When I was young I remember a list on the wall that stated 12 points. The ones I can remember are love, joy, peace, patience, gratitude.

I'm certain these are straight out of the Bible.

What are the rest, and which part of the Bible are they from?

  • 1
    There are many lists of "fruits of the spirit", and none of them is meant to be exhaustive.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 13 '14 at 9:55
  • Just FYI, using BibleGateway you can search the bible for phrases such as "Fruit of the spirit" Aug 13 '14 at 13:26
  • 1
    @Flimzy There is a well known list of the "fruits of the spirit." Not to be mean, but you seem to think that nothing in Christianity is settled. That isn't true. There's more that is settled than I think you think. Aug 13 '14 at 13:45
  • @AffableGeek: I'm not sure how you got all of that out of my comment...
    – Flimzy
    Aug 13 '14 at 13:55
  • 1
    This question shows a lack of research effort. Bible gateway is the very first hit on a google search.
    – fгedsbend
    Aug 14 '14 at 23:06

The fruit of the spirit are listed in Galations 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)


To be sure, there are many biblical virtues, and each one, when empowered by the Holy Spirit, can be both an indication of spiritual growth and maturity and a powerful witness to a watching world.

The particular list Paul provides in Galatians chapter 5 is not an exhaustive list of Christian virtues, but it is certainly comprehensive. Notice that the list contains nine virtues, but together they comprise the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit (not fruits). The singular fruit is significant because the nine virtues are what you might call a package deal. The fruit of the Spirit, then, is

  • love

  • joy

  • peace

  • patience

  • kindness

  • goodness

  • faithfulness

  • gentleness

  • self-control

As we walk by the Spirit (v.25) and are continually filled with the Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18), we will manifest the fruit of the Spirit in toto. This requires a conscious and willing submission (or yieldedness) to His control. To manifest the character of Christ is not a pull-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstraps sort of thing; rather, it is a work of God's Spirit within us, enabling us to demonstrate Christ-like character within the community of faith and out in the world.

Interestingly, there is an evil counterpart to the fruit of the Spirit, and Paul provides a list of that fruit in Galatians 5:19-21. He calls them "the deeds of the flesh," and they are as follows:

  • immorality

  • impurity

  • sensuality

  • idolatry

  • sorcery

  • enmities

  • strife

  • jealousy

  • outbursts of anger

  • disputes

  • dissensions

  • factions

  • envying

  • drunkenness

  • carousing

Again, this list is not exhaustive, but it too, as with the fruit of the Spirit, is pretty comprehensive. What makes the two lists--one of virtues and the other of vices--so different is that each vice is proscribed by God's Law, whereas each virtue is not. We are not therefore free from the Law, but rather

"the just requirement of the Law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4, my emphasis).

We could never, even in a million years of trying, be justified in God's sight by keeping the Law, but Jesus in His brief 33 years on earth fulfilled to the letter everything the Law required, so that at the cross, His perfect righteousness could be imputed to us and our unrighteousness could be imputed to Him. By faith in Jesus' completed work at the cross we can become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

While we are not saved by works, God has called us to good works and He enables us to walk in them:

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10 NAS).

We cannot work for our salvation, but we are to

"work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13, my emphasis).

In conclusion, God has invested a great deal in each of us who claims Christ as our Savior and Lord, and He rightly expects a return on His investment. That "return" is Christlikeness, for God's plan for the ages was for His only begotten Son whom He loves to be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). When our lives are continually and consistently characterized by the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus, we are moving in the direction God intends for us to move.


There are some lists in the back of my traditional Catholic calendar.

  • 3 Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity
  • 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Piety, Fortitude,Counsel, Fear of the Lord
  • 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continence, Chastity
  • 4 Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance

  • 4 Marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic

  • 3 Attributes of the Church: Authority, Infallibility, Indefectibility

Other lists on the calendar. 10 Commandments, 6 Commandments of the Church, 9 Choirs of Angels, 14 Stations of the Cross, 7 Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 7 Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 Beatitudes, 7 Sacraments, 5 Joyful Mysteries, 5 Sorrowful Mysteries, 5 Glorious Mysteries, 12 Apostles, 4 Evangelists and their Symbols, 7 Corporal Works of Mercy, 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy, 7 Capital Sins and Opposite Virtues, 4 Truths Necessary to Believe for Salvation, 4 Last Things, 6 Vestments Worn by the Priest During Mass, 3 Evangelical Counsels, 6 Holy Days of Obligation.


Just to add to Guest69's excellent answer, Paul was exhorting the churches in Galatia to emulate Jesus. In doing so he was adding to what Jesus said in:

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The core of Paul's message was that the way you tell what a person truly believes is in the actions they take, and the outward appearance they display. His admonition was that if they truly had the Holy Spirit those are the characteristics they would display

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