Let’s return to the book of Galatians, where God clearly sets forth clearly the nine wonderful qualities and characteristics of the fruit of the spirit that He earnestly desires we exhibit in our Christian life.
Galatians 5:22,23 (Wuest):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
Meekness, self control. Against such things
as these there is no law.
God’s Word Today:
But the spiritual nature produces love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
gentleness and self-control. There are no
laws against things like that.
Our new creation in Christ will produce perfect fruit that has nine special and distinctive qualities. As our new life in Christ blossoms and grows, we become more and more like Jesus Christ in heart, character, and action. Jesus was the perfect manifestation of these nine qualities of the fruit of the spirit, and his life represented the fruit of the spirit in the most complete sense. Fruit is the character of Jesus Christ being manifested in the life of those he has redeemed. These nine characteristics are to be the distinctive mark of a fruitful, Christian life. God is glorified when we bear much fruit, and the fruit is a living witness that we have disciplined our lives to follow our Lord. In every good work that flows out of our new nature in Christ, one or more of these distinctive character traits will be present. It is like a circle of growth and development in becoming more Christ-like, as excelling in good works produces fruit that inspires and causes more good works, which produces more fruit.
Our good works rest and are rooted in these special, wonderful qualities of heart, so we should be especially motivated to devote ourselves to producing this spiritual fruit in our lives. These qualities are so rich, so magnificent, so awesome, and so life-changing that our life will make a radical transformation when this fruit begins to blossom in our
heart. There is a profound change in our moral character, our words, our thinking, our actions, and our heart when the fruit of the spirit is cultivated in our lives. The sin nature will try to suppress it; the world will try to distract us from walking by the spirit of God, and the devil will set up battle plans to choke the growth of our new nature so we will never produce this fruit.
The devil does not want you to have any of this spiritual fruit with its nine qualities in your life. He marshals the forces of evil to pull our heart and conduct away from God and to rather be in conformity with the lusts of the age and the selfishness of our flesh. The devil never wants this fruit to be produced, but rather wants it to wither up and shrivel away. The devil does not want our new nature to blossom into a bumper crop of spiritual fruit. If the devil had known that out of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection men and women would be born of God, with Christ in them, and able to produce the same spiritual fruit Jesus Christ exhibited in His life, he would never had crucified Jesus. With this fruit of the spirit abundant in our life, we can accomplish God’s plan for us and wreak havoc on Satan’s kingdom on the earth. This is why it is so important to put our heart, soul, mind, and strength into walking by this new nature in Christ and producing its wonderful fruit in our lives.
Let’s examine these nine attributes of the fruit of the spirit in more detail, as this will paint a vivid picture for you of what kind of man or woman you can be for the Lord Jesus Christ. The first attribute is love, and this is a love of such a quality that the world cannot replicate, for this is the very love of God produced in the heart of the believer. God is love, and He has given us the ability in our new nature to love like Jesus Christ loved. This is unconditional, sacrificial love in action that seeks the benefit of the one who is loved. This is a selfless love that is always giving. This love fills the heart with a desire and attitude for good for others with no strings attached. This is a love dedicated to service to God and others. This love seeks God’s goodness for another, no matter what the cost or sacrifice. This love flows from our divine new nature in Christ and is a love much purer and deeper than mere human love. This love is a perfect manifestation of the heart of God. This love represents who God is and always will be. This new love had been absent from the world since the fall of Adam and Eve, but Jesus Christ restored at Calvary the ability of men and women to once again love with the perfect and pure love of God. This is a spiritual love that is rooted in the heart of God-the highest form of love that can be expressed in the heavens or earth. This love’s perfect expression upon the earth was Jesus Christ, who walked in great love and compassion and gave up his life for you and me. This love energizes our faith and is the foundational quality of all Christian service and good works.
There is no better section of Scripture than I Corinthians 13 to describe the characteristics of this new love that is the first quality of the fruit of the spirit.
