Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Fruit of the Spirit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fruit of the Spirit is a a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life, according to Paul's Letter to the Galatians chapter 5. Apparently, these are not individual "fruits" (attributes) from which to pick and choose. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one ninefold "fruit" that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ─physical manifestation of a Christian's transformed life.[1]

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23, KJV

The virtues are given in a pleonastic style which rhetorician George Kennedy describes as "The cumulation of a series of words which seem to come pouring out of his heart" (p. 90). This is a common stylistic feature of the Apostle Paul's writing. See Romans 1:29-31; 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:20
 ; Galatians 5:19-23;Philippians 4:8



1 Love (Greek: agape)
2 Joy (Greek: chara)
3 Peace (Latin: pax, Greek: eirene)
4 Patience (Latin: longanimitas)
5 Kindness (Latin: benignitas)
6 Goodness (Latin: bonitas)
7 Faithfulness (Latin: fides)
8 Gentleness (Latin: mansuetudo)
9 Self-control (Latin: continentia)
10 See also
11 Source
12 External links

Love (Greek: agape)

Main article: Agape

The word rendered love is agape in the Greek, which in the Christian context refers to unconditional love. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance describes Agape as:

Strong's #26: A word to which Christianity gave new meaning. Outside of the NT, it rarely occurs in existing Greek manuscripts of the period. Agape denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest of the other, no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of its object. Agape is more a love by choice than philos, which is love by chance; and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world. The "Agape" love is more than that, is sacrificial, demonstrated by Jesus at the Cross of Calvary.

Paul describes the attributes of this love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a


"Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening. [Love never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. Love never fails." (AMP)

Joy (Greek: chara)

See also: Eudaimonia

The Greek word for 'joy' is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for 'grace.' This is important to note, for it tells us categorically that chara is produced by charis of God. This means 'joy' is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes...Rather, true 'joy' is divine in origin...it is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 1:6

, the Thessalonians were under great stress due to persecution; yet in the midst of it all, they continued to experience great joy. In fact, the Greek strongly implies that their supernatural joy was due to the Holy Spirit working in them. Paul even called it the "joy of the Holy Ghost". (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

According to Nehemiah 8:10

, "The joy of the Lord is your strength". The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews words it this way: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."[Heb 12:2]

Peace (Latin: pax, Greek: eirene)

Main article: Peace

Peace is the result of resting in a relationship with God (Naked Fruit by Elisa Morgan). Peace is a tranquility, a state of rest, that comes from seeking after God, or, the opposite of chaos.

The word "peace" comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos. When a person is dominated by peace, he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even in the midst of circumstances that would normally be very nerve-wracking, traumatic, or upsetting...Rather than allowing the difficulties and pressures of life to break him, a person who is possessed by peace is whole, complete, orderly, stable, and poised for blessing. (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace, who brings peace to the hearts of those who desire it. He says in John 14:27

: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." NKJV

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict." -Anonymous

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."[Rom 5:1
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."[Rom 15:13]

Patience (Latin: longanimitas)

Main article: Patience

Patience, which in some translations is "longsuffering" or "endurance," is defined in Strong's by two Greek words, makrothumia and hupomone.

The first, pronounced (mak-roth-oo-mee-ah) comes from makros, "long," and thumos, "temper." The word denotes lenience, forbearance, fortitude, patient endurance, longsuffering. Also included in makrothumia is the ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment. It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint. (Strong's #3115)

The latter, hupomone, (hoop-om-on-ay) is translated "endurance": Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. The word combines hupo, "under," and mone, "to remain." It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat. (Strong's #5281)

Hebrews 10:36

says, "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." We are "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness".[Col 1:11]
 "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love".[Eph 4:2]

Kindness (Latin: benignitas)

Main article: Kindness

Kindness does not necessarily mean being nice. One can be kind and not nice. Nice is defined by dictionary.com as being agreeable. In contrast, kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do.

Strong's #5544: Kindness is goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control. (emphasis added)

The word kindness comes from the Greek word chrestotes (khray-stot-ace), which meant to show kindness or to be friendly to others and often depicted rulers, governors, or people who were kind, mild, and benevolent to their subjects. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of chrestotes was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind, or gentle. The apostle Paul uses this word to depict God's incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved (see Romans 11:22;Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4).

One scholar has noted that when the word chrestotes is applied to interpersonal relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when chrestotes is working in a believer, he seeks to become adaptable to the needs of those who are around him. (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

Kindness is doing something and not expecting anything in return. Kindness is respect and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back. It implies kindness no matter what. We should live "in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left".[2 Cor 6:6-7]
Goodness (Latin: bonitas)

See also: Summum bonum
The state or quality of being good
Moral excellence; virtue;
Kindly feeling, kindness, generosity
The best part of anything; Essence; Strength;
General character recognized in quality or conduct.

Popular English Bibles (e.g. NIV, NASB, NLT) translate the single Greek word chrestotes into two English words: kindness and goodness. "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power".[2 Thes 1:11] "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth".[Eph 5:9]
Faithfulness (Latin: fides)

Further information: Loyalty and Fealty


Faithfulness is committing oneself to something or someone, for instance, to God, to one's spouse. Being faithful requires personal resolve not to wander away from commitments or promises. It's not always easy to be faithful. It takes trust in God. "O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth".[Isaiah 25:1

] "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith".[Eph 3:16-17


Gentleness (Latin: mansuetudo)

Main article: Gentleness

Gentleness, in the Greek, praotes, commonly known as meekness. The New Spirit Filled Life Bible defines gentleness as

"a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, and that has the passions under control. The word is best translated 'meekness,' not as an indication of weakness, but of power and strength under control. The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults, and rules his own spirit well."

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted."[Gal 6:1

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."[Eph 4:2

Self-control (Latin: continentia)

Main article: Self-control

The word rendered self-control is enkrateia in the Greek. Strong's #1466. Self-control

The Greek word used in Galatians 5:23 is egkrateia, which means having command or mastery over (krat- as in "autocrat"), or possession of, one's own behavior.

"...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love."[2 Pet 1:5-7

George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism, (University of North Carlina Press: 1984)

Longman, Robert Jr. "Self-Control." Web: 19 Oct 2010. Spirit Home

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