What Are The Fruits Of The Spirit In The Bible? (a complete guide) (2024)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

What are the fruits of the Spirit in the Bible?

The fruit of the Spirit shows us how we can produce things of value in our life. It’s a powerful teaching that every Christian should know.

We are going to look at the meaning of Galatians 5:22-23 and see what we can learn about the fruits of the Spirit.

Table of Contents

The Meaning Of Galatians 5:22-33

In the verses prior to this, Galatians 5:16-18, we see the fruits of the Spirit contrasted with another list called the desires of the flesh. The first list is marked by sinful desires that are the result of when we let our flesh control and dictate our lives. The second list is a result of what the Holy Spirit produces in us when we follow God.

What Paul is arguing is that your life is producing something; the question is what is it that you want your life to produce?

The message of Galatians 5:22-23 is that God is the one that is growing the fruit in our lives. On our own we are incapable of producing this fruit; all we can do is produce desires of the flesh. But when we put our trust in God the fruits of the Spirit will grow.

So, what are the fruits of the Spirit in the Bible? Let’s dive in and look at each fruit individually.

What Are The Fruits Of The Spirit In The Bible? (a complete guide) (1)

What Are The Fruits Of The Spirit In The Bible?

Below are each of the fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22 – 23. I’ve broken them down into three categories so that you can see what these fruits look like in our lives.

Qualities From God

Qualities Displayed Toward Others

Qualities Of Self

Now, let’s look at each fruit of the Spirit individually and see what they are.

The Fruit Of Love

It should be no surprise that the first fruit listed is love. Throughout God’s Word and especially the New Testament, love is the most prominent characteristic of God AND his followers.

The word love here comes from the Greek word agape (ἀγάπη), which means perfect or unconditional love. This is the kind of love that can only come from God.

Here Paul is saying that the fruit of the Spirit produces agape love in us. This love isn’t based on a feeling, rather a choice. We choose to love even when we don’t feel like it, and they don’t deserve it.

Much like God’s love, we don’t deserve it, yet he gives it anyway. Followers of Jesus are to embrace this same attitude. And with the power of the Spirit of God we can not only live in God’s love for us but extend it to those around us.

The Fruit Of Joy

I’ve been around too many Christians who are just miserable and grumpy. That should never be the case for Jesus’ followers.God doesn’t want you to be miserable. He wants you to be full of JOY.

The word translated as joy is chara (χαρά). It means to be full of gladness and delight. It goes beyond just feeling happy because our life is good. Rather it means that our joy is rooted in something deeper than our circ*mstances. The Bible tells us time and time again that we can have joy in our difficulties and trials. Even in the valley of the shadow of death God is with us and we can have joy.

For many joy is conditional. If things are going well in life then we can be joyful. But the joy of the Lord is something that is with us even in the hard times. With the help of the Holy Spirit joy can be a marker in a Christian’s life.

For more about joy check out: 30 Uplifting Bible Verses About Joy

The Fruit Of Peace

The world around us yearns for peace, but peace is hard to come by. Our lives are chaotic and the world around us is constantly in conflict. So while we desire peace it seems out of reach. But Jesus offers us a path towards eirene (εἰρήνη), peace.

Much like joy, peace isn’t based on our circ*mstances. Peace is found when we fix our minds on the One who is bigger than our circ*mstances.

In other words, we can find peace even in the middle of storms. How? Because God is bigger than whatever it is we are facing. We can be at peace when we keep our eyes on him.

God’s peace isn’t found in the absence of storms, but rather in the midst of them.

The Fruit Of Patience (Forbearance)

I’m not a patient person. When I have to wait even a few minutes I can get pretty agitated. Thankfully God is not that way with us. He’s very patient.

The word for patient in Galatians 5:22 is makrothumia (μακροθυμία). It means to endure, be steadfast, long-suffering, and slow in avenging wrongs. This patience isn’t really talking about waiting in a long line. Rather it’s talking about having patience with those who have wronged us.

This is exactly what God does for us. We’ve sinned, committed wrongs against him, and he is patient with us. He waits for us to return to him. He doesn’t force us or get frustrated and give up. He is slow to anger, steadfast in his love, and endures our continued disobedience. He is patient with his children.

It’s this fruit that God wants to grow in our life. And isn’t that what the world today is in desperate need of? Just as we benefit from Christ’s patience, those around us can benefit from our patience displayed toward them.We should model for others the same patience God has shown us.

The Fruit Of Kindness

The world is often not a kind place. Just look at the comment sections on social media. We excuse it as truth telling, but the reality is often we are just being mean and trying to assert ourselves over others. We are rarely kind with everyone we interact with.

Paul uses the word chréstotés (χρηστότης) here to show how followers of Jesus should be different. This word means to be full of moral goodness and gentleness. This kindness is displayed in our actions, particularly how we treat others.

