Do You Have The Evidence? Fruits of the Spirit – Simple Bible Study
Today we are going to go over the evidence of the Spirit. This is something that we are sure most of you know about or have heard about.
As many Bible scholars and Bible-led pastors would agree, context is super important in reading the Bible. I (Lianna) have read the book, Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin, and she has opened my eyes to how wrong I’ve been in reading and studying the Bible for myself. We do not read the Bible to learn more about ourselves but rather to learn more about God and we can become more holy like Him.
So, right before we get into the Simple Bible Study, we just want to say this:
Everyone is on their own journey of getting to know God. And, we get that. But, it is imperative that we stress the importance of learning how to study and read the Bible. If that’s something you are interested in to learn more, let us know by commenting or sending us an email or DM!
Another side note – we have a podcast episode on the same topic if you rather listen than read.
We know there are many sermons, teachings, and bible-teachers better than us, that have touched on and dived deeper into the fruits of the Holy Spirit. But, we wanted to do this by starting out with a different point of view.
Fruits of the Flesh & The Warning
Right before the fruits of the Spirit is shared in Galatians, Paul writes what are the works of the flesh: “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies…” (v. 20-21) and He warns us that those who do such things like we stated will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
Don’t worry, if you have sinned, you are not doomed. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23) and no one is fully perfect or righteous on their own, other than Jesus Christ. But, what Paul is stating here is that the wicked people, those who do not know and do not believe in Jesus Christ, will not be able to enter into heaven.
*Of course, evil people can turn from their wicked ways and repent and believe in Jesus Christ and be saved, all their sins will be wiped clean.* But, those who are evil in conduct and will not turn from their evil ways will not enter heaven.
Even us as Christians still sin, but we can come to God with humble hearts and repent and turn away from our wrongdoings because God can show us the way back to Him every single time. 1 John 1:9 says He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins if we confess it to Him, because Jesus died on the cross for us and paid the price of death that we should have paid ourselves.
BUT, Paul is also stating that those who live by the flesh, continually in sin, with unrepentant and hard hearts, never living for God BUT call themselves “Christians” are also in danger of not inheriting the kingdom of God. We know that this may seem scary to read, but don’t worry, this is why God gives us warnings ahead of time in the Bible because God loves us! He longs for us to follow after Him in His love in return, to love Him and obey His commands.
So, whenever you are following Christ and being sanctified in the Holy Spirit, there are good fruits that come with being a follower of Christ and it should be evident in our lives. Like we said, no one is perfect and no one always has the fruits of the Spirit. But, you know when someone is living in the Holy Spirit, it is evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit. You can spot someone out if they state they have the Holy Spirit but do not have the evidence of the fruits.
So, do you have the evidence of the fruits?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
– Galatians 5:22-26
Let’s define “fruits”.
Today we might use the word “fruit” in a phrase such as the “fruit of our labor” to communicate the results of our effort. Even if we are not gardeners, and harvest strawberries or apples, we can have “fruit,” something to show for our work, in a paycheck, a finished project, or even a baby (lol).
Breaking Down Each Fruit of The Holy Spirit
When Paul was writing this, he started out with LOVE. This reveals that love is the first and most important fruit of the Holy Spirit. Only God himself can give his perfect love and he did so by shedding his blood on the cross for those that have committed sins and will commit sins in the future. It’s simple.
When we love God first and others, it is the closest result of receiving God’s perfect love. You might know the famous passage that is often spoken at weddings which is 1 Corinthians 13 – but they do not usually say this part,
“…now these three remains, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
Love is the fruit that blankets all the rest and the other fruits cannot be brought forth without love. If we take actions and say words in the name of Jesus but do not do so with love, then we have missed the point.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
In the Bible, it is often paired with gladness. It is the realization of God’s favor and grace in one’s life. Biblical joy is happiness that is not dependent on our circumstances. When we have God in every aspect in our lives, joy will flourish in your lives and the lives you touch. I have heard and read many books of happiness and joy and the one thing that I discover is that we can try to have it all, and still feel empty and sad inside.
Another point we made on the podcast episode is this: if we have learned how to be content, we will then have the joy of the Holy Spirit. We believe that contentment and joy correlate and relate to one another. Paul states this in Philippians:
“for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:11-13 ESV
Peace is the result of allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and minds. When we have peace, we are free from fear and worry about the world, finances, our safety, our salvation, and our eternal life. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is seen in the peace that comes even when our circumstances are far from peaceful.
Over the past several years during my prayer time, I have been praying for peace and wisdom. Life can get crazy and tend to panic and stress out a lot. After 2020, especially during the election, I challenged myself in 2021 to not get so stressed out and to be filled with peace. A couple of things that has helped us tremendously to achieve peace: be still with God and read His Word, stay off of social media and turn off the news. This is very difficult at first.
But, then once you have everlasting peace of God in you, the Holy Spirit is doing its work. Of course, time and time again, we may become worried or anxious again but Jesus will always lead us back to His peace if we turn to Him first.
Through the Holy Spirit we are able to wait longer before indulging our passions- we become “long-tempered” rather than “short-tempered.” Paul used this word when he was describing Jesus’ patience with him. Just like Paul, Jesus showed him immense patience while he was walking with Jesus.
For most of us, patience is not something that comes easy, especially this day in age when we have the whole world at our fingertips. This is a saying that I’ve read in a book is this: “You can’t Amazon-prime your life.”
Patience and development and practice can be made much much easier with the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to show us the way.