I Corinthians 13:4-8(a) (NIV):
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is
not easily angered, it keeps no records
Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
What an amazing quality of love that comes from our new nature in Christ. It is a love like nothing the world has ever seen. This love is never jealous, never evil, never impatient, never unkind, never prideful, never envious, and never selfish. This love is the absolute portrait of the goodness of God in all its vivid colors. This love always does good, always speaks good, always thinks good, and always acts to bring God’s goodness to another person’s life. This love never fails in any circumstance, in any condition, and in any life. E.W. Kenyon, in The Bible in Light of Our Redemption, writes the following about this new love: It breathes the fragrance of forgiveness. It is bravery, clothed in humility. It is strength
clothed in gentleness. It makes the strong bear the burdens of the weak, the rich pay the bills of the poor; the cultured becomes the companion of the ignorant. It is Christ manifest among men.
The devil fears this active love of God in a Christian’s life more than anything else, for it will melt and disrupt the works, schemes, and bondage of his kingdom on the earth. This love of God flowing out of a heart of the believer brings victory, power, and the love of Christ again upon the earth. A main weapon and tactic of our spiritual enemy is to steal, kill, and destroy this divine love in the heart of a son or daughter of God. He desires to harden the heart of the believer so it is stone dead to the love of God. Our new nature is a nature of love, and we are commanded by God Almighty to walk in love. God is building His love into our character through the new creation in Christ, and as we grow and bear fruit, our lives will be a sterling example of the awesome, matchless love of God. Without love, our lives will never blossom into the divine purpose that God has designed for each one of us. Without love, our lives will fail to rise to our mighty calling in Christ. Without love, our words and works are worthless to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Love is the master key to a life that is pleasing to God and a life that is priceless in the furtherance of the kingdom of God. We can never be great men and women of faith unless we are great men and women of love.
The second quality of the fruit of the spirit is joy. Joy is inner gladness, delight, exultation, and rejoicing that is grounded in a close relationship with God. Joy is much deeper than happiness, as joy is a spiritual quality of exuberant gladness that leads one to praise, sing, shout, and leap in great delight. Joy is not affected or changed by outside circumstances. Joy rests upon a firm knowledge of the truth concerning our salvation and all we have been made in Christ, including our future hope of everlasting life with our Lord. Joy is always linked to the grace of God and in the Greek actually comes from the same root as the word “grace” Joy rejoices in the magnificent grace of God and displays an inner awareness that by the grace of God we are who we are. Joy is a manifestation of living in the presence of God and gives us great strength to do what He has called us to do. Joy is a deep overwhelming jubilation that arises from our unwavering trust and love for God. Joy celebrates everything that God has done for us and everything he promises to do for us in the future. Joy is a true inner celebration and delight in the goodness of God.
The gospel of Jesus Christ brings good tidings of great joy to all who believe it. God does not want His children full of sorrow, depression, sadness, misery, and gloom. God wants us to be full of the same joy that filled the heart of Jesus Christ as He finished the work of his Father and glorified His name. Jesus even had joy as he hung on the cross, beaten beyond recognition as a human, because he knew he rested securely in his Father’s will and saw the future glory promised in the Scriptures. No matter how challenging the circumstance or how intense the trial of our faith, we can have deep- seated and overwhelming joy in our hearts. Joy is not to be a onetime occurrence or a periodic emotion, but God wants us to have exceeding joy and delight in Him every day of our lives.
Philippians 4:4 (Amplified):
Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden
yourself in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!
I Thessalonians 5:16 (New Living Translation):
Always be joyful.
The third quality of the fruit of the spirit is peace. We have looked at peace earlier in this book and defined it as “wholeness, completeness and soundness; it’s a harmony and unity of heart and soul because of a restored relationship with God, our Father; it is an inward and outward tranquility, a quiet assurance and a complete well-being where nothing is lacking or broken.” Peace is the symphony and harmony of life in which you enjoy all that is good because of your right relationship with God. It’s the freedom from being disturbed, agitated, stressed, and troubled. It is the absence of discord, strife, and anxiety. It is to be at ease and calmly unaffected by circumstance. Peace is the highest measure of contentment, joyfulness, happiness, and satisfaction in life. There is absolute security, safety, and victory at the center of peace. It is the absence of inward conflict, condemnation, and torment, but rather a state of rest, calmness, and quiet confidence.
