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The Fruits of the Spirit: Required behaviour or characters of a winning

Christian Life
Anchor Scripture

Galatians 5:22-23: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” NKJV

Read Also

Galatians 5:19-21: “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication,
uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath,
selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of
which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things
will not inherit the kingdom of God.” NKJV

Introduction
Successful Christian living is God’s desire for His Children, but like in all things that are of God, they are
in contradiction to human nature, as such; a person that is not living by the Holy Spirit can hardly live a
normal Christian Life not to talk of living a successful one.

God’s desire for our successful Christian Life is summed up in the book of Jeremiah 29 verse 11 which
reads thus in several translations for better understanding:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and
not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – KJV

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.” – The Living Bible

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and
well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – AMP

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – NIV

These words essentially spell out God’s desired life and the expected outcome of the lives of His
children.

As such, when we live a Holy Spirit filled and guided life, we will gradually acquire and exhibit all the 9
characters that are stated in our anchor scripture (Gal 5:23)

For better understanding, we are going to treat each character in more detail. We shall also accompany
our learning with prayers and supplications to our God to grant us the Grace to successfully acquire
each of these characters.

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Fruit 1: Love
Christian Love is characterised as Agape Love, one that denotes an undefeatable benevolence and
unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest in others, no matter their behaviour.

This love 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.

Every born-again Christian is expected to demonstrate this love in higher degrees as they mature in
Christ.

Apostle Paul describes this Love more clearly in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8


“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not
[a]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [b]thinks
no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes
all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are
prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is
knowledge, it will vanish away.” NKJV

Prayer Point:

Father Lord, please grant me the Grace to Love you with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my
spirit. Engrace me to love like you do, always patient, always kind, hardly seeking my own benefit but
seeking the good of others.

[1 Jn 3:18, 4:16, 4:8; Pr 29:23, 16:19; James 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6; Mt 18:4, 23 :12]

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Fruit 2: Joy
Christian Joy is a deep, confident and satisfying feeling of well-being based on our spiritual, eternal
circumstances. The joy referred to here is deeper than mere happiness, but it is rooted in God and
comes from Him.

Since it comes from God, it is more serene and stable than worldly happiness, which is merely emotional
and lasts only for a time.

Christian Joy is a primary ingredient for sustaining a Christian’s life, as It helps a Christian to retain
his/her Faith in the journey of life when we encounter both pleasant and challenging experiences.

As we cling tight to Jesus, abiding daily in our saved state in Him, we will experience the fullness of joy
that He promised us in John 15:4-11:
‘”4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in
the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather
them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My
words abide in you, you[a] will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this
My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples. 9 As the Father
loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you
will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may
be full.” NKJV

Prayer Point:

Father Lord, please grant me the Grace to abide in you with all my heart, with all my soul and with all
my spirit. Help me to live in you, by obeying your commandments to the point where I shall bear much
fruit and bring glory to your name. [John 15:4-11]

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Fruit 3: Peace
Christian Peace is a state of wholeness, completeness, or tranquillity in the soul that is unaffected by
outward circumstances or pressures.

As born-again Christians we are entitled to the Peace of God when we are in Christ; for Jesus is described
as the Prince of Peace, who brings peace to the hearts of those who desire it.

Jesus 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".

Also, he says in Matthew 5:9:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

Prayer Point:

Lord Jesus, our Prince of Peace; please grant me your Peace so that I may be steadfast in my Faith and
abide in your whenever I am under pressure or I encounter trials or tribulations. [John 14:27]

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Fruit 4: Patience (Long suffering)
Patience can have several descriptions, but it can literally describe a man who could avenge himself but
did not. This word is often used in the Greek Scriptures in reference to God and his attitude to man.
Exodus 34:6 describes the Lord as "slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."

Patience, which in some translations is "longsuffering" or "endurance", when translated from Greek
language, patience can be described as having a "long temper". The word denotes lenience,
forbearance, fortitude, patient endurance, longsuffering.

It is the ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment. It describes a person who has the power to
exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint.

Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance.
These are all attributes of a strong and matured Christian. 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. This attribute should not be mistaken for cowardice or
hopelessness.

As Christians, we need to realise that satan knowing he cannot confront us directly always seeks to play
dirty tricks on believers or use carnal people against us. Satan uses the carnal man; with their carnal
attributes shown in Galatians 5:19-21 to fight against us.

