Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Question: Are we focusing more intently upon our Lord as we see the rampant lawlessness, anger and venom that are being exhibited throughout our society? We must not develop a “hold the fort” mentality in the midst of this – (“Lock the doors and hang on until Jesus comes!”) As the darkness grows, the light of Christ Jesus within us must shine brighter. We are His – and are here for such a time as this!
Given Jesus’ warnings about the condition of the world – particularly as we approach the end times, we shouldn’t be surprised to see such behaviors becoming more and more abundant. And woe to us if these behaviors are found in our lives. Here is the root of the problem as identified in Galatians 5:19-21a. These are the actions of the sinful nature:
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
That is what we as followers of Jesus have been freed from. We have a new nature and the power of the Holy Spirit to live lives that produce righteousness. Here are the “fruit of the Spirit” that must characterize our lives as described in The Message version of today’s verses:
5:22-23a But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
No matter what happens, we have the opportunity and privilege to have our life characterized by the fruit of His Spirit. We also have the responsibility to live such lives. Lord Jesus – help us to recognize that this isn’t optional for those following you!