The Fruit Of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23).
I think it is possible for one to have the gifts of the Spirit without the fruit of the Spirit. I think too one can have the fruit of the Spirit without the gifts of the Spirit. Charismatics and Pentecostals tend to emphasize the gifts; conservative evangelicals and Reformed Christians tend to stress the fruits.
A brief synopsis of the Prologue in Holy Fire is perhaps in order: there has been a silent divorce in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, sometimes the children stay with the mother, sometimes with the father. In this divorce there are those on the Word side emphasizing sound doctrine, especially Romans, and those on the Spirit side emphasizing the Holy Spirit, especially the Book of Acts.
Sadly it seems to be one or the other almost wherever I go in the world.
The need is for both. I believe the simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion. The Word and Spirit coming together will bring about the next move of the Holy Spirit, in my opinion. I will briefly mention each of the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22–23.
Love. This is the first fruit of the Spirit that Paul lists and is actually the sum total of all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If indeed we fulfilled all that is described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, I am pretty sure we would experience all the fruit that follow—joy, peace, patience, and so forth.
Paul means agape love (selfless love), not philia (brotherly love) or eros (physical love). Read 1 Corinthians 13, noting that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (vv. 4–5).
Why do we keep records? To prove we have paid.
Why do we keep a record of wrongs? To remind another of their faults.
Love tears up all records of wrong—whether it be your friend or enemy, your spouse or neighbor.
Total forgiveness means that all the fruit of the Spirit follow.
Joy. This is an inward state when the absence of any condemnation allows you to experience the Lord’s own joy.
Happiness comes from outward things; joy is internal and comes by the un-grieved Spirit.
Peace. This something that Satan cannot produce. The flesh cannot produce it. It is a fruit of the Spirit that witnesses to your eternal salvation and your pleasing the Lord.
Patience. This is a supernatural ability to wait, not merely to wait upon the Lord but also upon people! Instead of snapping your finger and expecting others to jump, you let them be themselves without your moralizing them.
Kindness. This means being nice. Considerate. Friendly. It is what makes people want to be around you. Does it surprise you that being nice to people is a fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Goodness. This is perhaps the hardest of the fruit of the Spirit to define. It is the combination of honesty and generosity. It can be used interchangeably with virtue. I think transparent integrity best defines goodness.
Faithfulness. God is faithful; He will never let us down. He keeps His word. If we are faithful, we will be consistent in keeping our word and demonstrating agape love.
Gentleness. This means the willingness to yield; it’s the opposite of being harsh. It is being unruffled when your plans suddenly fall though. One thinks of the dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to a pigeon, which is boisterous and a symbol of the counterfeit.
Self-control. This means having self-discipline regarding your temper, appetite, handling money, ambition, lifestyle, or coping with disappointment with ease.
Whereas the gifts of the Spirit are granted without repentance, the fruit emerge in proportion to our obedience.
The gifts are sovereignly bestowed and irrevocable; they do not prove how spiritual a person is, whereas the fruit of the Spirit do indicate one’s spirituality.
As I said above, Word people, speaking generally, tend to focus on the fruit; Spirit people focus more on the gifts. Why not both?
For further study: Romans 11:19; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:17–25; James 3:17–18
Gracious Holy Spirit, I am ashamed that I do not manifest Your fruit as I should, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I pray that my life will be one that shows Your power in spiritual gifts as well as graces that demonstrate Your fruit. In Jesus’s name, amen.