The fruits of the Spirit are the attributes that start to rule over our lives as we turn from sin, begin maturing in faith and are “love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. God wants us to live with these qualities just as much as we want them, but how do we get there? As sinful creatures, there is no way for us to obtain these qualities except through our Lord, but we have to do our part to obtain them.
The first thing we have to do is to make a commitment to Christ, not only to accept Him as Lord of our lives but to also follow His commandments. As a Christian our sins will be forgiven and we will experience the wonderful grace of our Lord. Now having said this, these fruits mentioned above do not come automatically. Because we live in a world where we are surrounded with sin, where the principles of Christ are often not practiced, we must make a conscious effort to turn from sin on a daily basis. Then as we turn from sin, the Lord will replace the sinful nature with in us with these fruits of the Spirit.
Christ will give us all the tools we need to make good choices, like wisdom, guidance and strength to gradually remove the sinful ways from our life. However, our ability to take advantage of these fruits of the Spirit is dependent on our faith. In other words, these attributes from the Spirit will rule in our lives just as quickly as we allow them to. The greater our faith to trust the Lord in all aspects of our life, the quicker the Lord can bless us with these qualities that will give us true happiness. Living in society, there are pressures on us all the time that are contrary to the Lord’s ways. If we could just turn over all aspects of our life to Him like our jobs, families and even how we worship, He could take control of our lives and then His blessings would flow like water.
Again, this does not happen over night but through a full commitment to God, He will stand beside you as you make the changes in your life. In 2Peter 1:5-7, Peter gives us some insight on how to make this happen. “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” Now as you read these verses, notice Peter starts with the words, “make every effort” and what this tells me is that he is saying these are actions we are to take. It is understood, we cannot receive salvation with out God, but once we turn our lives over the Lord, then the work on our part needs to start. We do not just sit back and bask in the glory of the Lord, but we need to dig into our Bibles and understand what it is telling us.
God will open your eyes to newfound truths, you will experience the love He has for you and your sins are forgiven. The journey of maturing faith and experiencing the wonderful fruits of the Spirit requires you to start with faith, adding goodness, self-control, persevering through the tough times, studying your Bible to be more like Christ, learning to be kind to your brothers that will then turn into true love for the Lord and your fellow man. If you concentrate on this, you will quickly move down the path of maturing faith and the fruits of the Spirit will rule over your life.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant: What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit www.CatholicOrProtestant.com
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