Fruits of the Holy Spirit : Nine Virtues of Christ
Fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT: NINE GREAT VIRTUES OF CHRIST
But the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such virtues, there is no law. " Galatians 5: 22-23
If a person is filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit then all the virtues in Galatians 5:22-23 will be evident in that person's life. The nine virtues in this passage are the nine great virtues of Christ. As we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, God imparts these virtues to us
The Holy Spirit imparts to us the virtue of LOVE. I Corinthians 13 depicts true Christlike love. Love radiates from a Spirit-filled person. A church which is truly Spirit-filled overflows with love. One of the most distinguishing marks of a true disciple of Christ is love. As it is written in John 13:35: "All men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." The New Testament church is truly a Spirit-filled church which overflows with love as it is recorded in Acts 4:32-34. Love flows out spontaneously from a Spirit-filled person, both love for God and love for men. It is Christ's love for both God and men the one that led him to Calvary, love for God's glory and perfect will and love for man's eternal soul. God's love is the ultimate reason for the incarnation and crucifixion of the Son of God.
A Spirit-filled person possesses real joy in his heart. Joy and pleasure are two different things. A person may be suffering from a chain of misfortune but still has joy in his heart. Like the Apostle Paul, though suffered greatly, endured so much tribulation for the sake of the Gospel, never lost his joy as a Christian. In contrary, a person may be full of earthly pleasures but still does not have real joy in his heart. Like some of the rich people who are living apart from the ways of God, they may have lots of pleasures in this world because of their material possessions, but you will still hear some of them who in spite of affluence are still unhappy. It is because the joy of the Lord is not present in their lives.
Another wonderful virtue imparted to us by the Holy Spirit is PEACE, which is the peace of Jesus Christ as it is written in John 14:27; "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, I do not give to you as the world gives." Despite the uncertainties of the future, despite the various problems attacking our economy, and despite the present upheavals in our society, a Spirit-filled Christian could remain relaxed, calm, serene because of the peace of JesusChrist that is in his heart. One perfect example in the life of Christ demonstrating his peace was during the coming of a battalion of soldiers to arrest him in the garden of Gethsemane. A large group of soldiers armed with swords and clubs came to arrest him that night of his betrayal. Jesus yielded himself freely to them. That is the perfect peace of JesusChrist.
Longsuffering is synonymous to patient and enduring. Longsuffering is one of the virtues possessed by God and by Christ also. God was longsuffering to Israel, as JesusChrist was longsuffering to his disciples. The disciples during their early life with Jesus were still carnal. Jesus had been very longsuffering in dealing with them. As Christians, we must strive to be longsuffering. We must be longsuffering with the weaknesses and failures of our brothers and sisters in the faith. We must be longsuffering with the people we are leading to Christ.
Kindness is synonymous to compassion, generosity, the goodness of heart, goodness in deeds or actions. The virtue is very much present in the person of the Father and so with the person of JesusChrist. JesusChrist has shown great kindness to a lot of people surrounding him during his sojourn here on earth. He has shown kindness by healing their infirmities, their disabilities and physical defects, by feeding them and by teaching them the ways of God. As we become controlled by the Holy Spirit, true kindness radiates from us. We become more considerate to people, we become more compassionate to the needy, and the lost. That is why many are driven to missions because this fruit of the Holy Spirit is greatly imparted to them.
According to Jesus, only one possesses this virtue, and that is God as he counseled the rich young ruler. How does goodness differ from kindness? The word is synonymous to suitable or worthy. The term is also used for the servant who invested well his resources. He is called a good and faithful servant. It also indicates that something is functioning well. If we said that this watch is no good anymore, it won't keep track of the right time any longer. Jesus said that a good tree produces good fruit, this is the tree that functions properly. Something is good when it works well. Jesus constantly produced and He never failed. His teachings made a lasting and profound impression. Goodness is one of the virtues imparts to us by the Holy Spirit. We could only function well as Christian if we allow the Holy Spirit to control us. We can become the good trees that produce good fruits as the Holy Spirit controls us.
God was faithful in fulfilling his promise to Abraham. He is ever faithful to Israel. Jesus was faithful in his love for his disciples. Jesus is faithful to his promises. Jesus showed his faithfulness to the Scripture and the will of the Father until his death on the cross. He is faithful as High Priest. Jesus calls Himself the Faithful Witness. He is the standard of faithfulness by which we measure ourselves. God is ever faithful to us at all times though sometimes we fail. As we are filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit, the virtue is reflected upon us. We also become faithful to him. We become faithful to our commitment to others. Faithfulness is not inherent in man, it is only a God-given virtue.
Gentleness is synonymous to meekness. Jesus claimed meekness for himself and significantly coupled it with being "lowly in heart." His meekness is worthy of our imitation. Meekness of a Christian is displayed by accepting God's dealings with us as good without any resistance. This is a display of lowliness before God and humility before men.
Self-control is a discipline, but it cannot be imposed from an outside source. Self-control cannot be achieved by training rather self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual Christian has this quality, not as a result of will power or effort but as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. Jesus exercised much self-control during his earthly life. A Spirit-controlled Christian has self-control in all aspects of his/her life. He has self-control in his thoughts, words, deeds, emotions. he knows well how to handle his emotions and thoughts. He is an emotionally mature person.
Only by being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit we can live fully for God’s glory. There is no other way to be truly pleasing to God. We have to pursue it daily.