WHO PRODUCES THE NINE-FOLD FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT?
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)
If the nine-fold fruit is the fruit of the Spirit, what is the Holy Spirit’s role in or relationship to the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit?
It is my perception that the common perception is that the Holy Spirit produces the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. One of the questions that I raise is “What is meant by produces?” Does He manufacture this fruit without any believer-participation? – you know, something like, “Look fellow, just get out of the way and I’ll handle this.” If a believer is taught that the Holy Spirit produces the nine-fold fruit, then he might wonder “what is my responsibility in manifesting ANY of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit if it is the Holy Spirit who produces this fruit”? If the believer knows which of the nine-fold fruit he needs to manifest, does he just trust that somehow or another the Holy Spirit will magically or supernaturally produce that specific fruit, and BANG! – there it is! WOW! That’s easy. Yes, and wouldn’t it be if that’s how it worked? Experientially, manifestation failure after failure discloses the fact that it doesn’t quite work that way. If it were, every time failure occurred, the believer could turn to God the Father whose plan this would be, and say to Him, “See, the Holy Spirit has failed again. I wanted to manifest the fruit required for my circumstance, but the Holy Spirit didn’t come through.” Well, if this isn’t how it works, then, how does it work?
Can we agree on the following: 1) the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead; 2) the Holy Spirit’s responsibility in the Father’s plan is to reveal the plan and restore to the plan those separated from it; 3) the Holy Spirit indwells every born-again Christian; 4) the Holy Spirit indwells the believer’s human spirit; 5) the Holy Spirit is omnipotent; 6) the Holy Spirit DOES have a role in the believer’s manifestation of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit.
Thesis: In any given circumstance that requires a believer to manifest one or more of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, it is the believer’s responsibility to produce the specific fruit. It is NOT the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to produce the specific fruit as is commonly believed.
If a believer’s circumstance requires a manifestation of a fruit of the Spirit, the believer must first KNOW which of the nine-fold fruit needs to be manifested. Can you imagine needing to apply “agape love,” but applying “joy” instead? Can you imagine needing to apply “temperance” (self-control), but applying “faith” instead?
You might say, “Well, what’s wrong with applying “joy” or “faith” to any circumstance if they are part of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit? As correct as that thought might be, the problem is that “joy” is not “agape love” and “faith” is not “temperance.” You need “agape love,” not “joy.” You need “temperance,” not “faith.”
If I need to repair a flat tire on my automobile, will filling my gas tank with gas fix the flat tire? The answer is no because repairing a flat tire is not a result of filling a gas tank with gas. As beneficial as it might be to fill your gas tank with gas, filling the gas tank will not fix a flat tire. In the same manner, applying “joy” where “agape love” is required, and applying “faith” where “temperance” is required are no substitutes for what is actually needed.
The believer must understand that the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit are manifestations of new-man function, and they cannot be manifested from the source of the old-man. The power associated with new-man function is the Holy Spirit. The power associated with old-man function is the old-sin-nature. Hence, the believer must learn to function from the source of his new-man in the power of the Holy Spirit if he is to manifest ANY of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit.
Access to the new man can only be accomplished under the following circumstances: 1) salvation is the first requirement; 2) the believer must be clean before the Lord through the confession of any post-salvation sins; 3) the believer must function in “Operation KRRY”; 4) the believer must then produce the specific fruit of the Spirit required for his circumstance. Note that it is the believer who must produce the required specific nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit is NOT the One who produces the required fruit, but the believer who does the producing. Yes, I know that this is contrary to the common perception, but I believe my position is correct. It is the believer who produces the fruit, and not the Spirit. What then is the role or relationship of the Holy Spirit to the production of ANY of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit?
Note above that the third point in accessing the believer’s new-man is the function of “Operation KRRY.” Let’s explore that function in relationship to producing ANY of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. Let’s assume once again that the believer’s circumstance requires the manifestation of “agape love,” one of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. Actually, if we had chosen any one of the other eight fruit of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s role or relationship would be he same. So, the believer’s circumstance requires the manifestation of “agape love.” Let’s begin by noting that if “agape love” is going to be manifested, it is the believer himself who must initiate and produce the “agape love.” It is something that must have its origin within the believer. Among other things, “agape love” is “respect for another person’s freedom.” (Please see my document: Agape Love: What Is It?”) It might be interesting to note that even an unbeliever and a carnal believer can manifest any one of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. Both an unbeliever and a carnal believer can manifest agape love; they can manifest joy; they can manifest peace; they can manifest longsuffering; they can manifest gentleness; they can manifest goodness; they can manifest faith; they can manifest meekness; and they can manifest temperance (self-control). While these thoughts may be unpopular, they are nonetheless true. Their unpopularity is based upon the commonly false perception that the Holy Spirit produces the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, and since the unbeliever is NOT indwelt with the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for the unbeliever to produce this fruit. Additionally, since the carnal believer is out-of-fellowship with God, he has either grieved the Spirit or quenched the Spirit, and thus, the common perception would be that he is unable to manifest the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. Both of these assumptions are incorrect.
Assume for a moment that both the unbeliever and carnal believer are able to manifest love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Is there anyone that would deny that everyone of these fruit are in and of themselves “good”? – and therein lies the problem. The Bible teaches three different categories of good: 1) establishment good, 2) human good, and 3) divine good. By definition, establishment good can be produced by a believer and unbeliever. It is simply a matter of lining up with God the Father’s plan as it relates to freedom, marriage, family, and nationalism (including the practice of capitalism and a free-market-economy). Human good is defined as manifesting “good,” whether relative to human viewpoint standards or relative to divine standards, but manifested as old-man function. This means that the unbeliever or carnal believer when yielded to the old-sin-nature can manifest any of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, but when doing so, this is a manifestation of old-man function the result of which was yieldedness to the old-sin-nature. Divine good is defined as manifesting “good,” relative only to divine standards, manifested only from new-man function. This means that the unbeliever and carnal believer are unable to produce divine good because their nature is to function from the source of the old-man while yielded to their old-sin-nature. When the believer is functioning from the source of his new-man, his production will always be divine good.
The Holy Spirit does NOT produce the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit as is commonly perceived. His role is to take the nine-fold fruit when produced by the believer from the source of his new-man, and convert this “good” into “divine good” that is blessable-in-time and rewardable-in-eternity. The supernatural nature of the Holy Spirit’s work is not to produce something that the believer is perceived as incapable of producing, but to take what the believer has produced and convert it into something that honors God the Father and benefits the believer in both time and eternity, namely, to convert his “good” into divine good.
In any given circumstance that requires a believer to manifest one or more of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, it is the believer’s responsibility to “do-good” by producing the specific fruit. It is the believer’s responsibility to produce love, to produce joy, to produce peace, to produce longsuffering, to produce gentleness, to produce goodness, to produce faith, to produce meekness, and to produce temperance – all of which are “good.” It is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to take the “good” being produced by the believer functioning from the source of the new-man and to CONVERT that “good” into divine good. There is nothing wrong with appealing to the supernatural if God requires the supernatural, but why appeal to the supernatural when it can be explained in terms of the natural, namely, that the believer does the producing.
While this position runs contrary to the common perception among Christians, it makes the Christian responsible to produce the biblical manifestation of the Christian life while relying upon the omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit to do something that the believer is incapable of doing, and that is converting the “good” that he does into divine good that honors God, and produces the benefit of blessing-in-time and reward-in-eternity.