Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Fruits of the Spirits~ A Spiritual Article by Heather Young

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23

            To walk in the Spirit is to act on these traits.  Yes, act on them; not to just have them.  The beginning of Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit.” Fruit doesn’t just grow on a tree by itself.  The tree has to work to get energy from the sun and water from the rain.  We are like trees.  We get our energy from the Son and water from His Word.  In order to bear spiritual fruit, we must look to God and grow closer to Him by reading and learning the Bible.  Galatians 5:19-21 lists various sinful acts and states, “…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God,” which does not mean that if you sin once you will not go to Heaven.  If you sin many times (as all of us have) you will not go to hell if you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and rose from the grave and ask God for forgiveness.  When God forgives you, you become cleaner than snow.

            Even before verses 19-21, verses 16-17 sum up what it means to walk in the Spirit:

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

            The Spirit and the Flesh are opposites.  The Spirit is purely good, while the flesh is purely evil.  Temptations arise from our fleshly sides but we can use the Spirit to resist temptation.  Difficult times will upon you, if they haven’t already.  We can be prepared by walking in the Spirit.  How exactly do we walk in the Spirit? Well, Galatians 5:24 explains that for us:

“And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

            When you become a Christian, it is your responsibility to grow closer to God through the Bible, prayer, and other ways that may help you such as devotional books.  We are God’s children, and when we believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross for our sins, we also crucify our sinful desires.  This does not mean that we never feel the desire to do something bad; it means that we now have Christ helping us win the battle over sin.  Isn’t that a really good feeling? We don’t have to rely on ourselves anymore; we need to rely on God and He will help us overcome our evil desires, no matter how big they seem to us.  Our problems are super-duper teeny-tiny compared to our great, awesome, mighty, glorious God, Father, and Lord, Jesus Christ.

            The Holy Spirit was sent to Earth to live in us.  It is our Helper.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control come from the Holy Spirit.  When we become a Christian, God sends the Holy Spirit to come and reside in our hearts and help us win the battle over our sinful desires.  “If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) You can be living in the Spirit but not walking in the Spirit.  Walking in the Spirit means to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Becoming a Christian means you are now living in the Spirit, but you must act on what God is telling you to do in order to walk in the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit are traits that you must act on so you can walk in the Spirit instead of just living in the Spirit.  Remember, God can help you win your spiritual battles, no matter how tough they are.

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