It is because of love that God carried out His plan to save the world: “For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). It is only by love that we
can keep the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbour
as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).
Love is the greatest gift God can give. First Corinthians
13 says that agape is patient. Agape is kind. Agape never fails. God desires to show
His perfect, selfless love to a world that is routinely confused about what true
love is. God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the
The fruit of the Spirit is what God desires our lives to exhibit and,
with the Holy Spirit's help, it is possible!
Possessing joy is a choice. We choose
whether to value God's presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to
the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God's grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans
15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God
that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).
One of the primary purposes of the Holy
Spirit coming into a Christian's life is to change that life.
The Spirit-filled Christian
has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that
the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit
and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding,
or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform
His work of growing fruit to the glory of God!
It is the Holy Spirit's job to conform
us to the image of Christ, making us more like Him.
The opposite of patience is agitation,
discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live
in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace
it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we
are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).
God is patient, and His Spirit
produces the fruit of patience in us. When we are patient, we leave room for God
to work in our hearts and in our relationships. We lay down our schedule and trust
in God’s. We thank the Lord for what and whom He’s brought into our lives. We let
God be God.
Our sinful flesh produces certain types of fruit that reflect our nature,
and the Holy Spirit produces types of fruit that reflect His nature.
When we exhibit
the kindness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others. Every action,
every word will have the flavour of grace in it. To maintain this attitude toward
those we love is hard enough. To express kindness toward those who are against us
requires the work of God (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). That is why kindness is a fruit of
It is one of the main purposes of the Christian life, though, to progressively
allow the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit in our lives—and to allow
the Holy Spirit to conquer the opposing sinful desires.
Goodness is not a quality
we can manufacture on our own. James 1:17 says, "Every good thing given and every
perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." This certainly
includes a life characterized by goodness. In letting the Holy Spirit control us,
we are blessed with the fruit of goodness. As others see our good works, they will
praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
The fruit of the Spirit is what God desires
our lives to exhibit and, with the Holy Spirit's help, it is possible!
is believing that God is Who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite
the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible,
and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work
out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that
our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven. The only
way we can have such faith is by the Holy Spirit's influence. He testifies to the
truth and impels us to seek God. The Spirit makes us faithful.
Enoch understood that
God rewards those who seek Him and trust Him with all their hearts. We trust what
God does because we trust Him, not the other way around. In other words, we trust
God even if when He is silent and we see no miracles. That is part of faithfulness.
We know God is reliable, steadfast, and true.
To live in a spirit of gentleness toward
God is to accept His judgment on people and issues. We tend to think it is gentle
to go easy on people and try to justify actions that God has called sin. Or to let
someone continue in sin without speaking the truth. But Paul says, "If anyone is
caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness"
(Galatians 6:1). This doesn't mean to be so soft that the sinner doesn't realize
he's sinned. It means to confront the brother in a manner that is in line with Scripture—to
be mild, loving, encouraging, and clear about the holiness that God calls us to.
gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and
riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.
wants us to give Him control of our lives. Relying on our own logic, we have no impetus
to submit to God's leadership. With the wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit, however,
we begin to see why we should completely submit to God as Lord of our lives.
need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans
7:21- 25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defences. A wall around an ancient
city was designed to keep out the enemy. Judges at the gates determined who should
be allowed in and who should remain outside. Soldiers and gates enforced those decisions.
In our lives, these defences might include avoiding close relationships with sinners,
meeting with other believers, and meditating on the life giving Word of God. We don’t
exhibit self-control if we continually dally with that which would enslave us.
naturally leads to perseverance (2 Peter 1:6) as we value the long-term good instead
of the instant gratification of the world. Self-control is a gift that frees us.
It frees us to enjoy the benefits of a healthy body. It frees us to rest in the security
of good stewardship. It frees us from a guilty conscience. Self-control restricts
the indulgence of our foolish desires, and we find the liberty to love and live as
we were meant to.
The fruit of the Spirit is the change in our character that comes
about because of the Holy Spirit's work in us. We do not become a Christian on our
own, and we cannot grow on our own. Philippians 2:13 says that "it is God who is
at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Every good thing
we do is the fruit of the Spirit's work in our lives.
Dr. Michael W. Cochran, D. Th.
Michael Cochran Ministries