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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Holy Spirit and Us

Don Stewart :: What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?

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What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?

The Holy Spirit and Us – Question 17

The Bible calls Spirit-led behavior the “fruit of the Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit has visible results. Scripture lists the fruit of the Spirit in the letter to the Galatians. Paul wrote the following.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22, 23 ESV).

These qualities begin to show themselves in a person’s life who is filled with the Spirit. This produces a Christlike character in the individual. These attributes can be explained as follows.


Love consists of showing tenderness and kindness to others. In fact, we are told to look out for the needs of others. Paul wrote to the Philippians.

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4 NKJV).

We demonstrate our live by showing kindness toward others. Love, however, can also be stern. Jesus Himself drove the moneychangers out from the temple because they were corrupting God’s law. He did this as an act of love.


Joy can be experienced in tough times as well as good times. Simon Peter wrote about the joy that believers can experience even in the midst of suffering.

In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials (1 Peter 1:6 NRSV).

We can be joyful even in the midst of trials. This is how the fruit of the Spirit evidences itself in our lives.


The Bible says the peace that God provides passes human understanding. Paul explained this to the Philippians when he wrote.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 NRSV).

Peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather it is the experience of rest and assurance through difficult times. This is something that only can come from God Himself. We cannot produce this type of inner peace on our own.


Longsuffering is another word for patience. The more Christlike we become the more we will be patient with others. The Bible says God is patient with us so that we will turn to Him. Peter explained it in this manner.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV).

Patience is learned through times of testing. Again, this is a work which the Lord does in our lives as we learn to be controlled with the Holy Spirit.


Kindness and goodness speak of helpful deeds done toward others. We are instructed to show kindness to all. Paul wrote.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32 NASB).

The Bible says that we should show kindness to all. Notice he also said that we are to forgive others in the same way as Christ has forgiven us. This means we are to show them complete forgiveness. Again, this is something which we must allow the Holy Spirit to do. Indeed, we do not have the capacity to do this in our own strength.


Faithfulness means dependability. The Bible makes it clear that the God of Scripture is always dependable. Jeremiah wrote.

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22, 23 NIV).

Although everyone else may fail, He never fails.

The Results of Being Filled

When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit it will lead him into an attitude of worship and thanksgiving toward God. Paul gave the following command to the believers in Ephesus.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV).

When we are controlled by God’s Spirit there will be visible results. Indeed, the fruit of the Spirit will be demonstrated in our lives.

The Believer Will Serve the Lord

The filling of the Holy Spirit will also lead the believer into Christina service. Jesus promised power to believers in order that they may proclaim the good news about Him to others.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth (Acts 1:8 NET).

One of the many results of being filled with the Spirit is the desire to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ.

In sum, we find that the fruit of the Spirit will manifest itself in many ways in the life of the believer.

Summary – Question 17
What Is the Fruit of the Spirit?

When a Christian becomes filled or controlled with the Holy Spirit of God they begin to produce what is known as “the fruit of the Spirit” in their life. This includes such things as love, joy, and peace. These fruits are visibly displayed when a person is filled or controlled with the Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit has become evident in the believer’s life, the results are worship, thanksgiving and service. There is also the power to preach the message of Jesus Christ to the world.

Each of these fruits is on display when the Spirit of God is working in the lives of Christians. Our goal, therefore, should be to produce these fruits so that we can glorify God.

Is Speaking in Tongues Always a Result of Being Filled with the Spirit? ← Prior Section
How Does the Holy Spirit Help Free the Believer from Sin? Next Section →
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