Looking for an interactive fruit of the spirit Bible study? What is your favorite fruit? Now close your eyes and imagine a huge backyard full of an endless supply of this fruit. You are allowed access to eat as many as you want and no matter what season it is, the fruit continues to flourish. Such should be the life of a Christian.
Fruit is not just a food that is a part of our diets, but it is a necessity in our spiritual lives as well! Going through a Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study is beneficial for understanding the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and what character qualities we need to possess as followers of Christ.
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What are the Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible?
The fruits of the Spirit are found and listed in the new testament book of Galatians. Galatians is a letter written by the apostle Paul to the people of Galatia after helping to start churches on his first missionary journey to Asia Minor. He wrote it in response to hearing that a group of Judaizers living under the Mosaic Law had begun influencing the new converts away from the Gospel of grace. Paul responds by emphasizing that it is by grace alone through faith in Jesus that we are saved, not by works and that the evidence of salvation is a life lived by walking in the Spirit.
“The Spirit-fueled development of Christ-like character is liberating, because it brings us closer to being the people we were designed to be, the people our Spirit-renewed hearts want us to be.” – Tim Keller
The fruits of the Spirit are opposite to what our flesh produces. Galatians 5:19-21 says that our sinful nature includes sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.
On the contrary, living by the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You can find the nine characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
The Greek word for fruit is “karpos.” This word can translate to mean “a result of something, profit, or work.” When the Fruit of the Spirit is displayed in our lives, it shows the beneficial results of a life surrendered to God. It is an inheritance that is generously given to us by God.
What Does it Mean to Have A Fruit of the Spirit?
In God’s Word, fruit can symbolize two types: inward or outward. Outward fruit are the things that you do while inward fruit is who you are becoming. The Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5 is a type of inward fruit. They are virtues that are produced by the Holy Spirit when we are connected to Jesus. John 15:5 says that apart from Christ we can do nothing, specifically bear much fruit.
An important thing to note is that it does not say “fruits” of the Spirit, but “fruit” of the Spirit. If there are nine characteristics listed, then why use the singular “fruit”? Unlike the sins of the flesh, the Fruit of the Spirit cannot be separated. Meaning, that you need to exhibit all the virtues at once. You do not get to say that one day you want to show love, joy, and peace but not patience, kindness, or faithfulness. They are all displayed together to those who are walking in the Spirit.
Fruits of the Spirit Bible Study?
The nine virtues of the fruit of the Spirit are all distinct and important qualities that both God and His Son Jesus exhibit. They sometimes overlap in meaning but all work together to reveal Christ-like character. We will take a look at the definition of each fruit and give an example of how that fruit looks practically lived out in a Christian’s life.
Love Fruit of the Spirit
Aptly listed first is the fruit of love. Between faith, hope, and love, love is the greatest of all. Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. People will know if we are Christians by the way we love.
The characteristics of love are listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. The Bible says that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, not easily angered, does not keep a record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Because God is love, we need to look to Him to show us how to love deeply and sincerely. Love goes beyond feelings. It reveals itself in action despite how we may feel. It is self-sacrificial, not driven by emotional stimulation, and is the noblest virtue. We are even told by Jesus to love our enemies. If someone hates or offends us, we are still to treat them with respect and care for them as if they were our own brother or sister. We are to put others’ needs and interests before our own. Praying for those who ill-treat you is also a way to show God’s agape love to others.
Joy Fruit of the Spirit
Happiness means that you like the circumstances that you are in. But joy is an immovable, constant satisfaction and contentment despite your circumstances. There is a joy we receive in our salvation as well as the joy that Jesus had that he gives to us. In Christ, we are hyper conquerors. No weapon formed against us can steal this type of joy. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him. It overcomes all obstacles.
Joy does not mean we will always be in a good mood. It is an attitude and posture of delighting in God and choosing to rejoice at all times. Being joyful means that you do not allow negative thoughts or feelings to rule and dictate your actions and spirit. It is understanding that suffering does not overpower the promises of God, but will enable it to accomplish its purposes in your life. In this way, there is every reason to rejoice.
Peace Fruit of the Spirit
Believing that God is in complete control will give us a peace that surpasses understanding. The peace that you experience is when there is complete calm and tranquility in your mind and soul. Your heart is not troubled. You are void of anxiety, doubt, or fear. Your trust is in who God says He is and what He says He will do. Like joy, it is unrelated to circumstances. It is a confidence in God that eliminates fear.
Even though peace is something we experience internally, it is also something we carry out externally. Jesus said in the Beatitudes that blessed are the peacemakers. We are not to merely keep peace, but to diligently create it as well. Peacemaking may look like restraining your tongue during a disagreement or it may look like speaking the truth in love. It is a “we” not “me” attitude that seeks to work together for unity.
Patience Fruit of the Spirit
Patience is also known as “longsuffering.” There are two types of patience you can apply in your life: patience during a life circumstance or patience with people. This fruit of patience is the greek word “makrothumia” which translates to “long temper/distant anger.” It is a type of patience with people that is not easily irritated, intolerant, or quick-tempered. Romans 2:4 describes God as wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient with us.
To be patient with others means to be slow to anger. Even when others have differing opinions from you or are not living up to your standards, patience is showing empathy and compassion to another person despite their actions. It is the ability to restrain instead of retaliating.