I see far too many Christians try to bully and argue people into following Jesus. That’s not effective, and that’s not what God does. It’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, not his judgment.

Christians should be full of gentleness and kindness towards others. Especially those who they disagree with.The fruit of kindness is what shows those around us the love of God, not judgment and condemnation.

The Fruit Of Goodness

The fruit of goodness is closely tied with kindness. The word used in Galatians 5:22 is agathosune (ἀγαθωσύνη). It means to show kindness and be upright. This fruit focuses heavily on how we treat those around us.

Here’s the reality, God cares deeply about how we treat those around us. Jesus says this in Matthew 22:36-40, our love for God is shown in how we treat those around us. He wants his followers to love people as he loves people.

I see an increasing number of Christians tear people down in the name of “truth.” That’s not what Jesus did, nor is that what we should do. We should be full of goodness and display kindness towards those around us.Goodness should flow from our lives when we let the Holy Spirit produce this fruit in our lives.

The Fruit Of Faithfulness

Paul uses the word pistis (πίστις) here and literally it means to have faith or to believe. To be faithful means to be reliable or trustworthy.God has given each of us gifts and talents, and our job is to be faithful in how we use what God has entrusted us with.

As with all the fruits of the Spirit, Jesus models this for us. He shows us what it means to remain faithful even when the going gets tough.He was faithful to his mission even to the point of death.

He’s been faithful to us, and we are called to be faithful to God. Even when it’s difficult and we want to abandon ship, being faithful means that we remain trustworthy. We can only do that through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of faithfulness means that we remain trustworthy even when the storms come.

The Fruit Of Gentleness

The word that is often translated as gentleness is prautes (πρᾳΰτης). This word is also commonly translated as meekness. Which we often view as weakness. But that’s not what this word means. To be meek means to have your strength under control.

This is not a value of our culture. We think to get what we want we need to be brash, loud, and force our way. But God calls his followers to another way. To be gentle. To be in control of our strength.

Consider how God is gentle with us. He could destroy us, but instead he keeps his strength under control and displays gentleness. This is the quality we are to display towards others.

The fruit of gentleness means that we keep our strength under control and practice gentleness.

The Fruit Of Self-Control

To practice self-control, the Greek word egkrateia (ἐγκράτεια) means to be in control of one’s own body and desires. It means that we don’t let anything, even a good thing, control us. Instead, we remain in control physically and mentally.

We tend to think of freedom as doing whatever we want when we want. But that practice enslaves us to our own desires. It’s self-control that actually leads us to freedom.

Self-control should be a marker in a Christian’s life. We shouldn’t become addicted to, dependent on, or in need of anything other than God.

Christians ought to be in control of their desires rather than a slave to them.

How The Fruit Of The Spirit Apply To Your Life

When Paul wrote Galatians 5:22-33 he meant for it to be a direct contrast to the previous list, the desires of the flesh. He’s challenging his readers to evaluate their life and see what kind of fruit they are producing. Are they producing the fruits of the Spirit? Or the desires of the flesh?

To end this post let’s do just that. Let’s read the two lists and ask ourselves, which list better describes the fruit my life is producing?

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

This is the list that is used to describe all our lives on some level; we have been controlled by our sinful nature. Paul is saying that when we decide to follow God our lives should start looking different. Now our lives should be marked by the fruit of the Spirit .

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

So, which list better describes your life? Obviously not perfectly, we all will struggle with the desires of the flesh for the rest of our time on this earth. But which of these lists is your life trending toward?

We will never fully embody the fruit of the Spirit this side of heaven. God gives us grace for our mistakes. And that grace makes it possible for us to continue producing much fruit. Not by our power, but rather by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

So, produce something of value in your life. The only way to do that is grow your faith and let God cultivate that fruit in you.

If you want to better embody the fruits of the Spirit in your life try spending more time with God. Here’s some ideas to help: 15 Creative Ways You Can Spend Time With God

Another great resource I highly recommend to help you produce fruit is Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52. These simple 15-minute daily readings will help you connect with God and understand the Bible better. They are INCREDIBLE. Plus there are kids/teen versions as well!

You can buy them here:

  • Author
  • Recent Posts

Follow Me

Jeffery Curtis Poor

Husband. Father. Pastor. Church Planter. Writer. Trying to be more like Jesus each day.

BA in Biblical Studies - Ozark Christian College (2012)
MA in Theology - Regent University (2019)

Email Me: Email

Follow Me

Latest posts by Jeffery Curtis Poor (see all)

  • The Powerful Proverbs 27:17 Meaning (iron sharpens iron) - March 25, 2024
  • What Is The Meaning Of James 1:17? (every good and perfect gift) - March 19, 2024
  • Church, Your Hope Is Not In The Election. - March 19, 2024

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affliliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. This is at no cost to you and helps keep Rethink up and running.

What Are The Fruits Of The Spirit In The Bible? (a complete guide) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated:

Views: 5974

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.