Our greatest inheritance (‘treasure’….2 Corinthians 4:7) as believers while we are still on this earth is the Holy Spirit and His ‘fruit’ (Galatians 5:22). Let’s take a look at some of the aspects of these.
‘Fruit’ is used to describe the qualities listed in Galatians because they take time to develop, especially to their full potential. Our progress as Christians is described as a growing process in the New Testament.
When we were first called and were given the Holy Spirit in our hearts we obviously did not automatically receive a boatload full of ‘love’, ‘peace’, etc., especially of the quality that is of a superior, ‘Holy’ nature. This will take time and is the growing process already mentioned.. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul speaks of how their ‘faith’ “grows exceedingly” (Green’s “Literal Translation Of the HOLY BIBLE” and Rotherham’s)….even our faith has much room to grow.
Each individual believer’s share of her or his ‘fruit’ will depend on at least three endeavors, which is like a ‘nourishing’ of the ‘fruit’ as it grows (just as earthly fruit needs proper ‘nourishment’ as it grows): (1) prayer….BOTH formal and informal….please reference the Posts “Pray on the Potty” and “Practicing The Presence Of God”, (2) heartfelt Bible study (2 Timothy 3:16) and (3) to the degree there is ABSOLUTE SURRENDER to God and Christ Jesus (please reference the Post “Absolute Surrender”).
Number 3 is very important and the Post “Bible Study Is Good…”If”…”But”…” discusses this. Being ‘lukewarm’ does not cut it with God and Jesus, as indicated in Revelation 3:16. An excellent article on ‘the lukewarm Christian’ can be found at http://chrismarlow.me/2008/06/are-you-a-lukewarm-christian/ .
Even though experiencing the FULL measure of the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ will take time, we can nevertheless enjoy lesser degrees of each quality of the ‘fruit’ as it ripens to ‘fullness’. This follows the example used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 telling how he was receiving knowledge by “installments” or in “part” until the ‘fullness’ has come. Likewise with the ‘fruit of the Spirit’, we can receive and enjoy in “part” of the ‘fruit’, in stages, until we finally partake of its ‘fullness’.
However, there are benefits from the Holy Spirit within us that are IMMEDIATE! We can INSTANTLY begin to utilize the power of the Spirit to change our lives for the better. We can INSTANTLY be comforted by the Spirit when the need arises. We can INSTANTLY be led by the Spirit in every aspect of lives. We can INSTANTLY rejoice in what we have received because of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. And, the list goes on.
The ‘fruit of the Spirit’ is as different from its human equivalent as is the Holy Spirit from the human spirit. In other words, it will EXCEED it in QUALITY beyond measure! For instance, consider the ‘peace’ from the Spirit’s ‘fruit’. Philippians 4:7 says this ‘peace’ is “surpassing all understanding”! The ‘love’ of the Spirit’s ‘fruit’ will likewise far EXCEED the quality of human love. This is a HOLY ‘love’, a HOLY peace’, a HOLY ‘joy’, etc. because it is the product of the Holy Spirit.
Notice, as well, that the verse does not say ‘fruits’, but rather, “fruit”. To the degree that we possess one aspect of the “fruit” we will proportionally experience ALL the other aspects of the “fruit”….they come as a ‘package deal’! For instance, we will not experience Holy “love” to a considerable degree but yet be lacking in Holy “patience”….they will both mature at the same rate.
How blessed we are to have the opportunity to enjoy this ‘fruit’ while we are waiting for the presence of our Lord and Savior and to be glorified with Him (Colossians 3:4).
All the best in Him.