The Fruit of the Spirit
Read Galatians 5:16-26
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to his (see John 15:4-5). We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors.
Because the God who sent the law also sent the Spirit, the by-products of the Spirit-filled life are in perfect harmony with the intent of God’s law. A person who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the law far better than a person who observes the rituals but has little love in his or her heart.
In order to accept Christ as Savior, we need to turn from our sins and willingly nail our sinful nature to the cross. This doesn’t mean, however, that we will never see traces of its evil desires again. As Christians we still have the capacity to sin, but we have been set free from sin’s power over us and no longer have to give in to it. We must daily commit our sinful tendencies to God’s control, daily crucify them, and moment by moment draw on the Spirit’s power to overcome them (see Galatians 2:20; 6:14).
Which of the nine qualities listed in the passage above (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) do you want the Spirit to produce in you? Why? How has God worked within you in the past week?