True peace is oneness and complete unity with God, where there is a wonderful mutual sharing of the enjoyment of that bond and relationship. God is the origin and source of all peace; we have and enjoy peace because of our relationship with Him. His peace is our peace. His wholeness is our wholeness. His tranquility is our tranquility. His calmness is our calmness. His rest is our rest. Our peace flows from a vibrant, living fellowship and right relationship with God because of the complete salvation accomplished by Jesus at Calvary.
This peace is free from the rage, frenzy, havoc, and turmoil of the world that roars around us. The peace of God is a guarder and protector of the heart. Peace keeps the heart from being overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, and unrest. Peace is like the sentry who constantly mounts guard duty at the door of our hearts to prevent anxiety, fear, worry, and strife from entering. The peace of God is also to be the great ruler and umpire of our hearts, showing us the right and good path to take in life, where our heart can rest in a quiet assurance, contentment, and calmness without agitation and disturbance. We have the same peace that filled the heart of Jesus Christ-a peace that the world cannot offer or reproduce. Peace is such an awesome quality of life, especially in our uncertain times.
John 14:27 (Amplified):
Peace I leave with you; My own peace
I now give and bequeath to you: not as
the world gives do I give to you. Do not
let your hearts be troubled, neither let
them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves
to be agitated and disturbed, and do not
permit yourselves to be fearful and
intimidated and cowardly and unsettled].
Philippians 4:6,7 (New Living Translation):
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray
about everything. Tell God what you need,
and thank him for all he has done.
If you do this, you will experience God’s
peace, which is far more wonderful than
the human mind can understand. His peace
will guard your hearts and minds as you
live in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:15 (Amplified):
And let the peace (soul harmony which
comes) from Christ act as umpire
continually in your hearts (deciding and
settling with finality all questions that
arise in your minds, in that peaceful state)
to which as members of Christ’s one body
you were also called to live. And be
thankful (appreciative) giving praise to
The fourth quality of the fruit of the spirit is longsuffering. This word in the Greek means: to hold back anger, passion, and intense emotion in the face of provocation, ill-treatment, wrong accusations, and mistreatment by people. It is the quality of dealing with difficult people for a long time before becoming angry. It is to exercise self-restraint with one’s feelings or emotions regarding the oversights, mistakes, and wrongs of others without retaliating or seeking revenge. Longsuffering is patience and forbearance with people without “losing it” or bursting into anger. Longsuffering bears insult and injury
without bitterness, complaint or revenge. Longsuffering is patient endurance of people without flying off the handle or lashing out with venomous words or striking back with fury. Longsuffering is loving and patient tolerance in spite of people’s weakness and failure. It is the quality of holding off on getting upset and angry when you find another person’s conduct towards you difficult, bothersome, or exasperating.
In Barnes New Testament Commentary, he states concerning longsuffering, “No virtue, perhaps, is more frequently demanded in our intercourse with others. We do not go far with any fellow-traveler on the journey of life before we find there is great occasion for its exercise.” We live in a society where anger, impatience, and intolerance have defined so many relationships. Revenge, retaliation, and unforgiveness seem to be the way that is so popular to deal with the mistakes or wrongs of others. Oh, how the world needs people with the quality of longsuffering out of a heart of great love, care, and concern!
Longsuffering is one of the most wonderful characteristics of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Without longsuffering, salvation would never have been possible, because God would have given up on the human race a long time ago. But God has great loving patience and endurance that are not only etched repeatedly on the pages of the Bible, but also in our lives as we walk and grow as Christians. Without longsuffering, Jesus Christ would not have endured the suffering of the cross and the insults of the religious leaders and people for you and me. Without longsuffering, the Apostle Paul would have never stood as a mighty warrior, spreading the gospel around the world and penning the inspired Word of God. We must imitate and follow their examples, as longsuffering is a godly, spiritual quality that we must have in our relationships with others in order to bring God’s goodness into their lives. We cannot walk worthy of our calling in Christ without the exercise of longsuffering. It is a fundamental quality of dealing with people that should be part of our lifestyle as a
Christian. Longsuffering is also an essential quality to keep the unity of the Body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (New King James):
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you to walk worthy of the
calling with which you were called.
