The nine fruit of the Holy Spirit as listed by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23; are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. They are all necessary for the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10); in the life of every believer in Christ Jesus. We were all created in the image of Christ, to bring forth the qualities of the life of Christ in our lives.
When Jesus gave the great commission, He never gave it to only those in the five fold ministries, or to the twelve who were the first Apostles. In the great commission He was actually referring to every believer in His name:
“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Mark 16:15-18 NIV
No believer in Christ can do anyone of these things, without the fruit of the Holy Spirit being evident in his or her life. The nine fruit of the Holy Spirit are therefore the prerequisites for a believer in Christ, to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
But for every believer in Christ’s name, to have the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit following him or her, the fruit of the Holy Spirit must be evident in the life of such a believer.
Even though the five fold ministries do need the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well, so as to be better equipped and effective for the work of the ministry. But the call into the work of the ministry is not only for those, who are officially in the five fold ministries. It is for every believer in Christ.
We should never forget that Stephen was a Deacon in the early Church, before he became an evangelist. Philipp was a Deacon as well, before becoming the great revivalist to the City of Samaria. It was after the fruit of the Holy Spirit became evident in them (when they were chosen as Deacons), that the gifts of the Holy Spirit started manifesting also.
The nine fruit of the Holy Spirit forms the basic foundations in the life of any Christian, which prepares that believer in Christ for the work of the ministry. If a Christian is not growing in the fruit (or the foundational necessities of his spiritual life); that believer will not have the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God is not interested in sending out a bunch of unholy, filthy and unprepared believers into the battlefield against the devil. He is looking for those with the fruit of the Holy Spirit, in sending them out into His harvest field. These are those who had decided to enter into a partnership with Him by the Spirit, in bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
I do strongly believe in my heart that the body of Christ, is in the crucial stage of being prepared to receive the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But the signs and the wonders are not for those, who are not willing to get rid of their fleshy desires.
The works of the flesh must die first, for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to manifest in the lives of those who proclaim Christ as Lord. It is time for those who are longing for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to get into living a holy and consecrated lifestyle that glorifies Jesus. The Bride of Christ must make herself ready for Him.
All of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are needed for the equipping of the Saints in the work of God. But without the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit, such edification will be impossible. That’s why many are weak and ineffective in reaching the lost for Christ. A sinner can’t get saved in a gathering of fleshy and worldly Church people. God does not move in glorifying the fleshy desires in any life.
WALKING IN WISDOM IS CRUCIAL
Of all the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, the word of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8) happens to be, one of the most needed gifts for the end time harvesters. The field is ripe for the harvest, but the laborers are few. It’s got to be the wisdom of God that will get the souls saved before Jesus’ return.
King Solomon advised us to:
“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”
Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV
God’s wisdom always comes from the inside of our hearts; where the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of us, as we enable faith, love and patience to develop our spiritual muscles through prayer and intercession.
Moses also said:
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV
The secret things that belong to God has been handed over to us by Jesus. Jesus took it all back from the devil and gave them to us (Matthew 28:18-20). It takes a believer in Christ who has the fruit of the Holy Spirit in him or her, to gain access into these secret things of God for the end time harvest.
That is why nothing filthy or unclean must be tolerated in our lives, as the vessels of honor to God. It is clean up time for many who are still on the sidelines, as they’re still running their Christian race, with one leg in the world of sin and the other leg with the gatherings of believers in Christ. There is too little time left for us, to start getting into this end time harvest. You are either in it for the Kingdom of God; or the devil will continue to get as many as are still playing the “churchianity” games, roasted and toasted with him. God is not playing games about everything He says to us in the Bible. He will do exactly what He says. It is time for many to start bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Jesus is coming back again!
PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
The role of prayer and intercession therefore cannot be overemphasized in the development of the spirit man at a time like this. A believer in Christ, who is not actively involved in spiritual warfare, cannot grow up spiritually.
