What are the 9 Fruits of the Spirit? (and their Meanings) (2024)

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the character traits of the Spirit of God that is in us. They are called fruits mainly because they are a byproduct of our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The fruits consist of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

“I say then:Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…Butthe fruit of the Spirit islove, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,goodness,faithfulness,gentleness, self-control.Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:16 & 22-23)

Here are some additional scriptural evidence and explanations for each fruit that is to be abundant in every believer’s life…

Fruit of Love

“Love suffers longandiskind; lovedoes not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;does not behave rudely,does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, butrejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails(1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

The above scripture defines love better than I could ever.

Love is a byproduct of walking in the Spirit. As we grow in our relationship with God the love of His Spirit begins to manifest through our words and deeds.

Why is this?

It is because God is love and when we grow in knowing the God of love, love becomes automatic. In fact, the measuring stick the Bible gives us to see if we truly know God is our ability to consistently walk in this kind of love.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone wholoves is born of God and knows God.He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

You could flip the last part of this a couple of ways and they would mean the same thing. You could say, “He who loves knows God, for God is love” or “He who knows God loves, for God is love.”

No matter what way we put it communicates the same thing: how much we love determines how well we know God, therefore, the more we know God the more love will flow through our life.

[Related article: How to Walk in Love According to the Bible and What Does “Faith Work By Love” Mean (Galatians 5:6 Meaning)?].

Fruit of Joy

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

“Rejoice always,pray without ceasing,in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

We are commanded by scripture to rejoice always. This means to rejoice under every circ*mstance that we may find ourselves in. In the natural, this is absolutely impossible but when we walk in the Spirit it becomes a reality.

When the scripture tells us to rejoice always it doesn’t mean that we rejoice in the fact that we are facing struggles. It means that we “rejoice in the truth” in the midst of the struggles (1 Corinthians 13:6). It means we become focused on what we do not see instead of what we do see (2 Corinthians 5:7). It means that we rejoice over the struggles because we know that it is producing something of value in us (Romans 5:3-4).

But as Galatians 5 suggests, this kind of joy is only possible when we walk with the Spirit and not according to the flesh because the joy is not ours but His.

Fruit of Peace

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, withthanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;andthe peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“These things I have spoken to you, thatin Me you may have peace.In the world youwillhave tribulation; but be of good cheer,I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Peace, at its core, is emotional stability. Peace happens when our emotions are in check and when they are confident and secure. The Bible reveals to us that this can only take place through Christ.

If you notice in these above verses the peace only comes through Christ.

In the latter verse, Jesus says, “In Me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation.” The part I want you to notice is the “in Me” part. We have to be in Christ to experience His peace.

What do I mean by being in Christ?

I mean abiding in Him, walking with Him, dwelling in Him day in and day out. This is walking in the Spirit, and the Spirit is the One who produces the fruit of peace in our lives.

Paul tells us how this is carried out practically in Philippians chapter 4 when he says that we should not be anxious for anything but that we should take everything to God through prayer and thanksgiving and only when we do this will we experience His peace.

In fact, we won’t just experience His peace but this scripture says that His peace will “guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.”

Fruit of patience (Longsuffering)

“Love suffers longandiskind” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Many translations call this fruit “patience”, but I must say that my favorite translation is “longsuffering”. Because we aren’t just called to be patient throughout scripture we are called to suffer long.

We have consistent exhortations to suffer on this earth as Christ did. In fact, the scripture tells all of us who follow Christ are called to this.

“Forwhat creditisitif, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, thisiscommendable before God.Forto this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps(1 Peter 2:20-21).

Suffering for our faith is consistent teaching throughout scripture and it should be preached more often. We are to rejoice in the midst of suffering and take it patiently.

Fruit of Kindness

“Love suffers longandiskind” (1 Corinthians 13:4)

Not only are we to suffer long and be patient during our time of trial, but we are to remain kind in the midst of the trial.

This verse tells us that love suffers long and is kind. Read that over again, slowly. “Love suffers long and is kind.”

How many of us when we came to a trial, whether for Christianity or not, did we suffer for a long period of time and remain kind in the midst of it? How many of us lashed out, retaliated, or “gave them a piece of our mind”?

None of that is Christ. When Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest followers and was taken into questioning, the so-called “witnesses” lied about Him. They made claims that were totally false all so they could arrest and kill Him.

And what did Jesus do?

He remained silent. He didn’t say one word. He let them speak. And Peter says that He “committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, butcommittedHimselfto Him who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:22-23).

This is what we are all called to do. We are called to not only be kind to all people on a day-to-day basis, but we are also called to be kind in the midst of suffering.

Anyone can be kind when things are going good, but it takes supernatural kindness to remain kind when you are in the midst of suffering.

Fruit of Goodness

“Do not be overcome by evil, butovercome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

The goodness of the world has a limit and its limit is simple; if you do good to me then I will do good to you. This is the best man can come up with. The problem is man was created to be like God and God does good no matter what happens, not because things are always good around Him, but because He is always good.