With all lowliness and gentleness, with
with longsuffering, bearing with one
another in love.
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace.
The fifth quality of the fruit of the spirit is kindness. The Greek word for “kindness” means: a generous, caring, warm-hearted nature that is helpful and beneficial to others. It is a nature that is sweet, gracious, good, and giving that reaches out for the benefits of others. Trench, in Synonyms of the New Testament, says that this word “kindness” means:
The expression of a beautiful grace…of
word and countenance, it is one pervading
and penetrating the whole nature, mellowing
there all which would have been harsh and
Kindness is to show goodness, tender concern, and gentleness to others. It is the opposite of a sharp, critical, cutting, sarcastic, harsh and belittling attitude. In kindness there is a complete absence of malice, bitterness, evil intent, jealously, anger, hypocrisy, and selfishness. Kindness is an overflowing of love and tenderness from the heart that delights in contributing to the needs and happiness of others. Kindness is a loving
compassion that is useful and beneficial in the service of others.
In Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, it states that kindness means “goodness in the sense of kindness of heart or act…goodness in action…goodness expressing itself in deeds…goodness expressing itself…in grace and tenderness and compassion.” Kindness is a characteristic of the goodness of God that manifests itself in gentleness, kindness, tenderness, gracefulness, and compassion. Kindness is an action or service word, as it does not simply sit isolated in one’s heart, but moves forward in service to accomplish the purposes of God. Kindness is an attitude of heart that is always ready and willing to do good. Kindness represents a heart that empathizes with people and gets into the valley of human need and touches people with
the heart of God.
Kindness is also a wonderful character trait of God that describes His heart through the ages in planning for the redemption and salvation of mankind from the fall of
Adam. God’s kindness that offered the free gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is so rich, so magnificent, and so glorious that throughout all the future ages of time, God will display and exhibit us as the pinnacle of His grace and kindness. We are going to be on display for the entire heavens and earth to see and glorify God for His amazing kindness and limitless grace. We will be monuments of God’s extraordinary kindness throughout all eternity.
Ephesians 2:4-7 (Amplified):
But God-so rich is He in His mercy!
Because of and in order to satisfy the
great and wonderful and intense love
with which He loved us,
Even when we were dead (slain) by our
own shortcomings and trespasses, He
made us alive together in fellowship and
in union with Christ; He gave us the
very life of Christ Himself, the same new
life for which He quickened Him, for it
by grace (His favor and mercy which you
did not deserve) that you are saved
(delivered from judgment and made
partakers of Christ’s salvation)
And He raised us up together with Him
and made us sit down together, giving
us joint seating with Him, in the heavenly
sphere by virtue of us being in Christ Jesus,
the Messiah, the Anointed One.
He did this so that He might clearly
demonstrate through the ages to come the
immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches
of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in
His kindness and goodness of heart toward
us in Christ Jesus.
If God’s kindness was so immeasurable and great toward us that when we were dead in our sins He made us alive in Christ, saving us and seating us together with Him in the heavens, shouldn’t we exhibit that same kindness toward others? Paul exhorts the church to let kindness be their lifestyle and manner of conduct toward others. We need to
begin with one kind word, one kind act, and one kind thought daily and build the habit of kindness until it becomes as effortless as breathing. Kindness attracts people to you and gives them comfort to share their hearts with you. We all crave kindness, and this spiritual kindness is to be of such a rich quality that it leads people in love to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is so important to our spiritual health to exercise kindness daily!
Ephesians 4:31, 32 (New Living Translation):
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh
words, and slander, as well as all types of
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another, just as God through
Christ has forgiven you.
