Good Fruit or Bad Works?
In Galatians 5 the apostle Paul writes about a pretty striking contrast near the end of the chapter. Paul contrasts the “works of the flesh” with the “fruit of the Spirit”. The works of the flesh are those produced by those who do not know Christ. Here are those works: 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. I hope that none of us are excited about producing those “works”. But honestly, that is what is produced without Jesus Christ. Sure, there are exceptions in certain cases and at certain times but that’s basically your resume without Jesus. But with Jesus this is what Paul writes: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. In the believer, the Holy Spirit bears this type of fruit and those are qualities that I think we all can appreciate.
Everyone demonstrates “works” or “fruit”. Again, the unbeliever is not always evil and the believer doesn’t always display the fruit. But in the big picture this description is very accurate. I hope that you will allow the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in your life, fruit that lasts and that is evident to others.