Read Galatians 5:22.
Paul uses the word “Spirit,” as representing that these things do not flow out from our own nature. The sins listed are the ‘works’ or result of the desires of the human heart.
Love, for God and to men. This is probably referring to the love of and for God and is the fruit of the Spirit.
Joy that is joy in the love of God; in the forgiveness from God; in communion with our Redeemer; in His service as well as in the duties of our faith; in time of trials and testing, and in the hope of heaven.
Peace, the “peace that passeth all understanding” and is the result of our reconciliation with God.
“Long-suffering” in affliction and trial and even when others hurt us.
Gentleness, the same word that is translated kindness in 2Co 6:6, and means goodness, kindness, and is not cruel, crabby or crooked.
We must have a controlled disposition, and one that treats people with courtesy, respect and politeness. This is one of the effects of the Spirit’s process on the heart, because faith makes no one grumpy, gloomy but fills the heart with gladness. It sweetens the temper; corrects an irritable disposition; makes the heart kind, and makes all around us as happy as possible.
In this case I believe the word seems to mean kindness, or a disposition to do well to others. The sense is that a Christian must be a good man, woman or young person.
Faith, that is, the Christian must be a faithful. Faithful to his/her word and promises or someone who can be trusted with confidence.
The object is not so much as to speak of the feelings we have towards God, but to illustrate the influences of the Spirit in directing and controlling our feelings towards others.
True faith is what makes a man faithful. The Christian must be faithful as a man; faithful as a brother, sister, friend and father. We must be faithful as a husband, wife, son or daughter.
He is faithful to his word as well as to his promises. No man, woman or young person can be a spirit controlled Christian who is not faithful; and under the influences of the Holy Spirit. Now, when this kind of faith is not evident it does not exist, and is deceitful and vain.
Verse 10, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”
That is, Walk as children of light and thus showing what is acceptable to the Lord. The meaning here is, that by so living you will know what is acceptable to the Lord.
Verse 11, “And have no fellowship.” The unfruitful works: that is actions of darkness that produce no benefit to the body or the soul. The word unfruitful is here used in contrast with the fruit of the Spirit, in verse 9.
But rather reprove them. By your life, conversation and all your influence. This is the business of Christians. Our lives should be a rebuke of a sinful world, and we should be ever ready to express disapproval of wickedness in every form.
Verse 13, “But all things that are reproved.” The word reproved means proved, demonstrated, or convicted. I believe the sense is that its true nature is demonstrated and made known.
“Are made manifest by the light.” Light is the means of seeing what things are, and so it is with the gospel, the light of the world. It enables us to see the true nature of actions. They are done in darkness, and are like objects in the dark. Their form and nature cannot be known; but, when the light shines, we see what they are.
“For whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” Anything that will show the real form and nature of an object deserves to be called light. Whether physical or spiritual, light is light.
No one can doubt the truth of this statement and the meaning that the light that reveals the true nature of what is done by the heathen deserves to be considered as light. The gospel should be regarded as a tool of light and truth.
Verse 16, “Redeeming the time.” The word here rendered redeeming, means, to purchase; to buy up from the possession or power of any one; and then to redeem, to set free–as from service or bondage. Here it means to rescue or recover our time from waste; to improve it for great and important purposes.
“Because the days are evil.” Because the times in which we live are evil. There are many temptations that would lead us away from the proper use of time, and that would draw us into sin. Such were those that would tempt them to go to places of sinful pleasure, where their time is wasted.
As these temptations grew, they should have been even more on their guard against a sinful and unprofitable waste of time.
Verse 17, “Be ye not unwise.” Be not fools in the using of your time in life. Exercise true wisdom by attempting to understand what the will of the Lord is, and then doing it.
Always remember, “WE CANNOT CONFIRM WHAT WE CANNOT WEIGH!”