Summary: This segment examines the fruit of the Spirit, the Spirit vs. the flesh, and some attributes of the Holy Spirit.
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.
OUTLINE OF THIS SERIES OF STUDIES
Introduction, Holy Spirit as deity
Names of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament
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
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
The Holy Spirit in the Functioning of the church (first installment)
(1 Cor 12; Rom 12; Eph 4)
Gifts of the Spirit
Grace as Gifts (did not delve into each of the gifts, or special aptitudes, given by the Holy Spirit)
Functions “God Has Appointed”
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
First apostles, second prophets, third teachers.
Ministries of the Holy Spirit
Are the Bible and the Holy Spirit the same?
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit
The Spirit vs the Flesh
Attributes of the Holy Spirit
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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HE HOLY SPIRIT
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.