The sixth quality of the fruit of the spirit is goodness. The word “goodness” in the Greek means: the quality of a person who is ruled by and aims at the good; a moral excellence; uprightness and honorableness in heart and life; virtue equipped at every point and in every circumstance; and excellence of character expressing itself in active good. This active goodness energizes service to others and energizes one to do what is right, pure, excellent, and morally worthy. Goodness is anchored in God, and we have seen in this book so many of the characteristics of the goodness of God. This Greek word is the broadest word used in the Bible for goodness and includes traits of love, kindness,
selflessness, humility, honor, faithfulness, and strength. Goodness stands up against evil and resists it. Goodness opposes evil and overcomes it in the power of God. Goodness instructs the heart on the right course of action and stands in direct contrast to the unfruitful works of darkness. Goodness upholds and follows the standards and principles of life set forth in the Bible. Goodness is a guardian of truth and actively puts truth into application to accomplish God’s good will and purpose. Goodness is the spiritual quality of character that is the foundation of our good works in Christ. Goodness challenges the sin nature’s voice of evil, and moves the heart and mind to actions that reflect the good heart of God, rather than the selfish heart of the sin nature.
Martin Lloyd-Jones, in his commentary Darkness and Light, says that goodness is “indicative of a perfect balance in the various parts of the personality. A good man is a balanced man, a man in whom everything that is noble and excellent works harmoniously together.” The good person’s actions are balanced – always able, willing, and ready to do the right thing. The person with the spiritual quality of goodness is zealous to do good and will not spare correction or reproof in order to produce goodness in others. Goodness combined with a knowledge of God’s Word gives one the ability to encourage, counsel, and warn people of the consequences of their behavior. This goodness is a sterling witness to people of the right character and the moral excellence that God expects of our lives. It encourages and motivates them to follow this example. Goodness does whatever
wisdom calls for in a situation and acts in a beneficial, useful, and loving way to bring people back to the heart of God. Goodness always acts in a manner that is pleasing to God.
Romans 15:14 (Amplified):
Personally I am satisfied about you, brethren,
that you yourselves are rich in goodness,
amply filled with all spiritual knowledge,
and competent to admonish and counsel and
instruct one another also.
Ephesians 5:8-11 (Amplified):
For once you were darkness, but now you
are light in the Lord; walk as children of
Light [lead the lives of those native-born
to the Light.]
For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the
Light or the Spirit consists in every form of
kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and
trueness of life.
And try to learn in your experience what is
pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant
proofs of what is most acceptable to Him.]
Take no part in and have no fellowship with
the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness,
but instead let your lives be so in contrast as
to expose and reprove and convict them.
The seventh quality of the fruit of the spirit is faithfulness. The Greek word is pistis, which is translated “faith” in the New Testament many times, but here the better translation is “faithfulness.” “Faith” is trust in God and His Word, while “faithfulness” is a perseverance and continued steadfast adherence to God and His Word. It is to be full of faith on a daily basis and to be faithful in obedience to God day after day. Since we have a deep-seated trust in God and His promises, then people can rely on our word, character and loyalty to be true and faithful. Faithfulness also means to have loyalty, reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, says it is “the character of one who can be relied on…one who keeps his promises.”
A Christian is to exercise faithfulness in all the Christian virtues, being faithful in love, faithful in prayer, faithful in studying the Bible, faithful in service, faithful in
witnessing, faithful in praise and worship, and faithful in fellowship with God and the church. Faithfulness is a dedicated commitment to the things of God and to the character of Jesus Christ. It is to be faithful to the responsibilities and calling God has place on our lives. God can rely on us to be faithful to obey His Word and to carry out the gifting that God has given each one of us to accomplish His good purposes upon the earth. Faithfulness embodied the heart of the prophet Isaiah when he boldly proclaimed to the Lord, “Here am I send me!” God has entrusted us with so much, including the gospel of Jesus Christ, the ministry of reconciling the unsaved and lost to God, the ambassadorship for the Lord Jesus Christ, and the responsibility of being a powerful witness for Jesus Christ. God expects us to be faithful with these great responsibilities He has given us, and He has given us the power and ability to successfully carry them out.
