Christian Churches of God
Fruit of the Holy Spirit
(Edition 3.0 19951104-20000902-20070628)
Further to the paper The Holy Spirit (No. 117), we proceed to develop the concepts of the place of the Holy Spirit and its relationship in the Godhead. From an understanding of that position we might then be able to more correctly understand, from the biblical narrative, its purpose and hence its end product in the elect.
Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Further to the paper The Holy Spirit (No. 117) we proceed to develop the concepts of the place of the Holy Spirit and its relationship in the Godhead. From an understanding of that position we might then be able to more correctly understand, from the biblical narrative, its purpose and hence its end product in the elect.
To understand the Holy Spirit one must also understand God and Christ and the relationships involved. This text simplifies, in part, the paper The Holy Spirit (No. 117). Other papers have been written on who God is and who Christ is and these should also be studied.
Briefly, God the Father:
* is the Supreme Deity of the Universe.
He is the Almighty, the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens, the Earth and all things therein (Gen. 1.1; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 124:8; Isa. 40:26,28; 44:24; Acts 14:15; 17:24-25; Rev. 14:7); alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16).
* is our God and Father and the God and Father of Jesus Christ (Jn. 20:17).
* is the Most High God (Gen. 14:18; Num. 24:16; Deut. 32:8; Mk. 5:7), and
* is the One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20).
Jesus, the Son of God:
* is the first-begotten (prototokos) of the creation (Col. 1:15); hence the beginning (arche) of the creation of God (Rev. 3:14).
* is the only-born (monogene) Son of God (Mat. 3:17; Jn. 1:18; 1Jn. 4:9), conceived of the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin, Mariam or Mary (Lk. 1:26-35).
* is the Christ or Messiah (Mat. 16:16; Jn. 1:14), sent from God to be our Saviour and Redeemer (Mat. 14:33; Jn. 8:42; Eph. 1:7; Tit. 2:14).
* is called the Son of the Most High God (Mk. 5:7).
The Holy Spirit:
* is that essence or power of God which Christ promised to send to the elect (Jn. 16:7).
* is the extension of the living power of God. The means by which we become partakers of the Divine Nature (2Pet. 1:4), being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17; Eph. 5:18), hence all Sons of God (Job 38:7; Rom. 8:14; 1Jn. 3:1-2) and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Tit. 3:7; Heb. 1:14; 6:17; 11:9; Jas. 2:5; 1Pet. 3:7).
* is given by God to those who ask (Lk 11:9-13) and obey Him, dwelling in those who keep His Commandments (1Jn. 3:24; Acts 5:32).
* is the comforter that leads God’s servants into all truth (Jn. 14:16,17,26).
* confers the power to witness (Acts 1:8).
* administers gifts as recorded in 1Corinthians 12:7-11.
* has fruits as described in Galatians 5:22-23.
* is not given by measure (Jn. 3:34 RSV; Rom. 12:6).
* is the means by which God can finally become all, in all (1Cor. 15:28; Eph. 4:6).
* operates from before baptism and draws us to God through Christ (Heb. 7:25).
These Scriptures need to be studied carefully. Without a clear understanding of the God we worship, it is impossible to fully understand His will. Without understanding God’s will, it is impossible to please Him and we would then be unable to enter the Kingdom of God at the First Resurrection. The Holy Spirit is the means by which we are able to understand the Bible, and in the Bible God reveals His directions and plans for us.
God is spirit and has always existed. God alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). Christ says at Revelation 3:14 that he is the beginning of the creation of God. Christ was the first activity of the creation of God from his generation and then all creation originated from him and through him. The concept of time began from the relationship between two Beings; hence Christ is the beginning with the elohim. The generation of the elohim was the beginning of time. Jesus Christ was not the only Son of God before the foundation of the world; there were many of them (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). Satan was one of the sons of God. With the other sons of God, Satan had access to the Throne of God on a continual basis. The Bible is quite clear that Satan was present at the trial of Job in the Throne room of God.
Neither was Christ the only Morning Star; there were many of them. All of them were the children of God, by and through the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:9-13). The Holy Spirit is the power or essence by which God operates. When Christ said that he was in God and God in him (Jn. 17:21-23), it was through the Holy Spirit that this was possible. In the same way when we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism God is in us and Christ is in us, hence God will be all, in all (Eph. 4:4-6).
