(Galatians 5:22-26) Genuine believers are those who stand before God approved and acceptable. They are embraced and loved by God, looked after and cared for by God, and they are the recipients of eternal life. But note: the believers have not been accepted by God because they deserve it, not because they kept enough laws to win the approval of God. Believers have been accepted by God because of Jesus Christ. The point is this: since believers have to approach God through Jesus Christ and not through the law, they are freed from the law. They are under Jesus Christ, not under the law.
Therefore, when we look at Galatians 5:22-23 we see that the believer is to walk bearing God’s nature, that is, the fruit of God’s Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit grows only in the garden of obedience. Note that the word “fruit” is singular, not plural. The Holy Spirit has only one fruit that has nine facets.
There is the facet of love which is a complete love that includes the mind, the reason, and the will of the person. Note three significant points about this love. (1) It is the selfless love of God, the very love possessed by God Himself. It is the love demonstrated in the cross of Christ. It is the love of God even for the ungodly, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). It is the love of God even for unworthy sinners, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It is the love of God even for undeserving enemies, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). (2) This kind of love is a gift of God. It can be experienced only if a person knows God personally, “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” (Romans 5:5). (3) This kind of love is the at the heart of true spiritual life according to the Lord Jesus Christ, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
There is the facet of joy: which is an inner gladness; a deep seated pleasure. It is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful behavior.
There is the facet of peace: which means to bind together, to join, to weave together. It means that a person is bound, woven and joined together with himself and with God and others.
There is the facet of longsuffering: which includes patience, bearing and suffering a long time, perseverance, being constant, steadfast, and enduring. Long-suffering never gives in; it is never broken no matter what attacks it.
There is the facet of gentleness: which is being kind and good, useful and helpful, gentle and sweet, considerate and gracious through all situations no matter the circumstances.
There is the facet of goodness: it is being full of virtue and excellence, kindness and helpfulness, peace and consideration.
There is the facet of faith or faithfulness: which means to be faithful and trustworthy; to be loyal and steadfast in devotion and allegiance.
There is the facet of meekness: which means to be gentle, tender, humble, mild, considerate, but strongly so.
There is the facet of temperance: which means to master and control the body or the flesh with all of its lusts.
From Galatians 5:25 we see that the believer is to walk consistent with his position in Christ. To be in Christ is to be in God’s Spirit. When the believer trusts Jesus Christ as his Savior, God places His Spirit in the heart of the believer. The Spirit is placed there to guide and direct the believer day by day. Therefore, the believer is to walk in the Spirit; he is to live just as the Spirit of God directs.
Then in Galatians 5:26 we see that the believer is to walk free from super-spirituality and envy. When believers are challenged to live spiritual lives, there is always the danger that some will become super-spiritual and others will begin to envy the spiritual gifts of those who are genuinely spiritual and greatly blessed by God. We must guard against the danger of super-spirituality. There is the temptation of pride and of showing superiority. It is the attitude that says, “I have it, and you don’t.” This attitude, of course, irritates and provokes people. It causes division within the church. The Scriptures are filled with warnings such as, “Woe unto you that are full [who say they are full]! For ye shall hunger. Or, “Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25).
But, there is also the danger of envy. We must not allow the blessings of God in the lives of others to drive us to be envious of others, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” (Romans 13:13) We should rejoice for and join in with those who are demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit.
The question is simple, are you a true believer who demonstrates all nine facets of the fruit of the Spirit? If you are not, then why?