Galatains 5:22 tells us that love, joy, and peace are the fruit of the Spirit. Now this love, joy, and peace is NOT worldly love, or joy, or peace, they have totally different meanings. It does seem as if the devil honed in on some common words humans use, and pervert their definitions into secular meaningless and subjectivity so as to take away from their real meanings.
So let’s examine each one briefly.
Love – The fruit of the Spirit is God’s love, meaning completely unconditional self-lessness. Fallen man produces conditional strings on everything and desires SIN, so the perverted “love” you hear and see so much is actually LUST. Now lust does not only mean something sexual, it is a self-seeking conditional desire which some think is love, but it is just lust. With love comes TRUTHFULNESS! God is completely TRUTHFUL in His love. He doesn’t try to protect fallen human feelings, He always told the truth. So if you are exhibiting this fruit, you are a truth teller, not a liar, not a fibber. Example, you don’t tell someone they are on their way to heaven, when you KNOW they aren’t based on their unbelief. Love seeks the highest standard for another, and again, without condition! You don’t seek a “thank you”, because you love that person unconditionally. You seek absolutely nothing in return. You grant gifts because of this love without self affirmation. You hold absolutely NOTHING over the person you love. You freely forgive without the slightest condition to be met! This is God’s love!
Joy – There is worldly joy such as your team winning a game, the birth of a child, getting accolades from a career, a joke someone told, etc. And there is Godly joy! The joy of being in Christ, being part of His family for an eternity. It is an often inexpressible joy since it encompasses a peace without always understanding. The joy of Jesus knowing you personally, caring about you, walking with you! And this joy naturally exudes from you if you possess this fruit of the Spirit. You are JOYFUL because you are God’s child now, JOYFUL because He granted you repentance, JOYFUL to being led by the Spirit, JOYFUL to be in the fellowship of other Christians, JOYFUL BECAUSE YOUR ETERNAL HOME IS HEAVEN NOW!
Peace – There is worldly peace such as an end to a war, an end to a conflict with another, an end to an addiction or problem. Notice what the common word “an end”? Now the fruit of the Spirit of peace is a BEGINNING, not an end. It is KNOWING that whether good, bad, sad, indifferent, or ugly, God is sovereign. It is KNOWING God has granted you eternal life in Jesus, and nothing will separate you from the love you have in Him! (Ref Romans 8:38-39). It is a total calm in your spirit as you are led by the Spirit! You don’t need to understand the whys now because of this peace, you know and trust in God’s will and purposes. That WHATEVER the case or circumstance may be, God has it under His control, a peace without always understanding. The calm grows as your seed of this awesome fruit grows.
Now with all love, joy, peace being a fruit of the Spirit, the fruit GROWS. It isn’t in full bloom when one becomes a Christian, it starts as a growing seed. Meaning, one won’t be fully perfect in any of them, but the fruit should be growing, not dying, not staying stagnant. How do the fruit grow? By the literal watering of God’s word! The saved sinner being completely engrossed in this word, will see this fruit grow faster or slower depending on how disciplined they are by God’s will and purpose. Some will experience faster growth in love, some with peace, some with joy, some with all 3 or just 2 while some of the fruit growth will grow slower. Again it is all part of God’s purpose. The growth is called sanctification!
So to those who believe one can be sanctified without being fully justified, I ask why would God plant the seeds of the fruit of the Spirit if they didn’t grow? And to those who believe salvation can be lost, why would God plant the seeds of the Spirit if they just died eventually, and do you really believe God would plant defective and powerless seeds?