It is most important that we understand that there is only One God and Father of all.
Steps in receiving the Holy Spirit
Prior to baptism the Holy Spirit works with us, drawing us to God through Christ (Heb. 7:25). On repentance and baptism we receive the Holy Spirit in us, through the laying-on of hands by one of God’s ministers. The laying-on of hands does not of itself confer any authority. The process simply signifies that an official of the Church endorses the request of the individual to receive the Spirit. The Elder has no intrinsic power by and of himself; he simply requests that the Spirit acts. The Spirit then empowers the individual. This is the real beginning of our training. The understanding is simply that we qualify through baptism and receive the Holy Spirit to commence training. We are given the initial armament by which we can become a soldier of God. We are given our rifle in other words, or the system by which we can operate.
Many people have been under the misapprehension in the 20th century particularly, that once they are baptised and enter the Church, then their salvation is sure. They think they simply do not have to do anything else. In fact, some were discouraged from studying and ‘proving all things’. That is not the fact of the matter as we now realise. We receive the Kingdom of God through the Holy Spirit by grace and not by merit or works. However, we do not retain the Kingdom of God without effort or works through obedience. This is a critical distinction and mostly misunderstood. We are required from this point on to study the Bible and learn everything we can. Christ said that his meat and drink was to do the will of God and complete His work (Jn. 4:34); so too must ours be. Christ also said that we must live by every word of God (Mat. 4:4). The Bible then is our text book, a living oracle, which can only be understood through the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit leads us to all truth (Jn. 14:17; 16:13; 1Jn. 4:6; 5:6), and by speaking the truth in all things so we grow more like Christ, our example and leader in all things. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14) and the Spirit of faith (2Cor. 4:13) that searches all things and knows all things (1Cor. 2:10-11; 12:3ff.) and is the means by which we become sons of God (i.e. elohim). Through Jesus Christ, our mediator, it allows Christ to help, teach and comfort us, enabling us to exercise the power of God, giving us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). We are put together, each with particular skills and characteristics, in order to do His work, which we cannot do as effectively alone (1Cor. 12:7-31). We are baptised into the Body of Christ not into any denomination or sect. Christ is the head; we are the body. The Holy Spirit is the blood that keeps the body and the head alive and functioning as one whole.
As Israel followed the pillar of fire and cloud (the Angel of Yahovah or Jehovah) in the wilderness, so too we must follow Christ wherever he leads us. He is the elohim at our head (Zech. 12:8). If the church we are in is not preaching according to the Law and the prophets, Christ will not be there and we have a responsibility to seek him out and follow only him. We are called out of the world to a life of service and dedication. Many are called but few are chosen (Mat. 20:16; 22:14). The elect (those keeping all the Commandments of God) were chosen, as Christ was the chosen of God (Lk. 23:35).
The elect are chosen by Christ (Jn. 6:70; 15:16,19) under the direction of God (1Pet. 2:4). Thus God gives us to Christ and we are then given the Mysteries of God and the Kingdom of God (Mk. 4:11).
The Spirit makes God’s will known, being the mechanism by which we can talk to God in prayer through Christ. It opens our understanding to the Word of God and through faith allows us to become elohim as Christ is at our head (Zech. 12:8).
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit is not simply an entity as suggested by some who espouse Christianity. Once we say it’s a third person of the Godhead we take away its operation within us. We somehow divorce it from God and we place our self in a subordinate role to Jesus Christ in such a way that we are distinct from and never can achieve the position of son of God, which is not correct. The Holy Spirit is a power and an empowering attribute of God. God gives us His Spirit so that we can partake of His divine nature (2Pet. 1:3-4).
Peter says that:
2Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. (RSV)
Therefore, God called us to His own glory and excellence, making us partakers of His Spirit so that we might know Him. The Spirit thus enables us to partake of all things that pertain to life and godliness. In the same way it was the Holy Spirit that gave Christ the condition of godliness. The Spirit thus enables us to action. There must therefore be fruits of the Holy Spirit. These fruits are those worthy of repentance (Lk. 3:8). These are the fruits, or the fruit, of righteousness (Phil. 1:11). As Paul says, an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. There are set rules for the retention of the Holy Spirit. We cannot get our crown unless we follow those rules.
