Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
In comparing those who walk by the Spirit with those who walk by the flesh, Paul gives a long list of the characteristics of those who walk by the flesh and states they will not inherit the kingdom of God. However, those who are led by the Spirit are not under the law and are given new characteristics by the grace of God. These new God given characteristics are called the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is not attributes that Christians should have, but are attributes they do have. Paul does not say that Christians should crucify the flesh with its passions and desires, but they have done so. Praise God that Christians are given the fruit of the Spirit that enables them to crucify the works of the flesh that Paul lists in v. 19-21. While the sinful nature is still a problem in believers, they are no longer slaves to sin.
Anyone who professes faith in Christ but has not experienced any change in their desires and attributes does not belong to Christ and is not saved. They may consider themselves carnal Christians, but they are actually carnal unbelievers in bondage to sin.