Jesus and the apostle Paul both identified love as the distinguishing mark of the follower of Jesus. In his description of the fruit of the Spirit, Paul described how it is possible to love the way Jesus loved. But how do we love in this profound way?
The Fruit of the Spirit explores the nine interrelated traits of the fruit of the Spirit as the path that leads to loving the way that Jesus loved. The nine traits Paul identified—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—are interrelated and interdependent. Love is the number-one trait and the goal of the Spirit's work. Joy and peace are the inner disposition out of which love flows. The next five traits describe what love looks like in relationships. The final trait, self-control, is the key that make the others possible.
By learning about the interrelation between these traits and the barriers to them that are inherent in our human nature, you, too, can understand how the Spirit moves between these barriers—what Paul called "the flesh"—and empowers us to love as Jesus loved.