Our ability to pray in the spirit is therefore an important key, into the depth of the wisdom of God (Romans 11:33). We are able to tap into the depth, width, height and length of the mysteries of God by walking in God’s wisdom. By praying in the spirit we are able to remove every hindrances, that are preventing us from walking in love, patience and in the other manifestations of the fruit.
Faith comes from God’s word to our hearts (Romans 10:17); but we grow with love, patience and other fruit, as we pray in the spirit to strengthen our inner man. This is how we are prepared for what God wants to do in our lives.
We don’t necessarily need to be led in the spirit, before we can start praying in the spirit. No, this is a spiritual exercise with a much more fruitful accomplishment, whenever it is done by faith and in faith alone. Our faith is what needs to be activated, in leading us into praying this way. We don’t feel led into these kinds of end time mysteries. We don’t need to have some superfluous spiritual experience, for us to tap into the mysteries of God. All that we need is our act of faith to release us into God’s wisdom for it.
The scriptures says it clearly:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6 NIV
It is not all of the mysteries of God that are available to us. There are many things that we will never be able to know, until we will see Jesus face to face. But for us to seek and discover the mysteries of God, which are necessary for the end time harvest, as we are bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives; we need to be walking before God in His wisdom by faith. Our faith grows whenever we release it in this manner before the Lord.
The word of God that gives birth to faith inside of our hearts, is the very source of God’s wisdom to us. Our spirit man draws always from the abundance of God’s word in our hearts. Just as faith comes by the word of God; wisdom also comes from that very word that is inside of us.
Our spirit man draws out wisdom from the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of our hearts, through prayer and intercession, whenever we are praying in the spirit. Such wisdom is necessary for application to real life situations.
Every believer in Christ does has a measure of faith, which comes from the word of God to us. That very word of faith is the wisdom of God in us. It may come by reading, studying or meditating on scriptures. It may come through the preaching of the gospel. Through whatsoever medium that the word of God is being applied from, faith always comes when the word of God comes to us.
MORTIFYING THE FLESH FOR THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
The flesh is a major hindrance to the believer’s ability in bearing spiritual fruit, and therefore a hindrance to God’s wisdom inside of his heart. That’s why Paul once advised us:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
Galatians 5:16-18 NIV
The desires of the flesh are contrary to the desires, or the wisdom from the Holy Spirit. We want to walk in the wisdom of God, but the wisdom of this world which is manifested in our flesh overrules the wisdom of God inside of our hearts.
That’s why a Christian who wants to live for Christ alone, finds himself living according to the standards of this world, instead of following the word of faith that delivers us into the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is by walking in the Spirit, that we are able to get rid of the wisdom that comes from our fleshy desires.
Paul told the Romans again:
“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Romans 8:13 NIV
We are able to put the misdeeds (wisdom) of our flesh, that hinders our ability to walk in love and patience to death, by praying in the spirit. Most of the time when people pray against the works of the flesh in their understandings, they are often led by their own flesh, opinions and feelings; which is humanistic wisdom in nature.
Our personal opinions or feelings are often not from above, they are from this world of flesh and blood. All of these always stands in our way to love and to be patient in trials and tribulations. The wisdom that comes from God, comes from the inside of us by the Holy Spirit, who got it directly from the Father above and gave it to our spirit man.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”
James 3:13-17 NIV
The wisdom of God has all the attributes of faith, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit with it. Wisdom flows where faith is activated with the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The fruit of our love and patience strengthens our faith in our spiritual development.
That’s why as Christians, we must never see the problems of life, as a hindrance to our spiritual fruitfulness. Unfortunately there are many believers today who see their problems in life, as the major hindrance to their love and commitment to the Kingdom of God. This is yet another lie of the devil. We don’t run away from God in difficult times. No, we always run to Him. Problems then becomes our stepping stone to greater heights in the Lord; as our faith and our ability to walk in love begins to get stronger and bolder.
If Jesus could use His temptation by satan as the stepping stone into His ministry, we can do even more, because He lives in us (Ephesians 3:20).