2Timothy 1:6-14 Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 8 Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago,
The point is, God calls us into the Kingdom of God for His own purpose and not because of anything we are. We are called in to work. God puts us in to do a job. The way we keep our end of the bargain and our way of gaining the First Resurrection is to work once we are called and given the Holy Spirit. Also, it is necessary to produce the fruits of righteousness in the Holy Spirit by keeping the Commandments of God and the Testimony of the Faith of Jesus Christ. That is our qualification. The grace of God was given to Jesus Christ. He did not own the grace of God intrinsically in his own right.
10 and now has manifested through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Only God is immortal but it was Christ who abolished death by his actions and brought immortality to light. We are able to partake of immortality because of Christ. He qualified, and was then given immortality and that consequently went on to us.
11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
In other words, the Holy Spirit guards the Mysteries of God until the Day of the Lord. What has been entrusted to Paul will not die. It will be kept by the Holy Spirit, and it was locked into the Bible. Nobody can destroy the Bible. It is an order of God. We have the inspired word of God
13 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; 14 guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. (RSV)
Thus the first fruit of the Holy Spirit is the guardianship of truth. That is the primary aim and objective. The Holy Spirit is of power and love and self-control. The fruits evident from this text are given towards the first aim of the elect, which is the guardianship of truth as the first aspect of righteousness. Another fruit is mercy, which we shall see later (Jas. 3:17). The elect worship the Father in Spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23-24). Truth is central to the worship of God. We cannot worship God unless we worship Him in the Holy Spirit in truth. The Holy Spirit is the means by which we guard the truth. The central fruit is our ability to first worship the One True God. The capacity of the Holy Spirit to show these fruits is centred on the capacity to worship God the Father. So the guardianship of truth is the guardianship of our capacity to work and worship. The testimony of the Spirit and of the prophets and hence the elect is true (Jn. 5:33). Only the truth can set us free (Jn. 8:32). Satan fell because he did not abide in the truth (Jn. 8:44).
John 8:31-47 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father." 39 They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41 You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." (RSV)
The world resists the truth of God. They killed Christ and they seek to kill his disciples and followers. This is so because the carnal mind is enmity towards God (Rom. 8:7).
Romans 8:1-8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (RSV)
The Law is weakened by the flesh. The Law can only be kept through the Holy Spirit. Thus the Holy Spirit does not weaken the Law but strengthens it. The Law is kept in spirit and in truth. To set one’s mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Thus the mind that is set on physical things is hostile to God and His Law. The physical, unconverted mind can be identified by the assertion that God’s Laws do not need to be kept. The false religions of this world seek to undermine the intent and power of the Law.
However, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against those who withhold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).
Paul is outlining that these people did not guard the truth and they erred concerning the Godhead. The Nature of God was the basis of the error in the Roman Church and that is where this doctrine was enshrined. They did away with the Sabbath and they adopted this Modalist structure. It was the pressure of the Roman system on the Greek that elevated Christ to an equality with God, and it was they who created this idolatrous process.
The whole thrust of Romans chapter 1 is against the false religion, which seeks to attack the Godhead and change the truth of God. For this reason they are given over to unnatural lusts (Rom. 1:25-27). This heresy was endemic in Rome.
We know that the Father is true and empowers us through the Spirit of Truth (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). The Spirit of Truth guides us into all truth (Jn. 16:13). We are sanctified by the truth (Jn. 17:17-19). Christ bore witness unto the truth and those of the truth hear his voice (Jn. 18:37).
If a person is not of the truth they lie and a liar is not allowed into the Kingdom of God (Rev. 21:8). All men are liars (Ps. 116:11). Therefore, we are called to repent of this folly. Thus it is paramount that we hold fast to the truth and develop the Mysteries of God, being compelled by the truth. The truth is not a notional thing. Our activities must be directed by the truth. If we are not compelled by the logic of what we read in the Bible, then we are not of the truth.
We have all sinned but repentance is a requirement to retain the Spirit. To know God we must keep the Commandments or we lie and the truth is not in us.