If we as Christians take time to meditate, we will notice that we often contend against this very works
of the flesh, either within us; or from others:
Galatians 5:19-21: “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery,
[b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions,
jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, disagreements, heresies, 21 envy,
[c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I
also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom
of God.” NKJV

How many times have we had to contend with our own jealously, anger selfish ambitions or adulterous
and immoral behaviour? What about our contentions with the jealousies, anger, wilful disagreements
and envy of others?

The principal tool that we can use to win the war of the flesh against us is deep humility as described in
Ephesians 4:2
Ephesians 4:2 “1 I, therefore, the prisoner [a]of the Lord, [b]beseech you to walk worthy
of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with
longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavouring to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Prayer Point:

Lord Jesus, our King; please empower me with your Grace to be patient in difficult times, so that I may
resist all the attack of the enemy [James 4:7] and that I may not enter into the temptation that can lead
to my downfall.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

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Fruit 5: Kindness
Kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do. Kindness is goodness in action,
sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence (having compassion), having
generosity, being friendly and pleasantly sociable.

The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit
removes abrasive (harsh) qualities from the character of one under His control.

Kindness is a Spiritual Fruit that helps a Christian to be well received and live in peace in his or her
immediate community or while on the journey of life.

Anyone who demonstrated kindness is considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic,


humane, kind, or gentle. Kind people are always well received in society. Kindness is a Godly attribute;
the apostle Paul uses this word to illustrate God's incomprehensible kindness for people who are
unsaved. This is presented in the bible in the following verses:
Romans 11:22 “22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who
fell, severity; but toward you, [a]goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you
also will be cut off.” New King James Version (NKJV)

Ephesians 2:7 “7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace…” New King James Version (NKJV)

Titus 3:3-5 “3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving
various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4
But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 not by
works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,” New King James
Version (NKJV)

Finally, as we now know that Kindness is applied to interpersonal relationships, the primary idea behind
it is being adaptable to others; rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and
desires, when the Spirit of Kindness is working in a believer, he or she seeks to become adaptable to
the needs of those who are around him.

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"

Prayer Point:

Lord Jesus, our Lord; please give me the spirit of kindness; to help me to act for the good of the
people around me regardless of what they do.

Help me to be focused on you when doing good, expecting nothing in return from man, that I may
receive your more rewarding heavenly blessings. Amen.

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Fruit 6: Goodness
Goodness is another fruit of the spirit related to Kindness, but it is different. Goodness is a state (or
enduring character) or quality of being good. Moral excellence is a proof of one’s goodness. A good
person is distinguished by the good works he or she manifests in secret and openly.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 describes the attribute of goodness:


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 “11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would
count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of His goodness and the
work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in
you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” New
King James Version (NKJV)

The New International Version presents it more clearly:


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 “11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God
may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your
every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that
the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace
of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. New International Version (NIV)

Goodness is not only attributed in moral character and our relationships, goodness also extends to the
work of our hands. We must endeavour to ensure that all the work we produce is of good quality;
thereby demonstrating our value and consequently exhibiting God’s glory in our lives.

Prayer Point:

Our Father who art in heaven; please help me to achieve goodness both in my character, my relationship
with people and at work; so that your name will be glorified in my life in Jesus Name. Amen.

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Fruit 7: Faithfulness
The word faithfulness is derived from the word pistis which literally translates to the word Faith in
English. Faithfulness means to be persuaded, or in the Christian context as being Divine Persuasion,
received from God, and never generated by man.

Faithfulness is characterized by the following words:

• (objectively) being trustworthy;


• (subjectively) being trustful: — believing, sure, true

In the Bible, the word faithfulness is used to show that a person is:

• trusty or faithful
o these are of persons who show themselves faithful in:
▪ the transaction of business
▪ the execution of commands, or
▪ the discharge of official duties
o one who kept his plighted faith, worthy of trust
o people that can be relied on
• easily persuaded
o believing, confiding, trusting
o in the NT one who trusts in God's promises
o one who is convinced that Jesus has been raised from the dead
o one who has become convinced that Jesus is the Messiah and author of salvation

Without mincing words, Faith is the core character needed for a successful Christian life. Why? Because
a Christian who will be victorious in life must have Faith in God. Having faith in God means to be totally
persuaded that God in all his manifestation (as the Father Jehovah, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit) is
our only hope for Victory and Salvation in Life.

