But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)
Crucifying To Live
The fruit of the Spirit is a melody of blessings that will enrich and build up the life of every person that seeks to implement each of the fruits into their lives as the Spirit of God works in them. It will be life changing. Each one of the fruits will bring an enrichment that will help to fight off the passions of the flesh. Nine specific parts are given by God to complete the character of His children in a perfect manner. Every one of the fruits is necessary and codependent upon one another to perfect the heart of those who seek to glorify the Father in their life. Abiding in the fruit of the Spirit will raise the spirituality of the heart to walk more firmly in the will of God.
Remarkably, to live in the Spirit requires a death. Paul emphasized the importance of the fruit of the Spirit with the need to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. To crucify something is to kill it. The fruit of the Spirit cannot flourish in a heart that remains filled with the passions of the flesh and the desires of the carnal man. Like a garden that first must be cleared of impediments and weeds, the heart must be cleaned of the lusts of the flesh to allow the fruit to grow. The fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh cannot grow in the same soil. Crucifying the flesh with its passions is exercising self-control and removing any sign of the carnal nature of sin. This demands action. Apathy toward the fleshly passions will choke out the fruit of the Spirit.
In the physical world, leaving a garden to grow on its own will produce healthy weeds because their nature is so strong. It takes constant care to prune, weed and remove the powerful seeds of the destructive nature of plants that are good for nothing. Their nature is so strong they need no tending. Weeds have a life of their own and ignoring them will bring about a ruined garden. The works of the flesh are very powerful and if they are not crucified – killed of their passions – they will choke out the fruit of the Spirt and destroy the heart. If there is not an active pursuit of keeping the works of the flesh out of the heart, the fruit of God will die.
Like weeds, the works of the flesh have a life of their own and are very powerful. There must be a constant weeding process to remove the influences of the fleshly works from our lives. The works of the flesh are evident on television, computers, smart phones and every electronic device known to man. Christians are drawn into the works of the flesh by the way the dress (or undress), the manner of their speech and their attitudes. Growing in the fruit of the Spirit demands removing these influences of the carnal man from the life of the Christian so that love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can grow. If there is no crucifixion there will be no growth.
Living in the Spirit is walking in the Spirit. Walking is an active pursuit of the fruit of the Spirit. Talking about walking, thinking about walking and wishing to walk is not walking. Putting one foot in front of the other is walking and without an active desire to add the fruit of the Spirit to our lives there will be no blessing. Killing the passions of the flesh removes the influences of the carnal pleasures so that we can add the graces of the fruit of the Spirit to our daily walk. If we say that we are children of God then we should act like we are children of God. Walking in the Spirit will only come about when we walk in the Spirit. We cannot walk in the Spirit with one leg in the world and one foot in Christ. As the old preacher said, “a praying knee does not fit on a dancing foot.” Crucify the flesh and let the fruit grow.