Fruit of the Holy Spirit

9 Attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is:

  • Love (Greek: agape, Latin: caritas)
  • Joy (Greek: chara, Latin: gaudium)
  • Peace (Greek: eirene, Latin: pax)
  • Patience (Greek: makrothumia, Latin: longanimitas)
  • Kindness (Greek: chrestotes, Latin: benignitas)
  • Goodness (Greek: agathosune, Latin: bonitas)
  • Faithfulness (Greek: pistis, Latin: fides)
  • Gentleness (Greek: prautes, Latin: modestia)
  • Self-control (Greek: egkrateia, Latin: continentia)

Love (Agape) #

  • Agape (love) denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good for others, no matter their behavior
  • It is a love that 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.
  • Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Joy #

  • The joy referred to here is deeper than mere happiness, 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.

Peace #

  • The word “peace” comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos.[13]
  • .. of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
  • Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace, who brings peace to the hearts of those who desire it.
  • He 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”. In Matthew 5:9 he says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”[15]

Patience #

  • Generally the Greek world applied this word to a man who could avenge himself but did not.
  • This word is often used in the Greek Scriptures in reference to God and God’s attitude to humans.
    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”, is defined in Strong’s by two Greek words, makrothumia and hupomone.
  • Also included in makrothumia is the ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment.
  • It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint.
  • 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, (Strong’s #5281) with hupomone (Greek ὑπομονή) being further understood as that which would be “as opposed to cowardice or despondency”

Kindness #

  • Kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do, properly, “useable, i.e. well-fit for use
  • Kindness is goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control. (emphasis added)
  • The word kindness comes from the Greek word chrestotes (khray-stot-ace), which meant to show kindness or to be friendly to others and often depicted rulers, governors, or people who were kind, mild, and benevolent to their subjects. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of chrestotes was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind, or gentle. The apostle Paul uses this word to depict God’s incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved (see Romans 11:22; Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4).
  • One scholar has noted that when the word chrestotes is applied to interpersonal relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when chrestotes is working in a believer, he 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”.[23]

Goodness #

  • The state or quality of being good
  • Moral excellence; virtue;
  • Kindly feeling, kindness, generosity, joy in being good
  • The best part of anything; Essence; Strength;
  • General character recognized in quality or conduct.

Faithfulness #

  • The root of pistis[27] (“faith”) is peithô,[28] that is to persuade or be persuaded, which supplies the core-meaning of faith as being “divine persuasion”, received from God, and never generated by man.
  • It is defined as the following:
    • objectively, trustworthy;
    • subjectively, trustful:—believe(-ing, -r), faithful(-ly), sure, true.[29]

Gentleness #

  • Gentleness, in the Greek, prautes, commonly known as meekness, is “a divinely-balanced virtue that can only operate through faith
  • “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“.
  • 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”.[Gal 6:1]
  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”.[Eph 4:2]

Self-control #

  • The Greek word used in Galatians 5:23 is “egkrateia”, meaning “strong, having mastery, able to control one’s thoughts and actions.“[33]
  • We read also: “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love”.[2 Pet 1:5-7]

 

Memorize All 9 with a Song:

Here’s a song that will help you memorize the fruits of the spirit:

Richard Rohr Meditation: Connecting to the Eternal

[While] European mystics and contemplatives often lived in community, they tended to focus on the individual experience of encountering the divine presence. African American contemplatives turned the “inward journey” into a communal experience. . . . The word contemplation includes but does not require silence or solitude. Instead, contemplative practices can be identified in public prayers, meditative dance movements, and musical cues that move the entire congregation toward a communal listening and entry into communion with a living God. . . .

.. This is how Howard Thurman describes the embodied locus of contemplation:

There is in every person an inward sea, and in that sea is an island and on that island there is an altar and standing guard before that altar is the “angel with the flaming sword.” Nothing can get by that angel to be placed upon that altar unless it has the mark of your inner authority. Nothing passes . . . unless it be a part of the “fluid area of your consent.” This is your crucial link with the Eternal. [1]

 . . As I see it, the human task is threefold.

