But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)
Read: Galatians 5:13-26
Consider: At the beginning of this short series considering the ‘seven deadly sins’, I mentioned that rather than concentrating upon sins, we would spend more time looking at the virtues that are desirable as evidence of a Christlike life.
We concluded the last post with the words of Paul from Colossians 3:12-14 –
‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity’.
The key to the development of Christlike virtues in our lives is not to try to develop them ourselves, as if the more energy we put into it the more Christlike we will become. It isn’t about gritting our teeth and saying ‘I will be more Christlike’. Christian living is not a mantra that is repeated day after day and gradually we become what we say. The key is to ‘clothe’ ourselves with Christ. As Paul says in Galatians 3:26-27 –
‘So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ’.
Of course, when we commit our lives to Christ we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that is why Paul could say in Galatians 5:25 –
‘Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit’.
Having been clothed with Christ and indwelt with the Holy Spirit, God wants to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We, however, have to be willing to surrender to God, so that he can mould our characters to become more Christlike day-by-day.
Pray: Father, may we yield our lives to you to allow your Holy Spirit to work in us to produce fruit that lasts. Lord, our desire is to become more Christlike in every aspect of our lives. Amen