Life is made up of choices. Some people even define life as the sum of your choices made over a lifetime.
In reality, you only have two basic choices. You can live in the Spirit or you can be controlled by the flesh.
Some people choose to be controlled by the flesh, but they would never want the people around them to be controlled by the flesh. After all, which of us would want a spouse who lives by the flesh? Would we choose things such as hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, envy, and drunkenness to live with? I certainly wouldn’t. I would choose to live with someone who would be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, and gentle. Who in their right mind would choose differently?
Going through that little exercise shows the wonder of the fruit of the Spirit that God bestows on believers. To get more insight into the fruit of the Spirit look at A Look At Galatians 5:22-23 and Another Look At Galatians 5:22-23. These posts will help you look at the fruit of the Spirit from different angles.
I choose to look at the nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit in terms of threes.
The first three–love, joy, and peace–refer to the most basic spiritual qualities. The first of the three is “the greatest of these.” John and Paul followed the example of Jesus and assigned love as the greatest gift.
For the most part, this refers in this context to love for the brethren.
Wherever you find love, joy will be closely associated. Joy comes from the loving relationship which we have with God and therefore causes the same kind of relationship with others. Peace, also, flows from a life of love and joy. Peace is the gift of God which cannot really be comprehended or reproduced apart from the grace of God.
The second three–patience, kindness, and goodness–speak of the virtues which reveal themselves in social relationships. Patience is long-suffering, the ability to put up with others even when they do not deserve it. Patience and kindness go hand in hand. The early Christians witnessed of their faith by their kindness to others. Kindness, of course, proceeds from love, another indication that love is the greatest of the gifts of God. Goodness comes from the work of the Holy Spirit and is moral and spiritual excellence.
The final three–faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control–refer to our relation to God, our relation to others, and our relation to self. Faithfulness to God and to His will is a result of God’s work in our lives. We live in loyalty to Him. Gentleness or meekness refers to power under control. It refers to the opposite of angry outbursts and vengeful thoughts.
Self-control is the power to keep the self in check, a difficult task in both action and thought. Self-control helps us humanly to accomplish all the other qualities. It certainly is the opposite of the works of the flesh characterized by immorality, indecency, and impurity.
Against such mighty virtues as these, there is no law.
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