Kindness Fruit of the Spirit
In the King James Version, the word kindness is translated as “gentleness.” The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs and it means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” It is God’s kindness that leads us to salvation. His kindness also protects us, restores us, provides for us, helps us, and rescues us. It is a heart attitude that looks for ways to serve and be a blessing to others out of genuine concern. It is thoughtful, not self-serving, and treats others with no partiality.
Showing kindness looks like doing good to others when you are able to. Your words and actions are seasoned with grace with no harshness added to them. It is giving more than expected and intentionally looks to ease the suffering of another. Genuinely kind people do not do things to receive accolades or acknowledgment but they do it for the sincere benefit of another.
Goodness Fruit of the Spirit
The Greek word for goodness is “agathosune” which means “uprightness of life and heart.” It is a word that is directly related to moral goodness. It is a virtue of holiness in action and seeks to live a life that is right and pleasing to God. Goodness is honest, virtuous, and full of integrity. Psalm 25:8 says that the Lord is good and does what is right. Without goodness, we would not have justice.
Showing goodness in our lives means doing our best to keep away from sin and to lead others away from it as well. It is “doing the right thing” even when you may be the only one who does it. You do not follow the trends or the culture but you follow what is right in God’s sight. Good people do not just do the right thing; they make things right.
Faithfulness Fruit of the Spirit
The more we are faithful to God, the more we become faithful in everything else in our lives. Faithfulness is being trustworthy, honest, reliable, consistent, loyal, and dependable. It is living and believing beyond feelings but by who God says He is and what He will do. In 2 Timothy 2:13 it says that even when we are faithless, God remains faithful because He cannot deny Himself. The epitome of faithfulness is found in God and that is where we find our hope.
Faithfulness lived out is letting our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no.” It is being stable in our relationship with God and with others. It is choosing to be true to our word and following through with our promises even when we do not feel like it. We can say we love others but faithfulness is loving them with actions and not just with words. In a world with so many broken promises and inconsistencies, faithfulness is a much-needed fruit of the Spirit.
Gentleness Fruit of the Spirit
Also translated as “meekness,” gentleness requires a lot of humility. It can be described as having a mild, kind, and calm temperament. Although some may see this characteristic as a type of weakness, it actually takes great strength to be gentle in a world that prizes power and position. Gentle people are not harsh, apathetic, or insensitive. Isaiah 40:11 describes the Lord as a gentle shepherd. A gentle person is one who is tender-hearted and void of any unforgiveness, bitterness, or jealousy.
To possess gentleness, we need to leave judgment up to God in regard to people and issues. Then we will be able to handle others in a manner that is loving and encouraging but truthful. Even if we know the truth, we do not speak it in a way that is prideful. And when we are offended, we do not allow coarse words to spark an argument. Gentleness realizes that we are all sinners in need of a savior.
Self-Control Fruit of the Spirit
Another word for self-control used in the Bible is “temperance.” It is the ability to control oneself, especially over our sinful nature. To display this virtue requires discipline and restraint over our thoughts, words, and actions. It does not act on impulse or urgency but on priority and importance. Even though Christ’s sacrifice has freed us from the power of sin, we are still at war with the flesh and the Spirit. Thus, self-control is needed to continue living a godly, wise, and fruitful life.
Because we live in a fast-paced and easily accessible world, the fruit of self-control is even more necessary to live a life that is obedient to Christ. It is not giving in to our worldly desires but choosing to pursue purity. It is living beyond our emotions and using our willpower to overcome the things that attack our best lives as believers. It can even mean restraining from “good” things to pursue “God” things. Meditating on God’s Word will aid in the ability to demonstrate this virtue.
How to Develop The Fruits of the Spirit
The only way we are able to access the fruit is if we have become born-again Christians. This is because we cannot develop the Fruit of the Spirit by our own flesh or might, but we need the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is given only to those who truly repent and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The Pharisees, or religious leaders in Jesus’ time, followed the law but were unable to understand the heart of it. Because of their lack of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, they were unable to bear the good fruit that God desired of them.
Although the Fruit of the Spirit is something that we are divinely given, it is also something that takes effort on our part to exhibit and cultivate. Upon salvation, you receive the Fruit of the Spirit as long as you remain walking in the Spirit. But you mature in the fruit as you grow and deepen in your faith and knowledge of God. If you feel like you cannot grow in any of the virtues, it is a mindset you have that you are choosing to walk in the flesh.
When we are given difficult situations that test our character, they are opportunities to deny the flesh, be led by the Spirit, and deepen the virtues. To be fruitful in every season we need to implement the spiritual disciplines of reading God’s Word, praying, and fellowshipping with other Christians. Denying the flesh is never easy, but the more we feed the Spirit, the more we desire the things of the Spirit. When Galatians 5:23 says that there is “no law against them,” that means that you can never show too much love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!
Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible
The Fruit of the Spirit is a beautiful bouquet of nine virtues that are powered by the Holy Spirit and mark those who choose to deny the flesh and walk in the Spirit. These virtues are perfectly modeled by God and Jesus and are the evidence of a transformed heart. It requires denying the flesh, but this denial releases the freedom that gives us the most gratification in life. The Fruit of the Spirit is a reflection of how great God is and it is one of the best things that the Holy Spirit does in us so God can be seen through us.
Additional Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study Resources