Fruit of the Spirit indicates ‘quality of life.’ Galatians 5 tells us that once we’ve been ‘born from above,’ we have a new way of approaching life. We are no longer limited by what we can see, taste, touch, smell or hear (the five senses), but we can perceive what’s going on around us through spiritual perception.
Walking by the spirit produces fruit of the spirit. Learning to walk by the spirit takes conscious effort. That may sound contradictory since spirit supercedes human thought, but you have to make the switch between senses and spirit by your own free will choice.
How do you do this? You do this by practicing the presence of God. What does that mean? It means you have to remind yourself that you are now spiritual and the five senses don’t always supply the necessary information. To practice the presence of God, just remind yourself that God is with you at all times through the spirit of God within you.
Here’s an example of how to practice God’s presence. Say you just met someone and are talking with them. You’re looking for a natural opening to share your faith with this person. You don’t know the person at all, but God does. ASK GOD to show you something you can use to get inside that person’s heart with God’s Word. Asking God is how you practice the presence of God. God will often bring something to your mind that you can talk to the person about. The difference is that God knows what will cause that person to respond, either immediately or over time, while you would just be guessing on your own.
Why do we have to ‘practice’ the presence of God? Because before we were born of the spirit, we lived our entire life being limited to the five senses. The senses were the only avenues we had available to us to learn about the world around us. But once we have received the spirit from God, we have new, spiritual insight and abilities. We have to learn how to use this fantastic gift God gave us.
The fruit of the spirit is produced by walking by the spirit. There are 9 fruit listed in Galatians 5:22,23.
Galatians 5:22,23. 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.
There is some good information about these 9 fruit here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_of_the_Holy_Spirit
These 9 fruit fall into 3 major categories as follows:
1) Our relationship with God: Love, Joy Peace
We have the Love of God shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5), we have joy in God’s presence (Jude 1:24) and we are at peace with God (Romans 5:1).
2) Our relationship with others: Forbearance, kindness, goodness
These fruit aid us in helping others. Forbearance means ‘patience’ or ‘endurance’; Kindness is is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do, and goodness means virtue or moral excellence. All three of these are important in working with other people.
3) Our walk in this world: Faithfulness, gentleness, self control
It’s our responsibility to stay faithful to God and our Lord Jesus Christ but we need some help to do that through the spirit God gave us. The word translated gentleness’ means ‘meekness,’ not ‘weakness.’ and self-control means just what it says — you are not ruled by your feelings and the world around you but by the spirit of God within you.
Walk by the spirit and you shall produce spiritual fruit. Remember that fruit is for yourself as well as for others. When others see the fruit in your life, they may want it in their own. Let them taste of your fruit while you show them how to produce their own, by the spirit.