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Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit - Part II

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This is a continuation of Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit - Part I. Please read part I in order to benefit from this three part introduction to the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

In the first part of the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit, we were introduced to love and joy. We now move on to finding out what the Christian Bible says about the remaining fruit of the Spirit: peace, longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness. Faith, meekness, and temperance are covered in part III.

Peace



Unfortunately, many people, including Christian believers, believe that Christ came to the world to establish peace on earth. This is the conclusion to which they come when they read, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). However, have they not considered that Christ himself taught, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matthew 10:36).

The peace of Jesus is for those who serve him. This is why he said to his disciples, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (St. John 14:27). What then does Luke 2:14 mean by saying, "and on earth peace, good will toward men?" Please read Did Jesus Come to Bring Global Peace? for understanding of the scriptures on the peace of God.

Longsuffering



The Living Bible Paraphrased uses the word "patient" for longsuffering, which is correct. Longsuffering is one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit because Christians are not only to be patient with others as the Spirit leads, but to be patient in their wait upon God. We read, "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3). We also read, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Finally, we are reminded that king David, a man after God's heart, said, "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me; and heard my cry" (Psalm 40:1).

Gentleness



Sadly, many Christian believers misunderstand this characteristic of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit and end up becoming "door mats." This not the intention of the scriptures. Did not John the Baptist speak very harshly to the hypocrites who came to his baptism? Yes, he did. Sometimes people need to be spoken to in a harsh tone; otherwise, they do not get it. John the Baptist called them vipers and called them evil. He said, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things...?" (Matthew 12:34). This is only one of many instances in scripture where we read of God's people speaking with bold frankness.

However, Christians should not have a loose tongue, have rude behavior (preaching the harsh truth is not rudeness) or an unfriendly demeanor. Christ preached the gospel and against sin, but he was the meek and humble--and gentle lamb of God. Christians are told to be as wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). Living the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit allows the believer to be all that God told him to be.

Goodness



Christians are to do good. This might sound like an easy thing to do, but it is not always easy to carry out. This is especially true if the believer is not even skilled in discerning good from evil. This is why the Christian Bible warns, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." (Hosea 4:6). Focus on this one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit is a little different.

Isaiah 5:20 also warns, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Yes, it is truly possible to sometimes be confused regarding what is evil and what is good. This is why the scriptures vehemently urge, "...Lean not (don't trust) unto thine OWN understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). And we read, "Get wisdom. Get understanding. Forget it not...." (Proverbs 4:5). This is very important to living out the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Continue to Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit - Part III


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