Focal Passage: Galatians 5:13-26
The best way to identify what type of fruit tree you’re looking at is to identify its fruit. Apple trees grow apples. Pear trees grow pears. The tree is known by its fruit. Scripture tells us that Christians are identified by their fruit as well.
After carefully reminding the churches of Galatia of their freedom in Christ, Paul ensures that they know the purpose of that freedom. God has given us freedom through Jesus so we can use it to love one another. Paul notes that we accomplish this by the work of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us.
As we are led by the Spirit, our lives bear good fruit and show we have faith in Jesus.
Paul writes that it is easy to distinguish between those who are being led by the Spirit and those who are not. Those who are not led by the Spirit have habitual actions that only seek to satisfy their flesh.
The Galatians are warned that these are people who will not have a part in the Kingdom of God. Those who are led by the Spirit, however, will seek things that please God. An important truth for us to remember is that while our good works do not save us, they are indicators of our faith.
Our actions and attitudes reveal who or what is leading us.
We have a responsibility as believers to steward our freedom well. Jesus told His disciples that the world will know that we belong to Him by the love we have for each other (John 13:35).
But God has not left us to accomplish this all on our own. He has sent His Spirit to help us live lives characterized by the fruit of the spirit.
Because there is no law against doing what pleases God, we find that we are free to be loving, joyful and patient along with all the other fruit. Praise the Lord that, by the Holy Spirit, He helps us to do what pleases Him!