"But the fruit of the Spirit is . . ." The use of the singular "fruit" instead of the plural "fruits" is instructive. It suggests the common root and interdependence of these several spiritual graces mentioned. They can be produced only in a life that is rooted in the SPIRIT; they cannot be hung outwardly upon a life like the toys and ornaments on a Christmas tree. Fruitage in the Spirit requires rootage in the Spirit. As it has been well put, "Christian character is CHRIST's excellency reproduced by the SPIRIT in a renewed life."
To bring forth the fruit of the SPIRIT is not only the Christian's happy privilege; it is his bound "duty" ( in Rom 8:12 the NIV uses the word "obligation" but it should be "debtor") as well. In a soul born of the SPIRIT there is to be fruit borne in the SPIRIT. The fact that we could do nothing to earn our salvation is by no means to be interpreted as implying that, having been saved by grace, we can do nothing to show our gratitude for the salvation we have received. Dare we be unmindful of the words of our SAVIOUR to the effect that our heavenly FATHER is glorified when we bring forth much fruit: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye
bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8)"