01/23

Producing God-Like Characteristics

“(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23

The Apostle Paul gives us some God-like characteristics that the Holy Spirit will work in us when we yield ourselves to God’s grace. He refers to them as the fruit of the Spirit. These are not characteristics that we produce only from our own self-discipline, training, abilities, or gifting. The fruit of the Spirit are qualities the Holy Spirit forms in us as we submit our heart and our behavior to Him.

When we come to Christ, our spirit is made new, or born again. This new spirit is made after the likeness of our Father God. Our heart is recreated according to the divine nature of God. Our soul and our body do not immediately change when we make Jesus our Lord. Sin is still at work in our soul and body. The Bible refers to those unregenerate parts as the “flesh.” In Galatians 5, Paul writes that the spirit and the flesh are always in opposition to one another. Dealing with the flesh is a condition all believers have in common. Paul tells us that we are to dominate our flesh and bring it under our authority through yielding our heart to Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. We are not to yield to the sinful desires in our body and soul.

God wants us to know our need for His help over sin. He wants us to realize our need for a Savior, and God wants us to recognize our need to live an overcoming life. Before salvation was offered through Christ, God showed humanity that we could not achieve a position with Him based on our performance, so He gave rules to His people. Some of those rules give us discernment on what God considers holy, others were in place for sins to be covered properly, and others were in place as an illustration of what was to come. No one could keep His Law perfectly, which is the point God was trying to make. Jesus is our answer. He removed the penalty for sin, so that our reconciliation with God is based on His power, not ours.

The fruit of the Spirit isn’t about keeping a rule by our own strength; it’s about living by His strength. There’s no Law about love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control. We need to understand that even our obedience is not done without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment. We cannot walk in the holiness of God out of our own goodness.

Application: If you are struggling with your flesh, stop fighting it and lean on the Holy Spirit to give you the power to overcome it. Yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him begin to produce those God-like qualities in you.

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