The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

Galatians 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

As I began to ponder the four words attached to the candles on the Advent wreath, it dawned on me that 3 of the four are listed among the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit, as found in Galatians. Love, Joy, and Peace, are in fact the first three fruits listed. Since I’m not a big believer in coincidence, and especially not in the reference to God’s Word, I simply must believe these attributes are important because they are driven completely by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruits of the Spirit are just that – His fruit born in our lives. Upon your baptism, you were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That is the Spirit of your Savior, Jesus Christ. His presence in you brings with it gifts (like mercy, teaching, generosity … there are several) and fruits, which are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. When the Holy Spirit came to you (in your baptism in most cases) God Himself took up residence. When it comes to that fruit, I see us as a “tree” that bears the fruit of His presence. The Holy Spirit is could be likened unto the sap that runs through a fruit tree. It is sap that creates the fruit. The tree just stands there and holds the apples, or pears, or peaches . . . That is how it is with us and these fruits of the Spirit. We don’t have to worry about creating the love, the joy, the peace . . .  we just have to hold it – display it.

Perhaps that is too simplistic, but if we are the ones responsible for creating these wonderful attributes, we’re all in trouble, for we are not capable of such creation. If I don’t have to create the peace, suddenly I am free of a job that is not mine, and since the Holy Spirit is ever present with His people, so too is His peace (and joy, and love, and . . . ) That’s why it is called the peace that passes understanding. Like the hope we discussed last week, this peace is already yours. You just get to hold it.