God also desires for us to be faithful in our daily relationships and responsibilities of life. God wants us to be faithful in our marriages, faithful in our families, faithful in our jobs, faithful in our friendships, faithful in our communities, and faithful to our nations. We live in an age where faithfulness is becoming a vanishing quality among men and women. Who is honorable and loyal to their commitments? Who is faithful to their word? Who is faithful to their promises? Who is reliable and trustworthy? We must shine as examples to the world of our faithfulness to God and our faithfulness to each other. We should imitate our heavenly Father and follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ in regard to faithfulness. No one is more faithful than God, who is faithful to the promises in His Word and faithful in His good character. God is faithful to establish us and make us stable, protecting us from the Evil One. God can be trusted with our entire heart and we can stake our lives on His faithfulness. Jesus Christ is the Faithful and True One in the Book of Revelation. He is the faithful Savior, the faithful high priest, the faithful brother, the faithful Lord, and the faithful advocate. Jesus Christ was always faithful to His Heavenly Father and the work that He had called Him to do. Faithfulness is absolutely necessary for the servants of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 25:21 (ERV):
His lord said unto him, Well done, good
and faithful servant. You have been
faithful over a few things, I will set thee
over many things: enter thou into the joy
of thy lord.
I Corinthians 4:1,2 (NIV):
So then, men ought to regard us as servants
of Christ and as those entrusted with the
secret things of God.
Now it is required that those who have been
given a trust must prove faithful.
The eighth quality of the fruit of the spirit is meekness or gentleness. Meekness is an inner quality of humility, gentleness, and mildness that is free from all haughtiness, harshness, cruelty, self-assertiveness, and arrogance. In Rogers and Rogers’ The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament, the word “meekness” is defined as:
Gentle submissiveness, controlled strength,
the ability to bear reproaches and slights
without bitterness and resentment; the ability
to provide a soothing influence on someone
who is in a state of anger, bitterness and
resentment against life…the word indicates
an obedient submissiveness to God and His
will, with unwavering faith and enduring
patience displaying itself in a gentle attitude
and kind acts towards others, and this often
in the face of opposition.
Trench, in his Synonyms of the New Testament, says that meekness is:
An inwrought grace of the soul; and the
exercises of it are first and chiefly toward
God…It is that temper of spirit in which we
accept his dealings with us as good, and
therefore without disputing or resisting;
and it is closely linked with humility, and
follows directly upon it…because it is only
the humble heart which is also the meek;
and which, as such, does not fight against
God, and more or less struggle and contend
Meekness is an openness of heart to God like a flower is to the sun. Meekness flows out of a deep respect and reverence for God and a heart that is completely devoted to Him. Meekness does not fight against, contend with or argue against God, but humbly exalts Him to a place of supremacy in the heart, eager to follow His instructions and ways. Meekness has a deep love for God and is without any stain of bitterness, resentment, or hostility.
Meekness is also a quality of coachability, where a person has a heart that is teachable and tenderly open to instruction without resistance or the desire for retaliation. Meekness is essential to obtaining godly wisdom, which God describes in Proverbs as
more valuable than anything in life. Meekness is the condition of heart in which we receive God’s Word . Meekness prepares our heart as fertile soil for the implanting and
inward growth of the words of God in the depths of our life. According to Numbers 12:3,
Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth, and God was able to speak great
revelation of His Word to him because of the meek condition of his heart.
Barclay, in The Daily Bible Series, explains in more depth the meaning of this Greek word for meekness:
This is a great Greek word that has no
precise English equivalent…It is the
temperament… of soul in which
everything is mixed in the right
proportions. No one can ever find one
English word to translate what is a
one word summary of the truly
teachable spirit. The teachable spirit
is docile and tractable, and therefore
humble enough to learn. The teachable
spirit is without resentment and without
anger and is, therefore, able to face the
truth, even when it hurts and condemns.
