Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:16-25
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22,23)
The Holy Spirit is the primary agent in bringing the finished work of Christ to bear upon our lives. The Holy Spirit came to live within us when He caused us to be born again by His power. He is the Spirit of adoption who makes us sons and daughters of God (Romans 8 12-17). We are never alone, for the Spirit permanently is present within us. Therefore, His presence and power are available to us.
But we must also realize that we still possess a remnant of our old nature. The Bible calls this old nature “the flesh.” The central problem with the flesh is that it makes my life all about me; it makes me a selfish, self-centered person. The fierce battle that takes place within us is between the flesh and the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,17). The question is: will we yield to the flesh or to the Spirit? The more we yield to the Spirit, the more we are filled with Him, and the more fruit we will bear — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Notice the singular form of the word “fruit.” The Spirit produces all the qualities listed in “the fruit of the Spirit.” We don’t pick and choose, for all are available to us. Last week we looked at the first three — love, joy and peace. We saw how the Spirit produces these deep within us. The closer we are in fellowship with Jesus, the more of His love, joy and peace we will experience.
The other fruit of the Spirit are also necessary for maintaining healthy relationships — patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In Ephesians 5, the command to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) precedes instructions about our most basic relationships — husbands, wives, parents, children (Ephesians 5:22-6:4), along with our work relationships — slaves and masters, or in our day, employees and employers (Ephesians 6:5-9). These basic relationships require all the fruit of the Spirit in order to have growing and healthy interaction between one another.
When we lack patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control, we know that we are not filled with the Spirit. We are operating in our self-centered mode. Our primary problem is self-centeredness; I am the problem! Each fruit of the Spirit is necessary to enable us to overcome our selfish tendencies.
As we have seen preciously, to be filled with the Spirit means to be controlled by the Spirit rather than being controlled by our selfish nature. The Spirit produces His fruit in us when we consciously yield to His presence and power. But remember that we can quench the Spirit — “Do not quench the Spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:19). We quench the Spirit when we ignore His presence within us and fail to submit to His promptings. To do so sets us up for failure.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is one of God’s greatest blessings to us. To walk in the Spirit is to walk in new life with Jesus Christ. When we do so, we will experience the fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The key is to have an intimate, growing relationship with our Savior Jesus.
Spirit of God, produce within me Your fruit. Give me the ability to love others with the love of Christ. Give me His peace and joy. Enable me to have patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I know that I can never produce these things in my life, only You can do so. Fill me fresh this day with Your presence and power. Let me yield to Your will and walk in step with You.
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