I believe all Christians should memorize, pray, and meditate on Galatians 5:22-23. These verses give Paul’s promise for every believer. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces spiritual fruit which blesses our lives and changes us for the better.
This is Paul’s hope-filled message: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Paul told the believers of Galatia about the grievous sins which proceed from the flesh (that is, the natural person without the benefit of God’s indwelling Spirit, Galatians 5:16-21). Then he told them how to not carry out the desire of the flesh–by a life lived in the Spirit.
The flesh produces terrible sins which cut us off from fellowship with God and produce disastrous results in personal relationships (Galatians 5:19-21).
Let’s look at the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
First, the Holy Spirit produces good fruit which everyone desires. I sometimes say I know people who don’t care whether they are patient, good, faithful, or self-controlled, but they want everyone around them to have all the fruit of the Spirit. That is why Paul said, “against such there is no law.” He must have meant something like this: “Who in his right mind would ever outlaw these wonderful qualities of Holy Spirit filled living?”
Second, we must cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit. We become like Christ when we earnestly seek God. A person cannot become like Christ without submitting himself to God in sincere devotion. I, unfortunately, know many people who have professed faith in Christ but have no more love, joy, or faithfulness than at the time of their conversion.
You must seek the work of God within you to perfect the work of God within you.
Third, God gives “fruit” not “fruits.” This is not a cafeteria line where you get to pick and choose. You can’t say, “I would like goodness but I don’t want to be patient. God’s work of sanctification must be complete in your life.
Finally, learn theses virtues by seeking God and seeking these virtues for yourself. Memorize these verses. Repeat them to God in prayer and ask Him to “grow better fruit” in you. Be specific about what you need to do differently. Make this a daily habit. When you fail, ask God to forgive you and seek Him even more earnestly.
You will be amazed at the change which will start in your life.
Next Sunday, I will discuss individually and collectively the nine virtues which make up the fruit of the Spirit.
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