Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-24
“22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians‬ ‭5:22-24‬
The more I study these verses, the more I realize how beautiful and supernatural the origin of these qualities. And it must be noted that only the Biblical God of Creation prizes and characterizes these qualities. All other gods and deities are vile or immoral and bent toward the devious. They line up with the deeds of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit.
These fruits are not normal human qualities. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are desired qualities but impossible for sinful people to consistently manifest apart from grace and Divine help. But this context teaches that these qualities should become normal for Christians. These are fruits or natural outcomes of walking in the Spirit.
This is undoubtedly what Jesus had in mind in Matthew 7:16-20 when He stated “you will know them by their fruits.” The Spirit of God pours out agape love in the heart of every true believer. (Romans 5:5) This is an undeniable fact of regeneration.
This is why Jesus noted in John 13:34-35 that His followers would be distinguished by the way they loved one another. This “New Commandment” to love one another as a direct byproduct of the inner working of the Holy Spirit automatically fulfills the Law. (See Romans 13:10) Christians need not be legalistic, they merely need to focus on becoming loving and Christ-like. The fruit of the Spirit produces inner holiness.
Note what Paul concluded about the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:23; “… against such things there is no law.” None of the Ten Commandments can be broken when consistently walking in the Spirit and producing these fruits.
The flesh cannot keep the Law. The deeds of the flesh as recorded in Galatians 5:19-21 are why the Law was given. It was given to put boundaries around human depravity and attempt to reel in sinful corruption. But the Law failed to make people good because it was dependent on the effort of the flesh. (See Romans 8:1-4). According to these verses, Jesus has a different plan to transform people. He focuses on salvation and the walk in the Spirit.
I always scratch my head when supposed Christians argue about the importance of trying to keep the Law. The only way that is possible is through being born-again and walking in the Spirit. The flesh cannot keep the Law!
In fact Galatians 5:24 puts the hammer on the nail when it says; “Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” There is no excuse for any Christian to live in bondage to the deeds of the flesh.
Jesus died on the cross to set us free. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of every true believer is a journey toward freedom, inner healing and wholeness. He washes and sanctifies every true believer. He moves us toward holiness.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global