Jesus told all of His followers to do the same.

In the same way, God was good to us, at all times, in the midst of all of our evil and sin, so we should also do good to everyone who treats us well and to those that treat us badly.

We are to do good constantly. Not because good is done unto us, but because we are good.

This is what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5:43-48. And since He explains it way better than I could ever, I’ll finish this fruit with the words of Jesus.

43 You have heard that it was said,‘You shall love your neighborand hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you,love your enemies, bless those who curse you,do good to those who hate you, and prayfor those who spitefully use you and persecute you,45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; forHe makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47 And if you greet yourbrethrenonly, what do you do morethan others?Do not even thetax collectorsdo so?48 Therefore you shall be perfect, justas your Father in heaven is perfect.

Fruit of Faithfulness (Faith)

“So then faithcomesby hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Almost every Bible translation translates this fruit into “faithfulness.” The problem is the Greek word is “pistis” which is the word for “faith” that is used throughout the entire New Testament.

So when we are walking in the Spirit consistently we should expect faith to be growing in our lives. Now obviously, faithfulness will grow as well because this falls into the category of goodness and love. But faith, the miracle activating faith, will flourish as we walk with the God of faith.

[Related articles: Bible Study on Faith (Complete Guide) and What a Mustard Seed of Faith Means (And How to Have it)].

Fruit of Gentleness

“Let your gentleness be known to all men.The Lordisat hand.” (Philippians 4:5)

“Anda servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all,able to teach,patient” (2 Timothy 2:24)

The above scripture states that a follower of Christ is to not be quarrelsome but gentle to all.

A man of God does not speak harshly, nor are they loud and overbearing with their voice. They are gentle, able to teach, and patient with those around them.

Often, harshness stems from impatience and annoyance with other individuals. We can speak aggressively because the other person just “isn’t getting it” or “they are getting on my nerves.”

Love doesn’t get impatient nor can it become annoyed with situations and people.

We must recognize that these feelings of frustration, annoyance, and being bothered are all the fall of man, and the only way to restore the true response to difficult situations is by coming back into alignment with the Spirit of God.

As we stay in communion with Him, the natural response will be gentleness toward our spouse, children, friends, co-workers, etc. [Related articles: and Can You Talk to the Holy Spirit? If so, How do I do it?].

Because again, it is not what we can muster up, it’s His gentleness flowing through us to the world. If we “try to be gentle” we will have limits and those limits will break, but if we instead yield to Him and let Him have His way through fellowship then there will be no limit.

Gentleness will shine through us though our backs be flogged, and our skin burned. It makes no difference what the circ*mstance may be because it isn’t coming from us, but from an outside Source that is ever constant.

Fruit of Self-Control

“…For God gave usa spirit not of fear butof power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

The Greek word for “self-control” in Galatians is the word egkrateia. It is referring to the master of sensual appetites. Such as overeating, drunkenness, or sexual indulgence.

If you notice closely for every lust of the flesh found in verses 19-21 of Galatians there is an opposite fruit of the Spirit.

So when Paul lists the lusts of drunkenness, fornication, and adultery, the opposite of these is the fruit of self-control. Sexual fornication and drunkenness no longer have dominion over us because the Spirit of God has quickened our bodies to overcome these fleeting desires. But this only can happen when we remain in the vine and allow His life to flow into us.

Benefits of the Fruits of the Spirit

Walk in holiness. The fruits of the Spirit are holy (Galatians 5:16 & 22-23).

Be like Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ so His fruit is Christ’s character traits.

Result of walking in the Spirit. In other words, you would grow in your relationship with God (Galatians 5:16).

You would be completely selfless. Love is selfless and the first fruit of the Spirit is love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

No offense or unforgiveness in your heart. Love takes no account of a suffered wrong, and love is the first fruit of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

You’d be a great spouse, parent, child, friend, or co-worker. These fruits would make you a better individual in every sphere of influence (Galatians 5:22-23).

You would live free from sin. Those that walk in the Spirit fulfill the fruits of the Spirit but they also don’t practice the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

You would be truly happy and at peace. Peace and joy are a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

You would maintain a healthy weight. Self-control in this passage is referring to self-control in regard to food and drink (Galatians 5:22-23).

You would be free from addictions of all kinds. Self-control would free you from addictive behavior (Galatians 5:22-23).

You could endure trials, persecutions, and temptations. Patience in Galatians 5 is actually referring to “long-suffering” (Galatians 5:22-23)

You would grow in faith, and miracles would follow your life. The word “faithfulness” is not the actual word found in the Greek language. The word is “pistis”, which is consistently translated as faith throughout the New Testament.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.

If you want to know more about the fruit of the Spirit you can check out my other articles on the topic.

What is the Purpose of the Fruits of the Spirit? (Explained)

How to Develop/Grow/Bear/Cultivate/Have the Fruit of the Spirit

How to Receive the Fruit of the Spirit (+ Why they’re Important)

God bless you all and enjoy!

What are the 9 Fruits of the Spirit? (and their Meanings) (2024)
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