“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22,23).
The “fruit of the Spirit” is that combination of graces evidenced in the lives of believers who “walk in the Spirit.” Let us never make the mistake of supposing that “the Spirit,” in Gal. 5:22,23, refers to “the spirit of man which is in him” (I Cor. 2:11). It refers rather to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, who indwells believers. The spiritual virtues listed above do not spring from any goodness in us, but from the Spirit of God dwelling within.
Next, we should observe that these graces are not the product of human effort. The passage above declares that they are fruit, and fruit is the natural product of life and growth. Indeed, “the fruit of the Spirit” is here contrasted with “the works of the flesh” (Vers. 19-21), and these are all bad!
Finally, it is a remarkable fact that the graces which the Holy Spirit produces in yielded believers are certainly not those which the world admires. The world admires self-confidence, self-respect, self-made men, intellectual prowess, personal magnetism, authority, etc., while the Spirit produces “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” But consider the difference. A man may have self-confidence, intellectual acumen, political or other power — and he may still be very difficult to live with, but not so with the virtues which the Spirit produces. Of those who possess these graces the Apostle says: “Against such there is no law.”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.