This post is the last lesson in a 6-week study series on the Fruit of the Spirit. (You can still access previous posts: Intro, One, Two, Three, Four or Five.) You can read today’s post and make notes in a journal or print the PDF version.
When we began this study, I mentioned my lemon tree. How it budded and bloomed. How the little lemons began to grow. Six weeks later the lemons weren’t ready to harvest. The fruit was still growing; the lemons still green. Fruit production takes time. But I did eventually drink lemonade!
Like physical fruit needs time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. We must work consistently to crucify the old nature. We must continually refuse to give in to our fleshly desires and yield our will to the Spirit’s. We can say “no” to our sinful nature, accept the “way out” God provides, and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
As we grow, the characteristics of Christ – fruit of the Spirit – will be manifested in our lives. As the Spirit transforms us more and more into the image of Christ, we will produce a beautiful, bountiful fruit harvest!
Get to Know the Qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit
In Week Two, we discussed the meaning of “fruit.” The Greek word “karpos” refers to the natural product of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside every believer. The word is singular, signifying that “fruit” is a unified whole. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary suggests we think of the fruit as a “bunch of grapes instead of separate pieces of fruit.” As we grow in Christ-likeness we will produce all the characteristics of His nature.
In this week’s printable PDF lesson, you will work through definitions for each quality of the Holy Spirit’s fruit and see other passages in God’s Word that will help you cultivate them in your life. You don’t want to miss that! But here in the post, I thought I’d share a little trick that helped me memorize Galatians 5:22-23.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience (forbearance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23, NIV 1984
Early in this study, I challenged you to memorize Galatians 5:22-23. Years ago, when I tried to memorize the passage, I kept missing some of the qualities or getting them out of order. But then I noticed a pattern in the qualities in the way they were listed in the passage. (Note: This was using the 1984 NIV translation.)
There are 9 qualities. The 1st three each have one syllable, the 2nd three each have two syllables, and the 3rd three each have three syllables. Learning the qualities in 3 groups of three caused a memorization breakthrough! I hope it helps you.
Prepare for a Fruitful Harvest
We’ve talked facts and definitions. Now, let’s get personal. It’s time to do a fruit check. This is between each of us and God. Spend some quiet time with Him now and reflect on each characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit.
Ask God to show you the quality of the Spirit’s fruit in your life. Think about some recent circumstances. Was the Spirit’s character manifested in your life or did you allow your natural, sinful character to take over?
Although we will battle our fleshly nature for the rest of our lives, we become more sensitive to the Spirit’s leading as we mature and learn to recognize His voice. As we end our study, I pray God will encourage, strengthen, and grow you in the days ahead!
Let’s talk: What did you learn in this study series that has encouraged or challenged you the most?