1John 2:4-5 He who says "I know him" but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: (RSV)
Thus the keeping of the Commandments is essential to the retention of the truth and hence the first objective of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit requires action from this understanding of truth. So, to study the word of God and not be compelled to action by the truth is indicative of a religious hobbyist. A religious hobbyist is one who hears the word of God but is not compelled by it, rather treating it as an academic exercise. Christ is working on the planet somewhere. We all have an obligation to identify what is of the Spirit of truth and to work for that truth.
We must meet and work together supporting the work of God. That work is identified by truth. Each of us must ask the primary question: “Would Christ approve of what I am doing, and am I doing enough to achieve the spread of the gospel of the Kingdom of God”? If we are not supporting a work that we have identified as being the closest to the truth available, then we are in serious danger of being a religious hobbyist and we will not enter the Kingdom of God.
The next fruit of the Holy Spirit is Love
The whole concept of the transgression of the Law and the expiation for sin is foreshadowed from the Old Testament. Without expiation there can be no receipt of the Holy Spirit. This expiation had to come from the angelic Host, as we see from Job 33:19-30.
Job 33:19-30 "Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed, and with continual strife in his bones; 20 so that his life loathes bread, and his appetite dainty food. 21 His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and his bones which were not seen stick out. 22 His soul draws near the Pit, and his life to those who bring death. 23 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; 24 and he is gracious to him, and says, `Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; 25 let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor'; 26 then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation, 27 and he sings before men, and says: `I sinned and perverted what was right, and it was not requited to me. 28 He has redeemed my soul from going down into the Pit, and my life shall see the light.' 29 "Behold, God does all these things, twice, three times, with a man, 30 to bring back his soul from the Pit, that he may see the light of life. (RSV)
The mediator for man is an angel, one of the thousand. This denotes one of the central administration. The mediator who gave his life and power was Christ. This reduction in rank and expiation was noted here in the Book of Job. This became the second great act of love and denoted the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the execution of the Plan of God. The first great act of love was the creation of the elohim or bene elohim, the Sons of God, by God to reproduce Himself. One of these had to die to redeem mankind and reconcile the Host to God.
The redemption of mankind is ongoing and here we see it is not limited to one occasion. We see that redemption is two or three times. God thus accepts the weakness of men through the redemption of the Host. The mediator was Messiah who acted in love of God and love of his brethren.
The entire question of love is predicated upon the love of God as the First Great Commandment. Thus the first four Commandments of the Ten Commandments are a necessary key to the understanding of the love of mankind. So, the truth is essential not only to understanding the Faith, but also to an understanding of God Himself and thus to the retention of the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. Unless we do the will of the Father in Heaven we will not enter His Kingdom (Mat. 7:21).
Those who do the will of the Father will abide for ever (1Jn. 2:17). These are the saints. They are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus the Messiah (Rev. 12:17). The 144,000 have no lie in their mouth (Rev. 14:5). They and the elect comprise the saints who keep the Commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12). Those who wash their robes (RSV) (keep the Commandments of God KJV) have the right (or authority) to the Tree of Life and entry to the City of God. Outside are those, among others, who love and practise falsehood (Rev. 22:14-15).
The City of God is a spiritual edifice. The description of the city is symbolic of the fruits and action of the Spirit within the Host. The jewels and metals represent aspects of the Spirit. The pearls are those of great price under control of the twelve Judges of Israel. Thus the wisdom of the Spirit, springing from truth, is central to entry to the City of God (see Rev. 21:10 to 22:5 and the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
By-products of Love
The product of love through the Holy Spirit has many by-products that identify it.
1Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Here the simple profession of the Faith is not enough. It is not enough to call Christ “Lord”. It must be followed by works. By our works we show our faith (Jas. 2:18). Faith without works is dead (Jas. 2:26). By works is faith made perfect (Jas. 2:20,22). The works that perfect the Faith are based on love.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Here, the faith that is all knowing and able to move mountains is of no avail. Even the laying down of one’s life from the wrong motives, and not based on love but on self-advancement, is of no avail.
