. Since love is a fruit of the Spirit, the believer is always able to love in the Spirit.
II. JOY (Gal 5:22)
A. LEXICAL MEANING OF JOY
1. Joy is translated from the Greek word cara. (chara) and implies the feeling and/or perception of inner well-being, happiness, rejoicing, merriness, and festal joy.
2. It was used as a Secular and Religious term to describe greeting, hymns, and celebrations (Joh 3:29 root is (cai,rw chairo - rejoice).
B. DEFINITIONS ON JOY
1. [Joy is] a feeling of happiness that is based on spiritual realities. Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances or even a human emotion that is divinely stimulated. MacArthur
2. [Joy] is the produce of the Spirit, lies in spiritual things, and arises from an apprehension or good hope of interest in them, as justification, pardon, peace, adoption, and eternal glory; and is peculiar to such who have the Spirit, for a stranger intermeddles not with this joy, nor can he form any judgment of it, and is even unspeakable by the believer himself. Gill
C. BIBLICAL USAGE OF JOY
1. Emotion Of God
a) God rejoices in his redeemed people (Zep 3:17; Isa 65:19).
b) Jesus possess a joy that he shares with all who abide in him (Joh 15:11).
c) The Holy Spirit produces joy in those whom he fills (Act 13:52).
2. Emotion Of Man
a) Foolish men have an incorrect perspective of joy (Pr 15:21).
b) Man was created as an emotional being with the capacity to have joy (Mat 13:44).
3. Aspects Of The Spiritual Fruit Of Joy
a) In Regards To Salvation
(1) Heaven has joy when a sinner is brought to Christ (Luk 15:10).
(2) The believer is to rejoice in the fact that he is saved (Luk 10:20).
b) In Regards To God’s Word
(1) The believer finds joy in meditating on the Scriptures (Jer 15:16).
(2) Joy is the result of being filled with God’s Word (Ps 19:8).
c) In Regards To Edification
(1) A believer’s joy should be in seeing believers mature (3Jo 1:4).
(2) That growth should be the believer’s joy and crown (1Th 2:19).
d) In Regards To Fellowship
(1) Fellowship with God and other believers produces joy (1Jo 1:3-4).
(2) Joy in fellowship with believers is an evidence of faith (Act 2:46).
e) In Regards To Trials & Persecution
(1) The believer has joy in trials because of God’s purposes (1Pe 1:6).
(2) Jesus is our example of joy in the face of persecution (Heb 12:2).
f) In Regards To Eschatological Hope
(1) The kingdom of God is described as joy in the H.S. (Rom 14:17).
(2) The believer has joy in regards to the return of Christ (Tit 2:13).
D. CONSIDERATIONS ON THE FRUIT OF JOY
1. Though joy is a fruit of the H.S., it is commanded as a volitional response (Phil 4:4).
2. Since joy is divinely produced by the H.S. it can be complete and full (Joh 16:24)
3. Since joy is from the H.S., we are empowered with the joy of the Lord (Neh 8:10).
4. Since joy is divinely produced by the H.S. it cannot be lost (Joh 16:21-22).
A. LEXICAL MEANING OF PEACE
1. The Old Testament word for “peace” is ~Alv' (shalom) and means completeness, soundness, and well-being of the total person because of security, contentment, prosperity, or absence of war. Shalom is the traditional Jewish greeting and implies a wish for peace.
2. “Peace” is used some 264 times in the O.T and 96 times in the N.T.
3. The New Testament word for “peace” (eivrh,nh eiręnę) is similar in meaning but suggests in its basic root a state of peace or a time of peace (Luk 14:31-32; opposite of po,lemoj polemos - war). In addition, it is a religious disposition characterized by inner rest, harmonious peace, and freedom from anxiety (Rom 15:13).
B. DEFINITIONS ON PEACE
1. There is nothing fitful or febrile in the quality of Peace. It is a settled quiet of the heart, a deep, brooding mystery that “passeth all understanding,” the stillness of eternity entering the spirit, the Sabbath of God. (George Findlay)
2. “Peace” referred to is the serenity of soul arising from the consciousness of being brought home to the favour of God and to obedience to his will. (Pulpit Comm.)