This truth is illustrated in:


Hebrews 11:6 “6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to
God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
KJV

Hebrews 11:6 “6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who
comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek
him.” NIV

When we are fully persuaded that God is all we need for Victory and Salvation, that is the only time that
God will entrust us with all that we need for a Victorious Christian Life here on Earth and gain access to
his heavenly Kingdom.

This truth is illustrated in:


Isaiah 25:1 “1 Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect
faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” NIV

Prayer Point:

Our Father in Heaven, please help me to increase my Faith in you so that I can earn your trust; while I
grow in persuasion that you are my only hope for a Victorious and Eternal Life. And as my faith grows
in you, Lord release your blessings, honour and glory in my life. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

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Fruit 8: Gentleness
The fruit of gentleness, which also be described as meekness is "a divinely-balanced virtue that can only
operate through faith”. This fruit is aptly described in the following verses from the book of Timothy:
1 Tim 6:11 “11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” NIV

2 Tim 2:22-25 “22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and
peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything
to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And
the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach,
not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant
them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,”

In the sixth chapter of the first book of Apostle Paul to Timothy, the Apostle advised that we the children
of God should be contented with whatever we have; we must resist all desire to get “rich” (vs. 6) (or
rather, getting rich for riches sake to satisfy our lustful desires) will definitely lead into temptation and
a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction (vs. 9). It
has also been proved time and again that the love of money (instead of the love of God) is a root of all
kinds of evil. This eagerness for money, have led many astray from the faith and caused them to many
self-inflicted griefs.

Also, in the second chapter of the second book of Apostle Paul to Timothy, the Apostle again advised
us as Christians to be gentle and meek by keeping ourselves far from stupid arguments and quarrels
which do not edify. Rather, we should be kind to everyone and share God’s Word (timeless wisdom)
with everyone; whether they be our friends, enemies or opponents in the hope that God will grant them
repentance.

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".

The fruit of gentleness (meekness) is a powerful weapon that protects us from falling from the Grace
of God, it also helps us to gain long term respect of others whether they are friends or enemies.

Gentleness also helps us to preserve the souls of our brethren around as described in Apostle Paul’s
letter to the Galatians:
Gal. 6:1 "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”

Finally, the fruit gentleness is a very vital tool for living in peace and also influencing our community
positively. This is illustrated in Apostle Paul’s advise to the people of Ephesus:
Eph. 4:2 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”.

Prayer Point:

Lord Jesus, our ultimate example of gentleness, please teach me to be gentle with myself and other
people, bearing them in humility and patience that I may grow in love in you, preserving the souls
around me. Amen!

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Fruit 9: Self-control
Self-control or "egkrateia" is the Greek word used in Galatians 5:23 is, meaning "strong, having mastery,
able to control one's thoughts and actions."

This is one of the most difficult fruits to exhibit as a Christian. A Christian who can exhibit this gift can
be described as being mature indeed. We are encouraged to desire this gift as Christians as stated by
Apostle Peter in 2 Pet 1:5-7:
2 Pet 1:5-7 “5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make
every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, [a]develop moral excellence, and in moral
excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your
godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love
[that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]”
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Self-control is one of the important tools we need to fight against temptation. This we learn from 1
Corinthians 10:13:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “13 No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed
you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond
human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and
trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along
with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out
as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome
temptation with joy].” Amplified Bible (AMP)

We need self-control especially when we are undergoing serious trials and temptation. Satan, knowing
our period of trials will always come with various enticements to get us to yield to our earthly challenges
and thus lose our Heavenly Crowns. This is vividly described in Satan’s temptation of our Lord Jesus who
after fasting for 40 days was tempted with food, but through self-control; Jesus overcame Satan. If Jesus
had failed this test, he would not have been able to start his ministry on Earth.

Please let us keep praying for the Fruit of Sell-Control to be manifested in our lives. This is because when
we have self-control we are able to win many battles of life; and as we win each of life’s battle; we
receive Divine Strength, Grace and Favour from God to live a blessed and productive life. This is
described in Proverbs 16:32:
Proverbs 16:32 “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one
who takes a city.” New International Version (NIV)

Prayer Point:
Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to continue to abide in you in Spirit so that I may grow in
the control of myself, thus gaining your trust and your blessings. Amen!

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