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What I Have Learned: Works of the Spirit

Updated: Jun 20, 2020

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Galatians 5:22 (ESV)

How do we rightly understand the fruit the Spirit bears in us?

Now that we understand the context of Galatians and of chapter five (see my last blog post), it is important for us to correctly understand the fruit that only the Spirit can bring forth. It was said in a podcast that I listened to that we must view these attributes as a whole fruit basket.

{Huh, what does that mean?}

The Fruit of the Spirit is used singularly because these attributes all together make up the character of God. The attributes of the Spirit are that of righteousness. We miss out on the importance of them when we “try to work on one of these in isolation” or look at one of them without understanding that by his nature God is all these things.

It is also important to understand that the Spirit is causing HIS righteousness (not our own - do not misunderstand this!) to grow in our life. The origin of the true Fruit of the Spirit is pointing to Christ-likeness, not a behavior modification or a “good thing we should try harder to be” but a true heart transformation from the nature of our flesh. The Fruit of the Spirit is not “good Christian virtues.” The bible clearly explains that we are inherently evil people and that only God himself is good (Luke 18:19). Therefore, although nine attributes, the Fruit of the Spirit is like a fruit basket all defining Christ-likeness.

The fruit that bears WITNESS to Christ-likeness is at the root of the Spirit at work in us. It is not out of forceful trying to be “better” by our own will-power that we bring forth the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control but through living life according to the Spirit by living in the freedom of a life in Christ. We partner in the work of sanctification that God is doing through his Spirit but sometimes we set ourselves up for failure when we “just try harder”. Instead what this looks like is saying to God, “I do not have *insert fruit here* but you are a God of *insert fruit here*, so fill me with your Spirit and give me the ability by your Spirit to know when I am not being *insert fruit here* so that I can recognize my sinful heart and have the ability to exercise *insert fruit here* as it mirrors your character.”

We forget so often that Christ set us free not to live by our sin impulses and to try to force behavior modification, but to live in freedom to serve through love and complete reliance on the in-dwelling power of the Spirit in us.

As we look at each attribute we fix our eyes on a God who is the SOURCE of those attributes and as we do that we can desire him more deeply as we know him more fully. As we do this we are naturally drawn more deeper into a posture of willingness to make us more like Him. We fix our eyes on HIM and become captivated by HIS character.

Additional Resources

As I was studying the Fruit of the Spirit in preparing this collection, I came across many great bible-teaching resources that I want to share with you if you are wanting to dive into learning more about the Fruit of the Spirit, the Gospel, or the character of God.

Tiny Theologians Fruit of the Spirit Conversation Cards

Journey Women Podcast (Episode 103 - 111)

American Gospel: In Christ Alone

Galatians Reading with Spurgeon

Bible Study: Appointed to Bear Fruit

About the Fruit of the Spirit Collection

Each piece of this collection corresponds with one of the Fruit of the Spirit. This collection is made up of fully hand-lettered sweatshirts, t-shirts, a tank top, a phone case, a tumbler, a mug and digital downloads. All items in the collection will be available for a limited time only as this collection is a pre-order so I am able to make exactly what you all want - no more, no less. Items will be posted for sale starting on June 26th at 10AM CST and ending July 3rd at 12PM CST.

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