3. It means that tranquility of heart which derives from the all-pervading consciousness that our times are in the hands of God. (Barclay)
4. It is a spiritual peace; it is an attitude of heart and mind when we believe and thus know deep down that all is well between ourselves and God. Along with it is the assurance that He is lovingly in control of everything. (MacArthur)
C. ASPECTS OF PEACE
1. Peace is from God (Ro 15:33; Num 6:26) and Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6).
2. Peace from the Lord is different from the world’s self-centered peace (Joh 14:27).
a) It is Christ’s peace and is given by Christ (“My peace I give to you.”)
b) It is not the world’s temporary or circumstantial peace (“not as the world”).
c) It is cerebral, heartfelt, and volitional (“Do not let your heart be troubled”).
3. Peace for the sinner begins with a relationship with God through Christ (Rom 5:1).
4. Peace is a result of trusting in God’s sovereign control over all things (Isa 26:3).
5. Peace can be the result of God intervening in behalf of one who pleases him (Pr 16:7
6. Peace is also the personal peace a believer can experience through prayer (Phi 4:6-7).
7. Peace is the governing protocol in the worship of the church (1 Cor 14:33).
8. Peace is the arbitrating principle in the body of Christ (Col 3:15; Eph 4:3).
9. Peace allows the body of Christ to be mutually edified (Rom 14:19).
10. Peace for the world in the future is secured only when Christ will reign (Isa 66:12).
D. CONSIDERATIONS ON THE FRUIT OF PEACE
1. The believer can have peace in every circumstance (2Th 3:16) because…
a) the H.S. is producing the fruit of peace in and through him.
b) the believer can forever enjoy his right relationship with God.
c) God is sovereignly working all things together for good (Rom 8:28).
2. The believer might not experience peace if there is sin in his life (Ps 51:12; 1Jo 1:7).
3. The believer is to seek peace with all men, as far as it depends on him (Ro 12:18).
4. [The peace of the Spirit]…is not the cowardly peace won by appeasement. It is a peace wrought by permanent victory. (Sproul)
5. The believer is to seek peace at all costs but never at the expense of the truth (Mt 10:34).
A. Lexical Meaning of Patience
1. The Greek word for patience is makrothumía and literally means “long (makrós) passion or anger” (thumós - boiling point or fuse).
2. In non-biblical Greek it implied “resignation” or “forced acceptance.”
3. But in OT usage, two changes occur to this word. First, it is seen as an attitude of God (Exo 34:6 “slow to anger”). Secondly, God exercised makrothumía in regards to holding back his wrath toward the sin of man (Jon 4:2).
4. In addition to this divine attribute in the NT, makrothumía is applied to various scenarios from an enduring response to ill treatment to a patient response in waiting for the return of the Lord.
5. “Patience” (makrothumía) tends to focus on the response toward a perpetrator while “forbearance” (anexíkakos 2Ti 2:24) tolerates the evil of the perpetrator and “endurance” (hupomonę́ 2Co 1:6) remains under the pressure of the perpetrator.
B. Definitions on Patience
1. Patience has to do with tolerance and long-suffering that endure injuries inflicted by others, the calm willingness to accept situations that are irritating or painful. (MacArthur in loc.)
2. [Patience] speaks of the steadfastness of the soul under provocation. It includes the idea of forbearance and patient endurance of wrong under ill-treatment, without anger or thought of revenge. (Wuest’s Word Studies)
3. [Patience] relates to one’s attitude toward others and involves a refusal to retaliate or work vengeance for wrong received. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
C. Aspects of Patience
1. In regard to God
a) Patience demonstrates God’s forbearing and merciful heart (1Ti 1:16; 2Pe 3:9).
b) Patience is God’s divine prerogative toward vessels of wrath (Rom 2:4; 9:22).
2. In regard to the Believer
a) The believer’s life is to be characterized with patience and forbearance (Eph 4:1-3; Col 3:12-13).
b) The believer’s response is non-retaliatory towards those who inflict pain (2Ti 3:10-12; Jam 5:10-11).
c) The believer is to exercise great patience in teaching, even towards those who reject the truth (2Ti 4:1-4).
d) The believer is to encourage but also to extend patience towards those who are weak in the Christian life (1Th 5:14).
e) The believer is to patiently wait for the return of the Lord (Jam 5:7,8).
D. Considerations on The Fruit of Patience
1. Patience is included in God’s view of ministry, persecution, endurance in waiting for heaven, and Christ-likeness. It is every bit as much a virtue as is love (2Co 6:4-6).
