“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws”—Galatians 5:22-23(TLB).
Let’s imagine you were put on trial. You have been “accused” of being a Christian. How would the prosecution prepare their case against you? What evidence could they present to prove your guilt? That’s a pretty sobering thought, isn’t it? Would there be enough evidence to prosecute you for being a follower of Christ?
Recently, as I was preparing for a workshop I was leading on the fruit of the Spirit, I was amazed at the number of times the word “fruit” or “bearing fruit” was mentioned in scripture. Of course, the scripture most think about when they think of fruit is found in Galatians 5:22-23. As I looked up this well-known scripture in different versions of the Bible, the one resonating with me was the version I found in “The Living Bible.” Look at the beginning of verse 22 above: “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives He will produce this kind of fruit in us.”
Many times, when we read the list of fruit that Paul mentions in Galatians, we feel overwhelmed by the challenge of trying to live out these characteristics. Are we born with the fruit of the Spirit? Nope. It’s only when we surrender to Jesus that His Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, helping us to produce fruit.