There are those who claim to be "Real Christians" because they claim to speak in tongues, heal people, or have some other supposed gift. Then there are those who put on air of being a "Super Christian" because of their following; such as some of television evangelists. But neither of these is what real Christianity - being a true follower of Christ and His teachings - is all about. The apostle Paul tells us in no uncertain terms how to identify a real Christian. "But fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in Spirit, let us also walk in Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-25) A true Christian is one who "walks in Spirit" and has fruit of Spirit manifested in their lives.
So, what exactly is each element of fruit of Spirit? Notice first that word fruit in Galatians 5:22 is singular - not plural. We are not talking about "fruits" of which you may pick and choose ones you want to have. They obviously come as a group. You can't have "one without others", so to speak. You can't have love without joy, peace, and patience. And you can't have peace without kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. You either have them all, or you have none.
God is love! His love caused Him to create us and all universe. It caused Him to provide for us a Savior in person of Jesus Christ. Love has provided for us God's Word so we may know how to live a Christian life. But love is also a part of us, if we are a Christian.
God's love for us is unconditional and undeserved. Therefore, if we are to have in us Love, it will also be unconditional and unmerited upon those whom we show Christian love. We will not only have love for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but we will also love our brothers and sisters in Christ. It will be a pure love not dependant upon favor of persons whom we love. They will not have to earn it, it will simply be there.
We will love those outside of Christ - sinner. We must be compassionate with those who do not know Christ and strive to win them for Lord. To love them is to bring them to Christ.
And we will love even our enemies - or those we perceive to be our enemies. This is perhaps true test of Christian love. To give to those who have hurt us in some manner, regardless of how severe that hurt, true Christian love and compassion. To want what is best for them, to pray for them, and to forgive them for their transgressions.
Christian joy is not excitement we feel when we purchase a new car or accomplish some difficult task. It is not rush we get when a perceived danger is past. And it is not happiness we feel as we plan an interesting and exciting vacation.
Joy comes from God. It is that quiet sense of well-being we have as we lay our heads down on pillow at night knowing that God will watch over us. It is that sense of belonging when we consider that we are a child of God - we are His child. To know that we have a Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on cross for us, joy is that realization. And finally joy is a taste of Heaven, but only a taste. Heaven will be full of joy. All thoughts and feelings of joy we can have here on earth will be multiplied thousands and thousands of time in Heaven.
I don't know about you, but after I came to know what Word of God had to say about future of those who do not accept Christ, I had a lot of fear in my life. It took me several weeks to muster courage to take that first step for Christ. But after I had taken that step and was buried in watery grave of baptism, I had for first time true peace.
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)
I think song writer says it very well; "There's a quiet understanding." It is understanding that God, His Son, and Holy Spirit are there for us. Our Heavenly Father to watch over us, His Son to intercede for us, and Holy Spirit to guide us. With this "quiet understanding," we can truly have peace in our lives.
Longsuffering (or patience) is also mark of a true Christian. In my job as an administrator in public education, there are many trials I must endure. I have colleagues who say, "I can't believe patience you have. How do you do it?" Actually it is not me that does it, but rather guidance of Holy Spirit that makes it possible.