When we trust in Jesus, we become children of God and the gospel changes us. Our thinking changes so we can understand what pleases God and know His will. But gospel transformation doesn’t stop there. The gospel also changes how we live each day.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul described the fruit of the flesh—what a person’s life looks like apart from Christ: anger, jealousy, selfishness, impurity, strife, and similar things. Paul shared that people who live like this will not enter God’s kingdom because this behavior reveals the condition of the person’s heart. These behaviors are the fruit of that person’s sinful heart.
Then Paul told the believers in the Galatian church how to recognize that God is working in someone’s life. He contrasted the fruit of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit—what a person’s life looks like in Christ: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the fruit produced in a person whose heart is changed by Christ.
When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. Paul told the believers in the Galatian church how to recognize that God is working in someone’s life. People who are saved by Jesus become more like Him, and the Holy Spirit gives them power to say no to sin and to live in a way that pleases God.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
As you share the fruit of the Spirit with your kids this week, be careful to help them see that this fruit is produced by the Holy Spirit working in them. It is not called the fruit of the Christian. Our response to the fruit of the Spirit should not be to think of ways we can be more loving, joyful, peaceful, or kind. That is mistakenly believing the fruit is produced by us! When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins to change us.