2. Cooler heads prevail spiritually because the one who has patience has great understanding of God’s ways, man’s ways, and God’s way to change man’s way (Pro 14:29; Pro 19:11).
3. Impatience is contagious and detrimental to the unity of peace in the body (Pro 15:18).
4. Patience calms volatile situations when exercised with no words (Pro 17:27), few words (Pro 10:19) or calm words (Pro 25:15).
5. If the Holy Spirit produces patience in the believer, the believer cannot afford to be impatient and prematurely react independent of the Holy Spirit.
A. Lexical Meaning of Kindness
1. The Greek word for kindness is chrestótęs and comes from chrę́ which has at its root the idea of that which is fitting and useful (Luk 5:39).
2. Morally speaking, it refers to one who is “upright,” “decent,” and “morally good” (1Co 15:33).
3. It is especially used to describe one who is good-hearted, gracious, gentle, clement, and benign of ill-treatment, even toward those who do not deserve it.
B. Definitions on Kindness
1. Kindness relates to tender concern for others. It has nothing to do with weakness or lack of conviction but is the genuine desire of a believer to treat others gently, just as the Lord treats him. (MacArthur in loc.)
2. [Kindness] refers to benignity (also translated “gentleness”); a quality that should pervade and penetrate the whole nature, mellowing in it all that is harsh and austere. (Wuest’s Word Studies).
C. Aspects of Kindness
1. In regard to God
a) God himself is not only kind, but kind to those who are ungrateful and evil (Luk 6:35).
b) The kindness of the Lord is the saving work experienced by believers (Tit 3:4-5; 1Pe 2:3).
2. In regard to Man
a) The kindness of God leads man to repentance (Rom 2:4).
b) Sinful man is incapable of moral kindness or goodness before God (Rom 3:12).
3. In regard to the Believer
a) The kindness of God gives rest to the souls of those who come to Christ. Christ’s burden is easy (chrestótęs), not burdensome, and benevolent (Mat 11:28-30).
b) The kindness of God is extended eternally to the believer (Eph 2:7).
c) The believer’s forgiveness is an expression of God’s kindness (Ps 25:7 LXX; Eph 4:32).
D. Considerations on The Fruit of Kindness
1. If a believer is to be useful to the Lord, then he must act with godly and kind decorum. In God’s eyes, the right response of moral etiquette is kindness. It must be benign of ill-treatment.
2. Kindness is the correct Christian social response because it is the character quality of God. Because He is kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving toward those who do not deserve it, His children must be kind, tender-hearted, and forgiving as well (Eph 4:32). God uses kind responses to bring offenders to repentance (Rom 2:4; Rom 12:20 cp. Pro 25:22).
3. Though kindness is being produced in the believer by the Holy Spirit, it is the believer’s volitional responsibility to clothe himself (Col 3:12; “Put on” - endúsasthe is an aorist middle imperative) with kindness.
4. Kindness is a description of agape love (1Co 13:4). If “God is love” (1Jo 4:16), and the believer has been regenerated unto a new relationship with the “God of love” (2Co 3:11), and if the Holy Spirit is producing love and kindness, then loving-kindness must be a growing response in the true believer (1Jo 4:7-8).
A. Lexical Meaning of Goodness
1. “Goodness” comes from the Greek word agathōsúnę (from agathós) and denotes a quality of moral excellence (Rom 5:7; 15:14).
2. agathós, not agathōsúnę is found in Classical Greek. Plato used the word to describe something with an excellent status or quality. People become good through instruction in the good (Gorg 470c).
3. There was some attachment of “goodness” to religious terms in the Hellenistic period (Philo), but the full-fledged idea of “moral excellence” or “moral goodness” came with the LXX and the N.T. as it attributed “goodness” to God and man.
B. Definitions on Goodness
1. Agathós (goodness) has to do with moral and spiritual excellence that is known by its sweetness and active kindness (MacArthur in loc.).
2. Goodness (agathōsúnę) may be thought of both as an uprightness of soul and as an action reaching out to others to do good even when it is not deserved. BKC
3. The word refers to that quality in a man who is ruled by and aims at what is good, namely, the quality of moral worth (Wuest).
