“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
One of the objectives of sanctification is to put off the works of the flesh and in its place is to put on the Fruit Of The Spirit.
The Fruit Of The Spirit is for all Christ followers.
“The fruits of the Spirit, or of the renewed nature, which we are to do, are named. And as the apostle had chiefly named works of the flesh, not only hurtful to men themselves, but tending to make them so to one another, so here he chiefly notices the fruits of the Spirit, which tend to make Christians agreeable one to another, as well as to make them happy. The fruits of the Spirit plainly show, that such are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh and fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid and oppose, and what we are to cherish and cultivate; and this is the sincere care and endeavour of all real Christians.” ~ Matthew Henry commentary; Galatians 5:22-23
To be able to produce fruit, something must be alive; a tree, a bush, a plant, or a vine.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:4-5
The Spirit’s fruit presupposes life which means not only is it for ALL Christ followers but ONLY for Christ followers. The Fruit of The Spirit will never be produced in those who are spiritually dead. It’s not possible.
“So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.” ~ Matthew 7:17
Producing growing fruit is a sign of life; the more nourished, pruned and cultivated, the greater the growth.
“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” ~ John 15:2
Though we bear the fruit, it is the Spirit that enables us through regeneration and sanctification to produce the fruit. We belong to Him as His fields.
We can assist in producing the Fruit Of The Spirit by abiding in obedience but it is He that gives the growth.
“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. “ ~ 1 Corinthians 3:7
It is God who enables us to produce godly fruit in our lives. Spiritual fruit cannot be manufactured; it must be wrought through the Spirit and pursued by the individual.
If we flesh out Galatians 5 a bit further in context, we see the Apostle Paul exhorting us on what to flee as well as what to pursue:
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” ~ Galatians 5:16-25
We are to walk by the Spirit not by the flesh.
Similar exhortations are found in Timothy:
“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:11-12
And again in Timothy:
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:22
We are not passive in this pursuit. We are to be faithful in fulfilling what God has called us to in His Word. This leads to fruitfulness.
God is glorified and we are transformed into Christ’s likeness, by the fruit that is gathered through His people.
“In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fullness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.” ~ Matthew Henry, commentary John 15:5-8
For further consideration: