The Fruits of the Spirit: Love and Joy
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 (NIV)
The first fruits are the fruits of Love and Joy. Love is probably one of the most important fruits that the Spirit can give, as it is the main characteristic of Christ. But what does love mean, and what kind of love does God want us to have. Do you know the word for love used in the original Greek version of the bible is, Agape. Agape means the love that God has for humans, a force of
undefeatable benevolence and mercy, an unconditional and self-giving love that gives freely and asks for nothing in return. Agape love is more than just a feeling, as most love is today, it is rather by choice to love others as God loves humanity.
The second given by the Holy Spirit is Joy. Joy is a feeling that can differ for many people. For some joy is a combination of satisfaction and happiness, to other it is a sense of relief when hard times are over, there are so many sources of joy, but there is only one source of true joy. The Greek word for joy is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for grace. This is significant because it means that joy is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes, but rather, joy is divine in origin. True joy is a gift given to man by the endless grace of God. When we do the will of God, I myself and many others, have felt the Joy that can never be surpassed in the world.
Paul himself said ,” It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” The purpose of the Fruits of the Spirit is to free us from sin by telling us how to avoid sinning. Paul wrote that the fruits of the spirit can only grow when one has repented for their sins. But the repentance has to be genuine for bad trees cannot grow good fruit and Christians cannot grow without the Fruits of the Spirit.