C. Aspects of Goodness
1. In regard to God
a) Goodness describes an attribute of the essence of God (1Ch 16:34; Ps 135:3).
b) God the Holy Spirit is also attributed with goodness (Ps 143:10).
c) God acts consistently with his nature, therefore God acts with goodness toward man (Ps 34:9-10; 84:11; Mat 7:11; Jam 1:17).
d) God satisfies his people with his goodness (Psa 65:4; Jer 31:14).
e) Goodness is attributed to God in regard to his deliverance (Ex 18:9; Psa 96:2).
2. In regard to Man
a) Man, in and of himself, falls short of God’s goodness and moral excellence (Ecc 7:20; Ps 53:1, 3).
b) Man is recognized and judged according to his good fruit (Mat 7:16-21).
c) Only God is good, therefore Christ, being the God-man, is morally good (Luk 18:18-19). Mt. 19:17).
3. In regard to Believers
a) Goodness is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit produced in the believer (Gal 5:22; Act 11:24).
b) Goodness is a synonym for edification, the goal for believers (Rom 15:2; Eph 4:29).
c) Believers are to do good to all people, especially believers (Gal 6:10; 3Jo 1:11).
D. Considerations on the Fruit of Goodness
1. If God is inherently good, and God is sovereign, then everything that God allows to happen to the believer must be for his ultimate good (Rom 8:28; Gen 50:20; Phi1:6).
2. Therefore, the believer must view all things from God as good (Psa 119:71; 67, 75).
3. Furthermore, God predestined the believer to do good works (Eph 2:10).
4. It is God who equips the believer for good works through His Word (2Tim 3:16-17) and through his Spirit (Gal 5:22; 1Co 12:7).
5. The result of the believer who allows the Spirit’s goodness to work in and through his life will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful slave” (Mat 25:23).
A. Lexical Meaning of Faithfulness
1. The Greek word for “faithfulness” is pístis which carries several ideas.
2. It can mean subjective faith, trust or belief as in personal confidence upon some object (2Ti 1:5; 2Tim 3:15).
3. It can mean objective faith as in the “Christian Faith” (Act 6:7; 1Ti 4:1).
4. But it can also mean the character of faithfulness that one has as a result of loyalty or commitment (1Ti 1:12) and that is the meaning that we find in Gal 5:22.
B. Definitions on Faithfulness
1. Faithfulness (pístis) is the quality which renders a person trustworthy or reliable, like the faithful servant in Luke 16:10-12 (Walvoord).
2. Faith is from pístis which does not refer here to faith exercised by the saint, but to faithfulness and fidelity as produced in the life of the yielded Christian by the Holy Spirit (Wuest).
3. Pístis (faithfulness) is the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit that pertains to loyalty and trustworthiness (MacArthur,).
C. Aspects of Faithfulness
1. In regard to God
a) God is faithful, and is faithful in his promises and covenants (Deu 7:9).
b) God is faithful and a solid security for those who trust in him (Deu 32:4).
c) God is faithful in forgiving sins of believers when confessed and his mercies are new every morning (1Jo 1:9; Lam 3:23).
2. In regard to Man
a) Mankind recognizes the necessity of faithfulness, but few actually exemplify it (Pro 20:6).
b) Unfaithfulness is one of the characteristics of the wicked (Psa 5:9).
c) There is a progression in that those who are unfaithful to the Lord are also unfaithful in other areas of their life (Psa 73:27; Jos 22:16).
3. In regard to Believers
a) Faithfulness is a quality that men need to possess in being spiritual leaders (2Ti 2:2; Tit 1:9).
b) Faithfulness is a quality that women need to possess in being spiritual encouragers and spiritual examples to other women (1Ti 3:11; Pro 14:5).
c) Believers are to be faithful in meeting the needs of others (3Jo 1:5).
d) The faithfulness of believers, like their Lord, is to be unto death (Rev 2:10).
D. Considerations on the Fruit of Faithfulness
1. Christianity stands or falls on the trustworthiness of God. If God is untrustworthy, then the Scriptures (His Word) may be untrustworthy. If the Scriptures are untrustworthy, then the promises surrounding Christ’s work on the cross may be untrustworthy. However, God’s faithfulness is: established (Ps 89:2); incomparable (Ps 89:8); unfailing (Ps 89:33); infinite (Ps 36:5); and everlasting (Ps 119:90).
2. Without the faithfulness of God, the believer would not be able to stand against the devil, or against temptation (2Th 3:3; 1Co 10:13).
3. In an unfaithful world, the believer, in his word and deed, becomes a reflection of the trustworthiness of God and promises. Are we faithful representatives?
