Galatians 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 The Bible speaks of "bad trees" producing "bad fruit" as evidence of non-conversion, whereas "good trees" produce "good fruit" as evidence that the Holy Spirit has regenerated that person.

Note that these characteristics are the fruit of the Spirit.  They are not our "works". We can take no credit for them (though we cooperate by not resisting the Holy Spirit). We cannot claim a special reward for having these characteristics. 

Because these are the fruit of the Spirit, we can be confident that "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:." Philippians 1:6  

We are assured that the fruit will fully ripen. God will bring every circumstance into our lives and help us with His grace, such as will produce the internal spiritual reaction that will advance the ripening of the fruit of the Spirit in us.

For instance, circumstances that "try our patience" are intended to help ripen patience in us. Circumstances that give us an opportunity to love in spite of our fleshly tendencies will help ripen Christ-like love in us. Circumstances that "drive us crazy" give us exercise in self-control.

We need not plan a schedule of such exercises. Indeed, we do not even know what exercise we need at a specific moment. 

But the Spirit knows, and He will graciously provide every exercise we need to ripen until we grow into our full maturity in Christ. He also graciously brings His Word to our attention, so that we behold in the glass of the Word the glory of the Lord to which we are being changed.

2 Corinthians 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

And this will continue until we see Jesus face to face and are transformed into His likeness.

Romans 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

1 John 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
 
The fruit in the believer's life is not only evidence that regeneration (new birth) has occurred, but is also indication that God is faithful to His Word, and that the power of salvation resides in God, who will bring it to completion at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
 

 

 

 

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