This is kind of crazy but this is a fruit that even the world has adopted to promote as well, even though it may have wrong intentions behind it. Kindness is used and brought up on social media, news, and from people. This quality that people talk about, even non-believers, is a fruit from the Holy Spirit Himself and they do not even know it.
However, worldly people, even Christians, want to be kind only when it’s convenient, easy, or it’s people they like.
This is crucial to highlight, especially in speaking the Gospel to those who do not know Him or are skeptical or cynical. It states in the Bible that it is through God’s Kindness that leads us to repentance, to believe in Him in Romans 2:4. We are sinners and yet God was gracious and kind to us that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins. And we did not deserve it.
That revelation alone should automatically bring us to our knees, especially knowing that if it was not for God’s kindness, we would not be saved. It’s important to have the fruit of kindness in our hearts from the Holy Spirit – even when the people around us do not deserve it. It may one day lead them to repentance and get to know God.
Also, let’s bring up the story of when Jesus stopped the woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death in John 8. Wouldn’t you say that was kind of Jesus to do? Well, that is one half of the equation. After he told her to look around that no one is condemning her anymore, he then told her to sin no more.
Jesus did a radical thing – to be kind to an adulterous woman. We can definitely relate to this story, for every one of us have sinned and committed horrible sins. And we are all forever thankful for the kindness of God. But, God is ALSO kind to tell us to not sin anymore.
Of course, we will sin again and again and again. The point is that to have godly kindness is to boldly lead others to everlasting life, not to allow them or say it’s okay to keep sinning and living the sinful life. That’s difference between worldly kindness and Spirit-led kindness.
This is tough one and it’s one of the hardest fruits to describe in detail. But, you know what good means, right?
According to the dictionary on Google, good means in this context, “that which is morally right; righteousness.”
Goodness is seen in our actions and ultimately what comes out from the heart. This word relates to not only being good, but also doing good things for others and giving back.
Goodness is not in people who have hidden selfish motives behind their “good” actions or intentions that are harmful, or is to control or manipulate others. It’s having the purity within your words and actions, not having a hidden agenda behind it. It’s out of the love in your heart, which is why love is the most important fruit that blankets the rest.
Faithfulness is a character trait that combines dependability and trust based on our confidence in God and His eternal faithfulness. In the New Testament, faith is the belief in God and the conviction that Jesus is the Messiah through whom we obtain eternal salvation.
In the Old Testament, God was faithful even when the people of Israel were unfaithful to God or cursed God or fell to evil ways every time.
Without faithfulness, especially within marriage, it’s difficult for the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us for the Gospel.
Gentleness is another difficult fruit to describe because this is not a tangible thing. Gentleness is seen as being weak or vulnerable. We will share this: Jesus spoke up after His prayer to his Father and said this:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29
It requires great strength and self-control to be gentle and to help others even when they have done wrong, to ultimately give them rest.
Gentleness comes from the heart and the way you approach things. One example we thought of was Captain America from the Marvel movies. He is a very strong man because of the serum he received that gave him incredible strength.
But, he often spoke gently and was always thoughtful on his actions. He also never was impulsive on fighting, but always made sure it was the right time. He was patient, gentle, and slow to take action and had self-control over his emotions. But, those who do not have gentleness are often prideful and get angry easily, which are seen in most villains in the movies.
Self-control is the ability to control one’s body and its sensual appetites and desires – physically and mentally – through the power of the Holy Spirit. The ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations. This does not have to be only in the context of maintaining sexual purity. This can be for drinking alcohol, eating bad and unhealthy food, overspending allowing our emotions to take over, etc.
The thing about self-control is you are letting the Holy Spirit help you to not over-indulge (or even do in general) on things, like sex before marriage, people, food, drugs, places, etc. Self-control comes from the pure desire to honor God and to living to please Him. This is not God’s way to telling you never to have fun or to do anything in general.
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote about enjoying life with the wife (or husband) that you love and the portion that God has gifted and blessed you with. The key here in this is enjoy what God has given to you already, not to chase after what you want to do not have. This is an especially difficult fruit to work on, but it can be done with God’s help!
Last Thoughts on Christian Leaders & Influencers
In Galatians 5, Paul wanted us to be able to recognize and learn from the holy spirit and to be able to discern good from evil by the 9 characteristics and fruits. One thing I want to point out is that just because someone has a platform and are leaders of Christianity or a church does not mean they are always walking in step of the Spirit, but we can pray and ask God to help them when we see that they have no fruits of the Holy Spirit or if they are lacking some. If someone has the fruits of the Spirit, if it is evidenced in their daily life in what they do and how they respond and react, not just when they speak or preach.
You have to be careful with who you are influenced by because it can only lead you to the way of Christ or not. Of course, Christian pastors and leaders can mess up too and still sin. But, it is important to know if they are repentant and open through the display and evidence of the Holy Spirit working in their lives.
But, it’s crucial to know that if you have prayed and asked God whether their fruits are from the Holy Spirit or bad fruits of the world and of self, you are to stay true to God’s Word, not in what leaders or pastors say if they do not bear the fruits. This is one of the main reasons why we as Christians should pursue daily on reading and knowing the Bible, so that we are not easily led astray by people who do not know the Word OR know the Word but do not live it out.
We pray and hope that this study on the fruits of the Holy Spirit was eye-opening and different from what you may have heard, read, or watched in this section of the Bible. Even though we are not perfect and may not always have all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the point is that we are saved by Christ through His grace, not by our own works or deeds.
We are overjoyed at the fact that even if we mess up or struggle with one or more fruits, the Holy Spirit is still at work in us sanctifying us until the moment we get to heaven.
Thank you for reading,