Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control;
The 9 fruit of the Spirit are free gifts to the believer “filled by the Holy Spirit”. However by God’s grace we should be examining the results in our lives. Psalms 139: 23 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. AMP
As I review these nine Fruit how should I measure my response? The Bible answers this …Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, [1 Peter 2:21] Way to examine self with each quality: I will REVIEW my recent actions, motives, thoughts and words against each quality; CONFESS where I have sinned against God & others; REPENT of this sin, asking God for forgiveness and help [a] to change our heart and [b] in our persevering to turn from sin.
1st–3 qualities that express my relationship to God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit:
love– “agape” love, sacrificial love of Christ as He went to the cross. The love that the Holy Spirit produces in our hearts as we walk in the Spirit, enabling believers to love God and others, even our enemies, those that persecute us and people different from us. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” [I John 5:3] REVIEW- Did I demonstrate my love by obeying God yesterday? CONFESS; REPENT
joy- emotion of great delight from total dependance on Jesus Christ. Jesus set the example “…Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame…” [Hebrews 12:2 NLT] Because I love and trust Jesus “rejoicing with a glorious, inexpressible joy” [1 Peter 1:8 NLT] REVIEW– Have I been filled with this kind of joy no matter what my circumstances are? CONFESS; REPENT [ A Life of glorious Inexpressible Joy! ]
peace- Then-At the time of salvation we “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” [Romans 5:1]; as a result now we can have ” the peace of God , which surpasses all comprehension,…in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:4-7] The peace of God provides freedom of mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, bitterness; freedom from strife, grumbling or dissension. REVIEW- Did I have the peace of God yesterday? CONFESS; REPENT
2nd–3 qualities that reflect my relationship with others based on my relationship with Triune God:
patience– [perseverance–steadfastness–endurance]–handling the pressures, trials, tests and problems of life as I relate to other people. This requires God’s grace, faith one day at a time, while trusting and waiting on God, sometimes for years. REVIEW- Have I been patient recently? CONFESS; REPENT. [Here is an approach to problem solving that can be followed every time a problem, test or trial comes.] Problem Solving!
kindness– if we love Jesus we must also love and be kind to others. “In everything,…treat people the same way you want them to treat you,…” [Matthew 7:12]; 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; …5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,… 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Philippians 2:3-8] … REVIEW- Have I been kind to others? CONFESS; REPENT
goodness– [moral excellence– virtuous]— Jesus was good to people by helping, healing, encouraging, warning and telling the way to the Kingdom of God. Knowing God is good, be good to people and be a good person. “35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ …40 Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” [Matthew 25:35-36,40] REVIEW- Have I been a good person recently? CONFESS; REPENT
3rd–3 qualities that express my heart based on my relationship with Triune God:
faithfulness- 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness…[Lamentations 3:22-23a] the Spirit empowers the believer to be thorough in the performance of duty to God and others. True to one’s words, promises, vows, and loyal, reliable, and trusted by God and others. REVIEW- Have I been faithful recently? CONFESS; REPENT
gentleness- Jesus said “learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart. [Matthew 11:29b] A gentle person is kindly, amiable; mild; polite; not severe, rough or violent. REVIEW- Was I gentle like Jesus yesterday? CONFESS; REPENT
self-control– The believer has the Power available to make a practice of controlling emotions, making righteous decisions, and dealing with the pleasures and temptations of life. REVIEW- Did my actions demonstrate that I gave up control of my life to the Holy Spirit yesterday? CONFESS; REPENT
Does my life reveal the glory of God to others, at my expense and without expecting merit from God or others?
For other posts in this series click on “self-examination” in tagged at the bottom of this post.
Henry Luke 3/28/2017, last revised 4/29/2017