Fruit of the Spirit

This post is about Galatians 5:22-23 – the fruit of the Spirit.

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

1. Singular Form

Notice the use of the singular form for the word “fruit”. 9 items are listed but they are considered one fruit of the Holy Spirit? Does it matter? If it doesn’t, why did the bible not use the plural form?

I think it does matter. Think about what it means if all 9 attributes belong to a single fruit. Wouldn’t it mean that if you are bearing the fruit of the Spirit, you would have all the attributes? Not just one or the other? I don’t think it means that we have to exhibit all the attributes all the time but they come as a whole package. You can’t accept one without the other.

2. What is a fruit

Wikipedia defines fruit broadly as “a structure of a plant that contains its seeds“. A fruit is therefore the means by which plants disseminate seeds and propagate themselves. The manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit is not for our own benefit. They are not our report card for righteousness. It is the means in which Abba God’s good news can be spread far and wide.

3. Self-control is part of the fruit

I have not fully understood how I bear the fruit of self-control. Isn’t the idea of self-control about controlling oneself? But the verse is quite clear that self-control is a fruit, not a work.