The teachable spirit is not blinded by its
own overmastering prejudices but is
clear-eyed to the truth. The teachable
spirit is not seduced by laziness but is
so self controlled that it can willingly
and faithfully accept the discipline of
learning. Prautes (Greek word for
meekness) describes the perfect conquest
and control of everything in a man’s
nature which would be a hindrance to his
seeing, learning and obeying the truth.
Meekness is the key ingredient to the absorption of the truth into our heart and manner of daily living. Meekness allows us to see the truth with our eyes, learn the truth with our mind, and obey the truth with our heart. Meekness allows God to guide us on
the paths of life and avoid the pitfalls of pride and selfishness.
Meekness is also described in secular literature as a horse that someone had broken and trained to submit to a bridle. It is a beautiful illustration of strength or power under control. Meekness is not cowardice, timidity, or weakness, but is the graceful exercise of power and strength with a humility and gentleness of mind and heart. In his devotionals, F.B. Meyer says of this word:
But in gentleness there must be a considerable
reserve of force. The gentleness of God is
combined with omnipotence. The movements of creation, in which there is neither voice nor
language, prove the infinite forces which are
at work…It is the prerogative of great strength
to be gentle. Always remember you are linked
to the infinite God, and all things are possible
I am in utter amazement at the awesome nature of the spiritual fruit of meekness. Meekness is absolutely necessary for our growth as Christians, both in our relationship to God and our ministering to the body of Christ and the world.
Titus 3:1,2 (English Revised Version):
Put them in mind to be in subjection to
rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to
be ready unto every good work.
To speak evil of no man, not to be
contentious, to be gentle, shewing all
meekness toward all men.
James 3:13 (Wuest):
Who is wise and well informed among
you? Let him demonstrate from the
source of a good and beautiful manner
of life his works in meekness, which
meekness is characterized by wisdom.
The ninth quality of the fruit of the spirit is self-control. Self-control in the Greek means: holding oneself in or the ability to take a grip of oneself; power over one’s passions, appetites, and desires; to be master over oneself, and self restraint. It is the restraining and controlling of the desires, passions, and appetites of the sin nature. It is a supernatural inner power to control the cravings of the old nature inherited from Adam. Self-control is to get a grip of our thoughts, words, and actions so they reflect the Christ in us. It is to hold off the sudden impulses of the flesh, resisting the urge and pull of the flesh to do the works of the sin nature. We hold off anger and pride; we hold off sarcasm and strife; we hold off envy and bitterness. By God’s spiritual power and help, we take power over all thoughts and actions that do not bring glory to God. We take control of our self and do not let our mind run loosely, but have the spiritual discipline to keep our heart on track with the heart of God. We take control of our self through the power of the holy spirit.
Self-control is mastering one’s emotions instead of being mastered by them. Inherent in this spiritual fruit is the ability to have the very same self-control and self-restraint that Jesus Christ had when he was tempted and tested in every way we are, yet he exercised self-control and did not sin. Christ was the epitome of self-control, as he
never allowed his heart to wander away and do anything inconsistent with his Father’s will and his own divine nature. He was the master over his mind and heart and fixed them on his Heavenly Father.
Steven Cole, in his Sermon entitled “Learning to Control Yourself,” says:
Self-control is the inward rule or regulation
of every area of your life under the ultimate
authority or control of God’s Spirit in line
with His Word…The Jewish writer Philo
described it as having superiority over every
desire…By definition, self-control means
ruling your emotions because you have a
higher goal. Because you want to please
and honor God you have to go against your
feelings of the moment…He produces in us
the ability to control every area of our lives
in line with His holy purposes. This implies
active responsibility on your part… Self
control is not self-willed but it is connected
with your will…the self-controlled person is
submitting himself to God’s will as revealed
in His Word…Self-control is not legalism…
legalists attempt to look spiritual to others by
keeping their man-made rules and they judge
those who do not keep their rules…Self
Control is not asceticism. Asceticism is
denying yourself certain legitimate comforts
and imposing certain hardships for some
spiritual value…Paul does mention the
example of an athlete who exercises
self-control in all things in order to win…
Self-control is not rigid but flexible…The
aim of self-control is always to enable us to
love God and to love others.
