“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. Against such there is not law.” Galatians 5:22-23 MEV
Please notice the wording of the above passage. It is not “But the fruits of the Spirit….” It is: “But the fruit of the Spirit….!” The word “fruit” is singular. I have read and seen books and articles trying to tell us about the “fruits”, and I always cringe knowing that the author of the book/article had not correctly read the passage.
Paul is listing the characteristics of a single fruit. Pick one – any one fruit – and you will quickly be able to list nine characteristics of that same fruit. This passage is describing the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. What does a person who is living in the Spirit and fellowshipping in the Spirit reflect? Well, this describes them. What does the fellowship in the Holy Spirit produce? These characteristics describe them.
When we think about it, these words also describe our Lord Jesus Christ. His person becomes the internal reality in those who deeply fellowship in His Spirit. Notice I am not saying the people who pray in tongues, nor am I saying that people who prophesy, heal, work miracles, etc. develop these characteristics. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us who believe, and we are free to interact and use any and all of them. However, that does not create the fellowship in the Holy Spirit. It is simply working in faith through the gifts. I love the gifts and work freely within them, but that is not the same as “fellowship in the Holy Spirit.”
Fellowship is simply the interaction of His Spirit in us; our awareness of Him and flowing in Him as we live. It becomes very real in His presence in worship, study and focused interaction. Such times enrich and change our interiors. These characteristics are automatic in a life that has such focused interaction in our Lord Jesus through His Spirit. I think this needs to be expanded, so will leave this as it is and come back to it later.
Lord, thank You for fellowshipping in us and with us; for overshadowing our lives in your delightful presence and sweetness that we become as You are in our interior beings. Thank You!