  1. First, the human spirit must connect to the Eternal by turning toward God’s immanence and ineffability with yearning.
  2. Second, each person must explore the inner reality of his or her humanity, facing unmet potential and catastrophic failure with unmitigated honesty and grace.
  3. Finally, each one of us must face the unlovable neighbor, the enemy outside of our embrace, and the shadow skulking in the recesses of our own hearts.

Only then can we declare God’s perplexing and unlikely peace on earth. These tasks require a knowledge of self and others that only comes from the centering down that Thurman advocates. It is not an escape from the din of daily life; rather, it requires full entry into the fray but on different terms. . . . Always, contemplation requires attentiveness to the Spirit of God. .

Richard Rohr: Being Peace

Buddhists are much more concerned about waking up to our innate wisdom and compassion (our Buddha-nature) than they are about working for justice. If Christians insist that “if you want peace, work for justice,” the Buddhists would counter-insist, “if you want peace, be peace.” That’s the point Thich Nhat Hanh gently drives home in the little book . . . Being Peace. His message is as simple and straightforward as it is sharp and upsetting: the only way we are going to be able to create peace in the world is if we first create (or better, find) peace in our hearts.

Being peace is an absolute prerequisite for making peace. And by “being peace,” . . . [Thich Nhat Hanh] means deepening the practice of mindfulness, both formally in regular meditation as well as throughout the day as we receive every person and every event that enters our lives; through such mindfulness we will, more and more, be able to understand . . . whomever we meet or whatever we feel, and so respond with compassion. Only with the peace that comes with such mindfulness will we be able to respond in a way that brings forth peace for the event or person or feeling we are dealing with

.. This Buddhist insistence on the necessary link between being peace and making peace reflects Christian spirituality’s traditional insistence that all our action in the world must be combined with contemplation. . . . But the Buddhists are very clear: while both are essential, one holds a priority of practice.

.. I (Richard) personally believe the entrance point can be either action or contemplation. Most people act, love, sin, risk engagement, and make mistakes before they personally experience their own deep need for contemplation. Until you have “loved and lost,” your contemplation is often gazing at your navel instead of a passionate search for God and for your calling.

The Murder-Suicide of the West

Trump forcefully caps off years of deterioration in European-American ties.

.. This trans-Atlantic partnership was a vast historical accomplishment, a stumbling and imperfect effort to extend democracy, extend rights, extend freedom and build a world ordered by justice and not force. Since 1945 it is the thing we have all taken for granted.

Over the weekend, Trump ripped the partnership to threads. He said the European Union is our “foe.” On Monday, Trump essentially sided with Vladimir Putin, who has become the biggest moral and political enemy of the Euro-American relationship. Trump essentially dropped a project that has oriented American culture and policy for centuries. He pointed us to a world in which the central ethos is that might makes right.

.. Progressives fell into the poisonous trap of racialism. They looked at the glories of Aristotle, Shakespeare and Mozart, and the most interesting thing they had to say about them was that they were dead white males. Future historians will marvel at how sophisticated people willfully made themselves so simple-minded. Eurocentrism became a code word for colonialism, oppression and privilege, taking a piece of European history for the whole of it.

Europeans didn’t help. In the wake of the Cold War, they have dedicated themselves to a post-nationalist project that is too top-down and technocratic and is now crumbling.

.. Trump could have gone to last week’s NATO summit and taken credit only for increased European military spending. Instead, he moved the goal posts, humiliated the Europeans, reasserted his trade war talk and made it impossible for European leaders to do anything that might seem to support him. These are the actions of a man who wants the alliance to fail.

His embrace of Putin Monday was a victory dance on the Euro-American tomb.

“This is not just another family quarrel,” Kagan writes. “The democratic alliance that has been the bedrock of the American-led liberal world order is unraveling. At some point, and probably sooner than we expect, the global peace that that alliance and that order undergirded will unravel, too. Despite our human desire to hope for the best, things will not be okay.