4. The Holy Spirit is producing his faithfulness in and through the believer (Gal 5:22).
5. One of the greatest things a believer could ever hear at the end of his life is, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mat 25:23).
6. Even when the believer struggles in failure, God will remain true to Himself in faithfulness (2Ti 2:13).
A. Lexical Meaning of Gentleness
1. Gentleness (praútęs) is a gentle friendliness and consideration.
2. In Secular Greek, praútęs would depict those things which contained “mild” qualities such as a “tame” animal; “gentle and friendly” person, or a “lenient” punishment.
3. In the LXX (Septuagint – written by aprox. 70 individuals and possibly written in 70 days), it replaces the Hebrew word hw"n" anavah – which means “humility,” “submission,” or “afflicted” with the root to “bow down.”
4. In N.T. Greek its nuances are seen as:
a) strength that accommodates another's weakness.
b) a contrast with harshness in one’s dealings with others.
c) at times translated “meekness” without the implication of weakness and often linked with humility.
5. Some see “meekness” as an inward attitude and “gentleness” as an outward attitude.
B. Definitions on Gentleness
1. [Praútęs does not consist in a person’s…] outward behavior only; nor yet in his relations to his fellow-men; as little in his mere natural disposition. Rather it is an inwrought grace of the soul; and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. (Synonyms of the New Testament, R. C. Trench).
2. It is that humble and gentle attitude that is patiently submissive in every offense, while being free of any desire for revenge or retribution. (MacArthur)
C. Aspects of Gentleness
1. In regard to God
a) The Old Testament never refers to God as being meek…
b) …and in the New Testament only the Son is spoken of as meek, and that only in His incarnation. (MacArthur) (cp. Mt 11:29; 21:5; 2Co 10:1).
2. In regard to Man
a) When man is not submissive to God’s will he in not being meek (Col 3:12).
b) When man is not teachable to God’s Word he is not being meek (Jam 1:21).
c) When man is not considerate of others he is not being meek (Tit 3:2).
3. In regard to Believers
a) Believers are to actively and continuously pursue gentleness (1Ti 6:11).
b) Believers are to have biblical wisdom which includes gentleness (Jam 3:14).
c) Believers are to correct those who have sinned with gentleness (Gal 6:1).
d) Believers are to correct opposers to the faith with gentleness (2Ti 2:24-25).
e) Believers are to defend the faith with gentleness (1Pe 3:15-16).
D. Considerations on the Fruit of Gentleness
1. Why would we not find the quality of meekness applied to God in the O.T.?
a) God is the Sovereign Lord who would never surrender His will to another, but the incarnate Christ did (Luk 22:42).
b) God is perfect in wisdom and there is nothing for Him to learn, but the incarnate Christ learned (Luk 2:52);
c) God has ultimately shown His true consideration through the person and work of His Son.
2. Therefore, believers are called to walk in a manner worthy of their calling which includes gentleness (Eph 4:1-3).
3. It is a fruit of the Spirit being produced in the believer after the likeness of Christ (Gal 5:22-23).
A. Lexical Meaning Of Self-Control
1. “Self-control” (egkráteia) very well may be the most misunderstood virtue of the fruit of the Spirit. Historically, this word was one of the virtues most emphasized by philosophers and respected in Roman society. Philosophers often taught that the wise needed no law to regulate them, because their own virtue of self-control was a law unto themselves. The freeman was under the control of no one, yet he controlled himself to be responsible in citizenship. The problem however, always rests in the truth that man is not basically good but his depraved nature will take opportunity to be autonomous from man and God.
2. Stoicism and Gnosticism would influence man’s religion whereby self-control was taken to its ultimate degree producing Asceticism. Asceticism is the harsh treatment (training) of the body in order to carnally produce pseudo-holiness.
3. In the N.T. “self-control” is the Spirit-produced fruit of the believer to obey the Lordship of Christ in every area and restrain all passions and appetites that would violate His authority.
4. “Self-control” (egkráteia) takes its sense from the stem krat, which expresses the power or lordship which one has either over oneself or over something. Perhaps the addition of the preposition en (“in”) would suggest the meaning of one who is “in control.”
5. The Latin phrase is continentia, temperantia is the virtue which masters its desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.
6. It is seen in opposition to all of the deeds of the flesh, but especially immorality, impurity, sensuality, … drunkenness, carousing (Gal 5:19-21).