4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
The patience and kindness that exemplifies the Holy Spirit does not display arrogance or rudeness to others. God acts through us by means of the Holy Spirit. People see what God is by looking at what we do then they get an idea of what God wants them to be. So the world in general judges upon the actions of the Holy Spirit and basically the love of God. Love within the context of the Holy Spirit has to be the sort of love by which God can display Himself. Love does not insist on its own way. Nor is it irritable or resentful. To display the characteristics of patience and kindness requires a genuine regard for the other person.
Conversely, such negative characteristics of arrogance, rudeness, irritation and resentfulness do not display such regard. The concept of rejoicing at right is the sort of triumph shown when a friend does well at something. Thus the elect can show genuine pleasure when another is successful. When someone turns from error there is great rejoicing in Heaven; so too must it be with us. For this reason we bear all things, hope all things and believe all things. We endure all things to the greater glory of God because we are dedicated to God and our neighbour in love. If we do not love our neighbour whom we have seen, how do we love God whom we have not seen? We ought to demonstrate by the one aspect the potential and reality of the other aspect. We should serve one another and love our neighbour as our self (Gal. 5:13-14); and also love the truth and thereby be saved (2Thes. 2:10).
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (RSV)
The ceaseless nature of our love for God is perfectly equal to the gift of eternal life. For without the continuation of the one there can be no continuation of the other. The concept of prophecy ceasing is tied to the perfect union and knowledge, which comes from participation in the Holy Spirit. From this aspect we share in the Divine Prescience. Thus, perfect foreknowledge will ultimately be shared by God with the elect. Hence from this aspect prophecy will cease. The perfect communion that comes from the divine nature makes tongues and speech irrelevant. We will be given a completely new language. Tongues will pass away because we will be given one language with which to communicate and it will be on a spiritual level. All language will pass away, but that love of God will be central to what we will be after prophecies, knowledge and tongues pass away.
Perfect knowledge will remove the concept of not knowing and hence knowledge as a term, which implies also the absence of it, will cease. We will know as we are known (1Cor. 13:12). Our knowledge and understanding is imperfect and immature. At the First Resurrection we will see God face-to-face in spiritual terms. The spiritual world will be exposed in all its power. This can only be seen and shared in love. Without love the individual is consigned to the Second Resurrection to relearn and retrain in order to participate.
Thus perfect understanding is predicated upon the love of God. Through the Holy Spirit we are able to develop the true and perfect love that is required of us. This love is demonstrated by faith under adversity. Thus the aspects of faith, hope and love are interrelated aspects of the Holy Spirit, but love is the greatest of these aspects.
Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. (RSV)
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
From love proceeds the next series of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Joy is derived from the attainment of an aspect of the Plan of God, experienced by the individual, either by communion with God, or through the achievement of an individual in communion with God. Only through love can true joy be experienced. The joy that comes from self-gratification is transitory, being physical.
Peace comes from the perfect relationship that flows from the love of God and the hope and faith that is predicated to Him. From the love of God we experience the love of our neighbour, which is the Second Great Commandment.
Great peace have they that love the Lord. God is a God of Peace (Rom. 16:20; Phil. 4:9). God calls us to peace (1Cor. 7:15). He bruises Satan; we do not need to do that. To be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom. 8:6). Peace comes from God our Father (Rom. 1:7; 1Cor. 1:3; Gal. 1:3; Col. 1:2; 1Thes. 1:1; 2Thes. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; Philem. 3). Thus, those that do not obey God are unable to have peace. Peace is predicated upon obedience. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked (Isa. 57:21). That is why peace not based upon the word of God will fail. They declare peace, and disaster will descend upon them unexpectedly. The text of Isaiah 57:19-21 is related to the whole question of the Blessings and Curses of Deuteronomy 28 (see the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75)).
Isaiah 57:19-21 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
We were also called to peace in marriage. While our spouses consent to live with us we should be centred on producing peace in our homes. Often this is very difficult, but there is no trial that we are not able to bear or from which God will not deliver us.
Patience is essential to the bearing of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Christ addressed this problem in the Parable of the Sower.
