The Fruit of the Spirit

God has given humans an opportunity of a lifetime. We can interact with his Spirit and take on God’s personality.

Paul put it like this.

Galatians 5.22-25The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

There is no law against such things.

And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

A Blessed Command

Behind every one of God’s commands is a blessing. Verses 16 and 25 commands us to “live by the Spirit and “be guided by the Spirit.”

Galatians 5.16, 25Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

We fulfill these commands when we surrender the leadership of our lives to the Spirit and communicate frequently with him.

One of my favorite thoughts in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is this comment about self-will.

“The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis, we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good.

“Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If only his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great” (AA Big Book, Pages 60-61).

Instead of living by self-will, we have the great opportunity to live with the Spirit and be guided by him.

As we live in this fashion, the Spirit produces attitudes and actions that are consistent with the character of God.

The Fruit of the Spirit

When the Spirit is active in our lives, we will experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is the product of the exchanged life Paul wrote about in chapter 2.

Galatians 2.19-20I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Here is a summary of the exchanged life that Jesus came to give us.

(1) When Jesus died on the cross, we died with him.

(2) We are not alive, but Jesus (through the work of the Holy Spirit) lives in us.

(3) We accept this truth by faith and rely on Jesus through the Spirit to live his life in us.

God’s nature is characterized by the nine descriptive words in Galatians 5.22-23. When Jesus through the Spirit lives his life through us, these characteristics will also be a part of our lives.

This is not achieved by self-effort. It is achieved by daily living and being led by the Spirit. As we cooperate with him, he will live through us.

Making This Practical

As you finish this article, please pray this prayer that is based on the Bible verses mentioned today.

Dear Jesus,
By a mystery of your love, when you died on the cross, I died with you.
I count myself dead. Self-will is dead. Human abilities are dead. Pride in my accomplishments is dead.
You live in me through the work of the Holy Spirit.
I choose to live by the Spirit and be guided by the Spirit.
I accept this kind of life by faith and trust you will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in me today.
I cannot thank you enough for this great gift.
Amen.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss chapter 6.15 today on YouTube. I have the videos out of order. The video for this passage will be available tomorrow. As always, Rudy adds a wealth of information that you will not want to miss.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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