The fruit of the Spirit

Yesterday I mentioned that the Women’s Ministry at Spirit of Life Bible Church in Woodbury completed a 10-week Bible study based on “Living beyond yourself: exploring the fruit of the spirit” by Beth Moore.�

The interactive Bible study of the fruit of The Spirit as presented in the book of Galatians concentrates on Galatians 5:22-23:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Beth has an incredible gift of teaching. She walks participants through each trait listed in the fruit and teaches us how to live a spirit-filled life.�

Today I would like to share some notes from the book. I hope it’s useful for someone.

The fruit of the Spirit is the supernatural outcome of being filled with the Spirit and is the living proof that the Spirit of God dwells in us.

Love never fails.

There are eros love, friend love, and agape love. Agape is divine love. It is the love of God expressed through us to others. Agape is possible only through God. Agape is more a response than a feeling.

Joy cometh.

The origin of our joy is our salvation. Joy is the result of following Christ. It is the supernatural result which flows from the glorious discovery of our Lord and Savior in every circumstance. Joy results from discovering His presence, His purpose, and His power.

Happiness is an affirmative response to externals, while joy comes from the inside. Inner joy flows only from Christ.

Peace rules.

Peace means the absence of fear and turmoil, not the absence of pain and grief.

Christ had perfect peace in aloneness, in provision, in the storm, in the wait, and in the tears. We must first have peace with God before we can experience the peace of God. We receive peace with God by accepting His gift of grace in Calvary. Peace comes with authority. Let Christ rule over us.�

Patience waits.

Two Greek words translated into the English word patience: hupomone and makrothumia.�

Hupomone is perseverance, endurance and bearing up under difficult circumstances inspired by hope.

Without hope, no patience; without patience, no maturity; without maturity, no reflection; without reflection, no glory.

Makrothumia is the quality found in the fruit of the Spirit and means long-suffering in respect to persons. Makrothumia is inspired by mercy.

Mercy is fueled by forgiveness.

Patience and judgment are opposites. Patience is void of judgment. The essence of the biblical word for patience is the delaying of judgment.

We should actively petition God for endurance in our circumstances and patience toward other people.

Kindness tenders.

Kindness is a tender heart and a nurturing spirit, being good.�

Goodness does.

Kindness expressed in action, doing good.

In spending ourselves, we are made rich.

Faith fights.

Faithfulness is believing the reality of a sovereign God. God expressed his faithfulness to us in Christ, and Christ expressed his faithfulness to us in the Holy Spirit.

We should base our faith on who God is, not on what God does.

A faith based on what God does and depends on results is fueled by sight. Genuine faith is based on who God is. A faith based on who God is frees Him completely to show us what He can do!

True faith always takes action, resulting in the transformation of man’s character and way of life.

Gentleness bows.

Gentleness is an inward grace of the soul, calmness toward God in particular. It is the complete surrender to God’s will and way in our life.

Genntleness has three important components: submission, humility and teachability.�

Submission is to cease fighting God, have a submissive spirit toward His will for our lives.�

Humility is the correct estimation of ourselves which results from a correct estimation of our God. Humble ourselves, not be arrogant and prideful, modesty toward self. Humility comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Teachability is being obedient to what we are taught, regardless of who God chooses as instructor and what God chooses to instruct.

Self-control stops.

Self-control means restraining passion and appetites. It provides the wall of protection and boundaries within which love can be unleashed. The key to self-control is the refusal to allow our enemies (the flesh, the world, or Satan) to rule or hold us captive in any way.