According to the book of Proverbs, the person who does not exercise self control is like a city whose walls are broken down. The enemy has an easy path to bring bondage, captivity, and destruction into a city without the walls of self-defense. An out of control area in our lives no matter how big or small, is an open invitation to our enemy, the devil. God can rebuild our broken walls of defense and keep the walls strong through the spiritual fruit of self-control. Self-control is like a sentry, a guardian to the heart that wards off and protects the Christian believer from the attack of Satan’s kingdom. Self-control keeps us out of the bondage and captivity of the flesh. Self-control is the opposite of self-indulgence, as it allows the beauty of the new nature to shine forth from our lives. Sin is always very selfish, arrogant, and defiant with self-indulgence at its root. The book of Ecclesiastes is the record of Solomon engaging in every self-indulgence of the flesh and realizing that it is like chasing the wind, as it never brings true peace, enjoyment, satisfaction, and happiness. God wants us to enjoy life, but we need self-control in order to grow in and deepen our relationship with God and walk in the good works and purposes He has planned for our lives. Self-control is a necessary quality in order to be set free in heart and soul and not be held in captivity by any of Satan’s devices.
II Peter 1:5-8 (Amplified):
For this very reason, adding to your
diligence to the divine promises,
employ every effort in exercising
your faith to develop virtue (excellence,
resolution, Christian energy), and in
exercising virtue develop knowledge
And in exercising knowledge, develop
self-control, and in exercising self control
develop steadfastness (patience, endurance),
and in exercising steadfastness develop
And in exercising godliness develop
brotherly affection, and in exercising
brotherly affection develop Christian love.
For as these qualities are yours and
increasingly abound in you, they will keep
you from being idle or unfruitful unto the
full personal knowledge of our Lord Jesus
These nine qualities of the fruit of the spirit are absolutely revolutionary in our day and time. They represent perfectly the goodness of God in character and are the foundational characteristics of our good works in Christ that flow out of the new nature of God born within us. One or more of these spiritual qualities should be stamped
indelibly on one every one of our good works. The fruit of the spirit is a physical manifestation of a transformed life in Christ, and our good works should be intertwined and wrapped around these nine qualities. The fruit of the spirit is supernatural, but beautifully and gracefully adapted to the circumstances, pressures, and needs of people who have been broken, discouraged, beaten down, forsaken, and depressed. The fruit of the spirit are outreach fruit, as they will attract people to the Lord Jesus Christ. They represent the very essence of Christian character, and God desires above all else that we grow in a beautiful, healthy fruitful tree in our life. These are the very qualities of God Himself. and as His children He wants us to imitate His character. These qualities are the essence of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as our brother and Lord, he wants us to follow his example. These are spiritual qualities that our new nature produces in us as fruit when we walk with God and by His gift of holy spirit. They are not produced by strain, stress, and effort of the mind or education of the soul. They are not produced by an attitude adjustment or a self-help seminar. These wonderful character traits are the essence of our new nature in Christ, and as we grow in Christ, this spiritual fruit begins to grow and ripen and produce itself in great abundance.
These qualities are so life changing for the Christian and the people we help that the devil is at war, bringing all his resources to attempt to prevent the Christian from bearing this glorious fruit in their life. We must count it as our highest honor to bear an abundant crop of this spiritual fruit in every area of our life. A Christian life without the fruit of the spirit is really a terrible waste of the potential, the purpose, the vision, and the dreams that God has for your life. Don’t we want to resemble our Lord in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control? How exciting it is that God birthed His spiritual seed in us when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and these nine fruit are the crop that God promises when we walk by our divine nature. It far exceeds anything the sin nature has to offer. How wonderful it is to touch the lives and hearts of people with these great qualities that will bless, heal, and edify their very souls.
By Tim Rowe From The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Our Lives