The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, tells us the fruit of the Spirit is love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Meekness, Temperance; and he says of them, that against such there is no law. Let us examine into the character of these Christian graces, and then let us examine ourselves, and see if we are so bearing them in our daily lives as that we may be known of all men to be truly and really the followers of Christ.
“If ye love me,” said our blessed Saviour, “keep my commandments;” and again, “If a man love me, he will keep my words ; and my father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” At another time He declared that the first and great commandment is, that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. And the second is like to it, to wit, that we love our neighbor as ourselves.
The joy of the Christian is that emotion of the heart which is excited by a sense of the presence and love of his Heavenly father.
The Christian’s Peace is that which Christ gives to his disciples; “peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”
His long-suffering is shown by patience in bearing trials as well as injuries and offences.
His gentleness, by that mildness of manner, which is the reverse of roughness, severity or harshness.
His goodness, by his promotion of the happiness and welfare of others.
By the exercise of living faith, begotten in his heart by the Holy Spirit, the Christian realizes the ‘substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Through it, he is enabled to overcome the world, and this kind of faith is thus distinguished from a dead faith, which is overcome by the world.
His meekness is evidenced by submissiveness to the divine will; and his temperance by restraint in the indulgence of his natural appetites and passions.
Thus we see that the fruits of the Spirit is manifested in man only as he keeps the Divine commandments; loves his neighbor as himself, realizes the presence and love of our heavenly father, and his peace in his heart; by his patience; his mildness; his kindness; by promoting the welfare of all; by overcoming the world; by submission to the divine will, and by self-restraint. truly against these there is no law; for he is in Christ Jesus who brings forth these fruits, and Christ is in him; and he is under no condemnation, because he walks not after the flesh but after the Spirit. A blessed and happy state! attainable by all, and one in which, as man continues steadfast, he will find a preparation for that never-ending felicity, which is the portion of the righteous in the life to come.