Galatians 5:22-26 (NLT)
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited or irritate one another or be jealous of one another.
All of the fruit listed above are aspects of God’s grace except faithfulness and self-control.
A way for me to understand the fruit of the Spirit is to compare it with the fruit of an orange. The orange gives us a good example of how a fruit can have several different sections surrounded by a peel and be a single fruit. In comparing the fruit of the Spirit, the peel is God’s perfect love and the different sections inside reflect what we experience when God’s unconditional love is received in us and exercised through us.
When the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control we are exhibiting the character of God in us. It is my belief that the Apostle Paul does not limit the fruit of the Spirit to just these character traits. When the Holy Bible mentions other character traits that are a result of the Holy Spirit working in our heart; I believe these too are fruit from the Holy Spirit.
Character traits such as holiness, humility, mercy, grace, sincerity, contentment, thankfulness, perseverance, and putting others needs before our own are all a result of the Holy Spirit working in us. As the Holy Spirit produces these character traits in us the people who have known us are able to see we are being transformed. We are no longer who we were as we begin to mature, reflecting the image and character of our God.
What an awesome way for God to reveal Himself, His glory and the richness of His grace to you and through you to your family and the world today. He does this by fully loving each of us as individuals, accepting us completely and yet not being content to let us remain as we are. The signs and wonders the world is looking for, the tangible proof that God is real and that Jesus is alive is made evident through us, His children.