Summary: This segment examines the fruit of the Spirit, the Spirit vs. the flesh, and some attributes of the Holy Spirit.


This nine-part series was originally developed for a class environment, and later adapted for use in a prison ministry conducted via correspondence. Because of that background, questions were developed for each lesson for participants to use in a setting conducive to discussion, or as handouts for private use if the lessons are presented as sermons. At the beginning of each part of the series, I will include the outline of the series.


Part 1

Introduction, Holy Spirit as deity

Names of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

Part 2

Holy Spirit in the NT (apostles to receive power)

Gabriel’s message to Mary

Foreseen by NT characters—Jesus, John

What we learn from Jesus in John 14,16

The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

Baptism in, or by, the Holy Spirit

Baptism of believers

Part 3

If I do not go away the Holy Spirit will not come

Men received and were dependent on the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a Guarantee

Grieving the Holy Spirit

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Being Filled With the Spirit

Part 4

The Holy Spirit in the Functioning of the church (first installment)

(1 Cor 12; Rom 12; Eph 4)

Gifts of the Spirit

The Head

Grace as Gifts (did not delve into each of the gifts, or special aptitudes, given by the Holy Spirit)

Functions “God Has Appointed”


Part 5

The empowering gifts of the Holy Spirit

Bestowing honor upon less “presentable” members

Order of functions (First apostles, second prophets, third teachers) Teachers discussed in Part 6

Part 6


First apostles, second prophets, third teachers.

Part 7

Ministries of the Holy Spirit

Are the Bible and the Holy Spirit the same?

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

Part 8

Fruit of the Spirit

The Spirit vs the Flesh

Attributes of the Holy Spirit

Part 9

Acting in opposition to the Holy Spirit

• Lying to the Holy Spirit

• Resisting the Holy Spirit

• Quenching the Holy Spirit

• Grieving the Holy Spirit

• Defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit

• Insulting the Spirit of Grace (doing despite)

Intercessor (though mentioned previously)

How Can I Know if I Have the Holy Spirit?

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Part 8

The Fruit of the Spirit

In the apostle’s letter to the churches of Galatia, he contrasts the “works” of the flesh with the “fruits” of the Spirit. In the interest of space I am not including the passage here, but I encourage you to read Gal 5:19-23 in your Bible before continuing to read this lesson.

Notice that in verses 22-23, Paul describes the Spirit’s fruit:

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.

Fruit is a metaphor for the produce – the garden, the crop – produced by the Holy Spirit. I see little use in going through a detailed analysis of each fruit mentioned, although each fruit deserves to be considered in the context of its presence in the life of every Spirit-filled Christian. But we are familiar with all the words and therefore do not need to define them here. If I define “love,” or “joy,” or “peace,” you will no doubt see in those definitions pretty much the qualities you already understand those words to describe.

So I don’t believe see that Paul’s intention was to launch a fragmented individual inspection of these qualities, which were already well understood by his readers, but to say “This is the kind of fruitfulness the Holy Spirit produces.” The larger question is, “Do our lives reveal, by this fruit, the Spirit’s presence?” Our difficulty is in examining the fruit in relation to ourselves, and saying “that’s me,” because there are times in our lives when our actions are not Spirit-led.

How many fruits are there of the Spirit? Nine?

Some commentators suggest that there is ONE fruit of the Spirit, and that the Spirit’s single produce--Spirit fruit--possesses all of the qualities Paul listed.

In Greek the word for "fruit" is karpos and the same word is used both for the singular and the plural. So, to translate this a little loosely but taking no inappropriate liberties, it could read like this:

"But the single fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

This would means that the qualities listed are a group of features describing the qualities of a single fruit. Other commentators point out that while the grammar in the original language allows that view, it does not exclude the view that each quality listed is a separate kind of fruit. It is an interesting question to ponder, but it’s not very important whether we believe there is one fruit of the Spirit, or nine.

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