When you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are changed forever. Your life is changed from the inside out. It starts at the moment of salvation and continues all the days of your life. God desires for you to steadily grow throughout your entire lifetime, and He will help you every step of the way.
The great work that God does to change you on the inside results in a transformed life that all can see. This life is very different than your old way of living. Your old nature was marked by sinfulness and flesh-centered living. The Bible describes the flesh-centered life this way:
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance — as I told you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
The life of self-centered, flesh-centered living is alluring, but it doesn’t fully satisfy. It leaves you empty, feeling guilty, hurting, lost. It ultimately leads to eternal separation from God. But God loves you so much that He provided the way to eternal life — Jesus.
God changes us through Christ. He fills us with His Spirit. He changes us from the inside out. When you read the list below, you will notice that every one of these character traits were perfectly displayed in Jesus when He walked the earth. And God wants your life to look just like Jesus. It’s good for you, and it honors Him.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
Four truths about the fruit of the Spirit:
- God’s way is the best way. As verse 23 says, “Against such things there is no law.” The reason there are no laws against the fruit of the Spirit is because God’s way is the best way. An interesting note: in almost every society, there are laws against the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), especially when those works are carried to the extreme.
- God produces His fruit in us. He produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control. You don’t have to try to work it up. God is the one who produces His fruit in us. As we stay close to Him, stay focused on Him, rest in Him, depend on Him, and draw strength from Him, He produces His fruit in us.
- God desires to produce ALL of His fruit in us. The Bible says that “the fruit of the Spirit is….” Notice that the word “fruit” is singular and the verb is singular (“is”). The Bible does not say that the fruits of the Spirit are…. What this means is that all of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit should be displayed in our lives. We don’t pick and choose. God produces it all.
- God uses His ways to produce His fruit in us. Three ways that God works:
- Salvation – “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”
- Determination – God puts a determination in us to want to “live by the Spirit”
- Daily Guidance – “we must also follow after the Spirit”