THE REAL PERSECUTED CHURCH ALWAYS GROWS IN FAITH AND LOVE
Paul once told the Thessalonians as they faced a fierce opposition to the proclamation of the gospel:
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,”
II Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV
The Church at Thessaloniki was at that time facing so much opposition, from the Jewish converts to Christianity, when Paul wrote to them. Even though the opposition from outside the Church was very strong, but it was not able to hinder or affect the bond of love, faith and unity among these believers. They grew in faith and love towards all Christians and one another, even as they faced the persecution from their fellow Jewish believers.
The body of Christ grows stronger in the face of opposition. This is still the situation today. Christians who are spiritually fruitful in the fruit of the Holy Spirit, will always grow stronger in faith and love, when they face persecutions.
We therefore can not use the difficulties of life, as an excuse not to pray, read or study scriptures. It is the devil who will like you to stop fellowshipping with believers, because of the difficulties that confronts you. Stand up against him by faith.
Start using every opportunity that is available to you by faith in your situation, to do exactly what the devil does not want you to do. This is the path that God has prepared for you out of your situation.
Don’t hold back. Stop considering your circumstances. Remember:
“for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]–”
2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 AMP
Paul wrote also to the Colossians about the love for God in their midst, which was mixed with their faith in God, as they were being confronted with similar opposition like that of the Thessalonians.
He told them:
“…we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel”
Colossians 1:4-5 NIV
A Church that lives by faith and in the love of God towards all believers, is a Church that has been renewed in the spirit of the mind by the word of God. The Church at Colosse grew in love and in grace even in the face of opposition. Difficult times came from the enemy in trying their faith and love. But the faith of the believers of this Church continued to grow in manifesting the power of the kingdom of God among them.
They did continued to win souls. They continued laying hands on the sick, just as Christ commanded them to do. The results are the great miracles which took place among them. They continued even in the midst of their difficulties, to minister to the needs of the weak among them – to the widows and the orphans.
A Church that grows in this manner, is the most dreadful Church to the devil and his cohorts. This is the Church that will always triumph in the face of opposition, because of their ability to walk in love and faith, in getting the victory when facing trials.
Apostle John wrote:
“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
1 John 5:4-5 NIV
If you are a believer in Christ, it is normal and natural for you to walk always in victory. You have no excuse for going back into the way you used to live before you got saved. No, No, No! You did not get saved so that you can return back to that dead, old way of life. The living Christ inside of you, is bigger and stronger than what you are going through right now. Don’t you know that? The scriptures says:
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”
Proverbs 26:11 NIV
No, you don’t have any reason to go back to living in the old fleshy ways, which you had abandoned when you came to Christ. It’s time to get rid of those flimsy excuses. Your Heavenly Father is waiting on you. It is time for you to get back into His word and promises for your life. It is time to begin growing in your prayer closet. You can use the very situation that confronts you now, to improve your spiritual development. Begin today to grow with it.
As an example we can see that Paul was used to praying for the Church at Colosse, which loved all believers everywhere in the Spirit (Colossians 1:8). The Colossians were able to love in the Spirit, because they were walking in the Spirit. We can’t love problematic people, if we are not walking in the Spirit. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we are able to love them. The Holy Spirit will always guide our steps in our association and relationship with them. He will cause us to keep ourselves in the bond of the love of God with them.
We cannot therefore compare the spiritual growth of the Colossians, with that of the Corinthians and the Galatians.
To Paul, the Colossians were great lovers of God’s people everywhere, because they had been able to effectively develop their spirit man, by living by faith which works through love.
But the level and intensity of the opposition, that both the Churches at Thessaloniki and Colosse were facing was different. The intensity of the opposition of satan to our faith in God, determines the intensity of the love of God through us to all men. The harder the enemy hits, the stronger we become in love and grace as we resist him. The Holy Spirit will then pour more grace and love into our lives in defeating the enemy.
That’s why the fruit of the Holy Spirit is vital, as the foundation that supports and maintains the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in you. Seek to grow more with the fruit, and you will see the gifts of the Spirit being manifested in your life. The nine fruits keeps the nine gifts in your life stronger as you grow spiritually, praying in the spirit.