Scripture points out there is evil that originates within us and not all evil comes from Satan or the outside world. You may think that we are all born morally good or morally neutral. The Bible maintains the opposite; we are inherently corrupt and depraved human beings. This is why one’s success, power or fame cannot do anything to solve an individual’s basic problem of the sin that is within us.

Galatians 5:19 – 21 – “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Salvation forgives sin but man’s self-centered or carnal nature is still in us. Salvation makes us free from the law. Freedom does not provided freedom to indulge in human nature’s evil desires but we are given freedom to walk in the Spirit. The Bible gives us an assortment of things to remind us of our corruption. We are then told that if we continue to commit these sins, given above, we shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Does that mean if you commit one of the above sins you will be dammed to Hell? We believe Scripture tells us if we continue to actively participate in them we could be dammed. We know Christians who deal with the problem of jealousy, envy, hatred, fits of rage, selfish ambition and others and what should they do? If we are having problems with our sinful nature it is time to check on our relationship with Christ. We do have a God of grace that forgives a Christian who may commit these sins but they are not actively participating and must have a repenting heart, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us self-control and the other fruits of the Spirit found in the following Scripture:

Galatians 5:22 – 25 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Our self-centered nature, without control, permits a person to commit acts of a sinful nature. A person filled with the Holy Spirit and walking with the Spirit will allow the Spirit to produce the fruits of the Spirit in a person’s life. The fruits of the Spirit may also be an outward indicator of one’s salvation. I believe love, joy and peace are primary indicators. The fruits of the Spirit are an outward expression of Christ dwelling in the life of a believer.

We are to become like Christ who is our example and exemplifies each of the fruits given by the Spirit. Through our own experience with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can improve each of the fruits previously described. They denote the life a godly person is to live who is filled with the fruits of the Spirit.

There is a difference between the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit. Every believer, having the Holy Spirit, can receive the fruits. Believers receive at least one gift but some people receive certain gifts such as teaching, prophecy, leading, administration, etc.

The Bible assures us that the greatest fruit given by the Spirit is love. Love not only frees us from the laws but it gives us a true spiritual life. John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Christ did this for us on the cross. This kind of love only comes from the Holy Spirit within us. God loves us with an unconditional love. We must return His love unconditionally with no strings attached as difficult as this may seem. Most often, it is easier to give unconditionally love to others.

Once we receive confidence in one’s relationship with Christ and our trust in God’s promise, we receive a peace and joy that only comes from the Holy Spirit. Peace and joy is not something that we can continually generate on our own, it comes from obedience to God. God requires that we live in peace with Him and with others. Peace is far more than freedom from pressure. It occurs when there is justice between people. The Apostle Paul tells us he was at peace knowing that nothing could separate him from the love of God. Romans 8:38 – 39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Patience is another expression of love or impatience is a result of self-centeredness. Love is patient and kind. If someone disagrees with us, do we react selfishly or selfless by being patient and kind in our confrontation? How patient is God with us?
We must remember that sin will continue to permeate our lives and the temptations of the world will exists. However, those influences should no longer dominate the life of a believer. This is why we are told to surrender our human nature to the control of the Holy Spirit. Since we have a new life in Jesus Christ, we have a new way to live our lives.

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