Luke 8:15-18 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. 18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (KJV)
What is being said is that as we work and study with the Holy Spirit we get more and more. If we don’t work, study and develop the Holy Spirit we get less and less. It just drains away from us. So we must pray, study and fast and work for the Kingdom of God in order to retain the Holy Spirit and grow with what we are doing.
The hearing of the word is preliminary to keeping the word. Thus the word is the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Christ. From an understanding of the word and its adherence the fruit of the Holy Spirit is made manifest. Thus, the activity that results from hearing and keeping the word of God declares the Spirit. Activity both good and bad is made manifest through the Spirit. Those who do not act on the word of God have what little understanding that they do possess removed over time.
Through patience we possess our soul or being (Lk. 21:19). We learn patience from tribulation, or from suffering we attain endurance (RSV). This process is developed through the justification by faith through Christ and God’s love that has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (KJV)
Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. (RSV)
Here we have patience or endurance proceeding from tribulation and then yielding experience, which is termed character. From experience or character we derive hope. We are not ashamed of our hope because of the Holy Spirit, which was given to us by the love of God
Kindness or Gentleness
The word for kindness in the Hebrew is חֶסֶד chesed. By implication it means piety when directed towards God. Rarely it means (by opposition) reproof or (subject) beauty. Hence it has the complicated sense of favour, good deed, (-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, or wicked thing. The next sense from SHD 2619 is also favour, as a Hebrew name Hesed.
The word used in Galatians 5:22-23, translated gentleness in the KJV and kindness in the RSV, is the Greek word chrestotes (SGD 5544) which is derived from chrestos (SGD 5543) meaning usefulness, that is, moral excellence in character or demeanour and hence gentleness, good(ness), kindness. The sense is thus a piety and gentleness of nature, which is hence able to be useful to the work of God. It has an intrinsic goodness of character.
The sense here of goodness is simple. It is derived from the Greek word agathosune (SGD 19) meaning goodness as virtue.
Faithfulness or Faith
The word here is pistis (SGD 4102) being derived from persuasion (SGD 3982), i.e. credence. Morally it means conviction of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher.
It has the special meaning of reliance on Christ for salvation. Abstractly it means constancy in such profession. By extension it means reliance on the system of religious truth itself. Hence it has the meaning of assurance, belief, to believe, hence faith and fidelity.
Hence a fruit of the Holy Spirit is the faith in biblical truth and the word of God. The adherence to the Faith once delivered is sought with diligence and conviction. The denigration of the inspiration of the biblical texts is thus indicative of a problem with the Holy Spirit in the individual.
Gentleness or Meekness
The word for gentleness is praotes (SGD 4236) and is derived from praos (gentle, SGD 4235). By implication it means humility and hence meekness.
Self-control or Temperance
The word egkrateia (SGD 1466) [pronounced engkratiah] is derived from egkrates (SGD 1468) [pr. engkratace] which means to be strong in a thing or masterful, hence self- controlled in appetite and hence temperate. The meaning of this derivative is self-control and especially continence, which is concerned with self-restraint in the matter of sexual appetite (see Oxford Universal Dictionary).
We saw the three pillars are love, faith and hope, but love is the greatest. Then from love we develop the other fruit. All of this is predicated upon or held together by truth. Truth is the overall stamp of the Holy Spirit. From truth we have these other concepts of joy, peace, patience, kindness or gentleness, goodness, faithfulness or faith, gentleness or meekness, then self-control and temperance.
These elements thus follow one upon another to add up to the sum of the parts, which demonstrate the operation of the power of God in the individual. Each of the elect suffers from trials and tribulations in the development of Godly character. The overcoming of these aspects shows the development of the Holy Spirit in the individual.
We can judge others and ourselves by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are judged by society by the fruits of the Holy Spirit – what we do, what comes out of our mouth and how we operate one to another. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the real power of our faith and the centre of that love is based upon truth. If we haven’t got love we have nothing. That is the key fruit, but truth is the central objective and our God is a God of truth. All of this is tied together in truth, but certainly the fruit of the Holy Spirit is paramountly a function of love.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369 Woden, ACT 2606 Australia
E-mail: CCG Secretary
Copyright: The papers on this site may be freely copied and distributed provided they are copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher's name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
| Search | Alphabetic Index | Long Catalogue | Home Page | Webmaster | Additional |