B. Definitions of Self-Control
1. Self-control (egkráteia); this noun is used in the NT only here [Gal 5:23] and in Acts 24:25; 2 Peter 1:6) denotes self-mastery and no doubt primarily relates to curbing the fleshly impulses just described. Such a quality is impossible to attain apart from the power of God’s Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:16). (Walvoord, BKC)
2. Temperance is better rendered self-control (lit., a holding in with a firm hand), or control of the self-life by means of the Spirit. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
3. Self-control, or temperance flows from the other virtues. Immodesty, extremism, and flamboyance do not fit with temperance. Here the moderate level of self-control is manifested. The Spirit is not rude or pushy. He is neither violent nor crude. (R.C. Sproul, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, pg. 175)
4. Self-control (egkráteia) has reference to restraining passions and appetites. As with meekness, however, this grace does not apply to God, who obviously does not need to restrain Himself. “For I, the Lord, do not change,” He informs us (Mal. 3:6). In His eternal being, the Lord “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Perfect holiness possesses perfect control. But in His incarnation Christ was the epitome of self-control. He was never tempted or tricked into doing or saying anything that was not consistent with His Father’s will and His own divine nature. (MacArthur in loc.)
C. Aspects of Self-Control
1. Self-control is needed in order to restrain sensual appetites (1Co 7:9).
2. Self-control is needed in order to fulfill our God-given responsibilities (1Co 9:25).
3. Self-control is needed by all believers, but especially by spiritual leaders (Tit 1:8-9).
4. Self-control is needed to put into practice what we learn from the Scriptures (2Pe 1:6).
D. Considerations on Self-Control
1. No amount of self-control can be meritorious toward salvation (Act 24:25).
2. The believer is to be under the control of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18).
3. Self-control is supernaturally produced by the Holy Spirit in the believer (Gal 5:23).
4. Asceticism is denounced in the Scriptures (1Ti 4:3; Col 2:20-23).
5. True worship is not being out of control but under the control of the Holy Spirit (1Co 14:33, 40; Eph 5:19-21).
X. FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A. A Fruitful Production
Paul closes this list with the cryptic comment: “Against such there is no law.” Of course not! These virtues are pleasing to God, beneficial to others, and good for ourselves. But how is this fruit produced? Is it by man’s effort? Not at all. It is produced as Christians live in communion with the Lord. As they gaze upon the Savior in loving devotion, and obey Him in daily life, the Holy Spirit works a wonderful miracle. He transforms them into the likeness of Christ. They become like Him by beholding Him (2 Cor. 3:18). Just as the branch derives all its life and nourishment from the vine, so the believer in Christ derives his strength from the True Vine, and is thus able to live a fruitful life for God. (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (Ga 5:22). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
B. A Fruitful Description
We should practice moderation. As Samuel Chadwick points out: In newspaper English the passage reads something like this: the fruit of the Spirit is an affectionate, lovable disposition; a radiant spirit and a cheerful temper; a tranquil mind and a quiet manner; a forbearing patience in provoking circumstances and with trying people; a sympathetic insight and tactful helpfulness; generous judgment and a big-souled charity; loyalty and reliableness under all circumstances; humility that forgets self in the joy of others; in all things self-mastered and self-controlled, which is the final mark of perfection (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (Ga 5:22).
C. A Fruitful Manifestation
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are fascinating and exciting. To be a gifted person is to receive accolades from our fellows for our performances or abilities. For these reasons and perhaps others, the gifts of the Spirit receive far more attention in our culture than the fruit of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit seem to be doomed to obscurity, hidden in the shadow of the more preferred gifts. Yet it is the evidence of the fruit of the Spirit that is the mark of our progress in sanctification. Of course, God is pleased when we dutifully exercise the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon us. But I think God is even more pleased when He sees His people manifest the fruit of the Spirit. (R.C. Sproul, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, pg. 160)
D. A Fruitful Reward
These are the fruits of the Holy Spirit. These are the genuine marks of godliness. These are the virtues we see eminently and vividly modeled in the lives of mature Christians. These are the virtues our Lord wants us to cultivate. These are the virtues that are at the same time the gifts of God. God promises to reward these traits in us, not because they flow from our own intrinsic righteousness, but because, as Augustine put it, "God is pleased to crown His own gifts." (R.C. Sproul, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, pg. 175)