God’s character reflected in us
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:22-25
Once we have a relationship with God because we have acknowledged Christ as Lord and Savior, you and I are not debtors to the flesh, but to the Spirit. “If through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Romans 8:13–14). We must turn from flesh to Spirit. As Blaise Pascal puts the case in his usual upfront manner, “If man is not made for God, why is he only happy in God? If man is made for God, why is he so opposed to God?” It is quite obvious from Paul’s description of “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23) that in the Spirit of God and in the Spirit alone does man become fully himself and enter into the joy of God. This is why the admonition is to “live by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), for that is salvation’s way and true freedom. “Living by the Spirit” is to be in harmony with God and be at peace with oneself and other people. The Holy Spirit expresses the qualities of God himself through our personalities as we are changed and transformed. We experience and express “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, 23). These are all above the law for there is no law that can improve human nature. Paul insists that we cannot raise ourselves above the pull of sinful nature by ourselves, but we can be filled with the Spirit that lifts us Godward. God wants us to be in a position where the fruit of the Spirit can flourish; this is where true freedom is to be found. Living out the life the Spirit provides produces the fruit of the Spirit. The character of our disposition should reflect our calling. “Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:11-12).