GALATIANS 5:22-23 (NKJV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Greetings, dear TTP family! We have reached the final part of our enlightening voyage through the topis of the Fruit of the Spirit, as seen in Galatians 5. In our preceding blog post, we explored the significance of longsuffering, kindness, and goodness. Together, we explored how these attributes serve as irrefutable proof of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence and transformative influence in the life of every believer and acknowledged that they can only be gotten through partnership with the Holy Spirit. Today, with bittersweet anticipation, we embark on the conclusion of our study, where we will unravel the profound wisdom encapsulated within the final three components. If you missed the first blog where we touched on love, joy and peace, kindly read it here and our second blog on this series where we touched on longsuffering, kindness and goodness, kindly read it here. We encourage that you take time to read them to ensure you have a full appreciation and understanding of this topic. But without further delay, let us dive into our final installment in this series.
“The Fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness” The Greek term used here is “pistis” and it has multiple meanings, including trust, the content of belief (doctrine), and the reliability/integrity of a person. God is faithful, and as His people, we are called to be faithful too, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Faithfulness as a part of the fruit of the Spirit combines dependability, trustworthiness, and a confidence in God’s eternal faithfulness. This includes being strict and thorough in our duties, keeping our promises and vows, and remaining constant and reliable (“His Lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.’” Matthew 25:21 NKJV)
Faithfulness is central to God’s character and actions. His attributes of truthfulness, holiness, love, righteousness, and others ensure His faithfulness. He protects us from temptation and evil; regarding this the bible tells us in Corinthians 10:13, that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”. Even when we are unfaithful regarding this we see in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”, and fulfills His promises Hebrews 10:23 tells us to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
We must also be faithful to God and our commitments, proving ourselves trustworthy with what He has entrusted to us. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Finally, it is important to end by saying that without faithfulness to God, there can be no Christian life. Christianity is based first on faith that God is, and that through Christ Jesus we are forgiven and saved.
As we have presented the remarkable faithfulness of God, you may now be reflecting on instances when you have been unfaithful. This might lead you to consider the potential difficulty or inconvenience of striving for faithfulness to the same degree. However, take comfort in the assurance that God’s faithfulness towards us, exemplified in the sending of His Holy Spirit and the provision of His fruit, is an extension of His grace. It is designed to encompass our faithlessness or unfaithfulness, enabling us to grow in faithfulness as we journey with Him and increasingly becoming like Him.
“The fruit of the Spirit is … gentleness” This is translated using the Greek word “prautēs” [prah-oo’-tace], and can also be translated as meekness. It describes a person who has control over their emotions and responses, and is not easily provoked or angered.
An example of gentleness is being angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time. This is an important aspect of this quality and shows that gentleness is not weakness or passivity, but rather a deliberate choice to respond appropriately in any situation.
One example of gentleness in the Bible is Moses, who is described as the gentlest or meekest man on earth in Numbers 12:3. Despite his great leadership and authority, Moses was able to remain humble and gentle in his dealings with others.
Gentleness is also important in the context of discipline and correction. Galatians 6:1 instructs believers to restore those who have fallen into sin with gentleness, rather than harshness or condemnation. This shows that discipline should never be carried out in anger or a desire to punish, but rather with a desire to restore and help the person.
In Matthew 5:5, Jesus teaches that “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” This shows that gentleness is not only a desirable quality in and of itself, but it also has a reward attached to it. Those who exhibit gentleness will inherit the blessings of God
In addition, gentleness is necessary when facing opposition. 2 Timothy 2:25 instructs believers to respond to opponents with gentleness, in the hope that they may come to repentance and knowledge of the truth. This shows that gentleness can be a powerful tool for persuasion and for winning over those who may be hostile to the Christian faith.
Finally, gentleness is important in giving a Christian witness. 1 Peter 3:15-16 instructs believers to always be ready to give a defense for their faith, but to do so with gentleness and respect. This shows that gentleness is not only a quality that affects our own personal interactions, but also how we present ourselves and our beliefs to others.
It’s important to recognize that gentleness does not mean we never stand up for what is right or speak the truth. Instead, it means that we do so in a way that is respectful, loving, and wise. As Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Overall, gentleness is a crucial aspect of Christian character and witness. It enables us to interact with others in a way that reflects the love and grace of Christ, and it opens doors for the gospel to be shared and received. In summary, gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that describes a person who is in control of their emotions and responses, and who responds appropriately in any situation. It is a quality that is necessary for discipline, facing opposition, and giving a Christian witness. May we all seek to cultivate gentleness in our own lives and interactions with others.
“The fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” The Greek word used for self-control, “egkrateia,”[ eng-krat’-i-ah], refers to having mastery over one’s desires and passions, and being able to govern oneself in a disciplined way.
Self-control is closely related to chastity, which refers to purity of both mind and conduct. Both self-control and chastity are qualities that enable a person to resist the temptations of the world and live a life that is pleasing to God.
The idea of not getting one’s garments spotted by the world is a metaphor for maintaining one’s purity and integrity in the face of worldly temptations. It implies that self-control is not only a personal virtue, but also a way of maintaining one’s Christian witness and influence in the world.
Self-control is important because it gives us victory over sinful desires. When we exercise self-control, we are able to resist temptation and avoid giving in to our fleshly desires. This is crucial for living a holy and righteous life that is pleasing to God.
Self-control also enables us to live and walk in this world without being influenced by its values and priorities. When we are in control of our desires and passions, we are less likely to be swayed by the temptations and distractions of the world. This allows us to maintain our focus on God and his purposes for our lives.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27, the apostle Paul describes the importance of self-control in his own life. He says, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” Paul recognized that self-control was necessary for him to maintain his own spiritual health and credibility as a leader in the church.
In conclusion, self-control is a crucial aspect of the Christian life. It enables us to resist temptation, maintain our purity and integrity, and stay focused on God’s purposes for our lives. May we all seek to cultivate this important fruit of the Spirit in our own lives, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
“Here is the paradox of Christian living. We must give up control of self to gain self-control. — Andy Mineo”
We have looked at the last three aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23; faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control and realized that they are essential qualities for the Christian life. Faithfulness involves being steadfast and loyal to God, while gentleness enables us to interact with others in a loving and wise manner. Finally, self-control gives us mastery over our desires and passions, enabling us to resist temptation and avoid sinful behavior.
As believers, these are the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives which we know from scripture comes as a result of believing and accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ, so we can be confident that God will work in and through us to produce the character and behavior that He desires. May we all strive to live a life that is marked by the presence and involvement of the Holy Spirit, and may these qualities be evident in all that we say and do. It is our prayer that in your journey to becoming like Jesus, and by avenue of this, you will realize how invaluable the Holy Spirit is and then seek to develop your relationship with Him and get to know Him.
Until next time, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always. Amen.
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