36. Fruit

When we read the Beatitudes, the attitudes Jesus requires are good ideas but appear to be mainly unattainable. We would always like to be merciful, mild, peace makers who seek righteous behavior. Beatitude attitudes are described more easily than they are effected.

After receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we are different. We have been changed and have power to be what God always intended us to be. So, God begins to grow fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The Apostle Paul described this in his letter to the Galatians (5:22-24). He said the fruit of the spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.

In the past, we were captive to worldly ideas and behavior that Paul called works of the flesh. Reviewing his list brings on some bad memories to many of us. We wonder about our past behavior. Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, anger, lying, envy, jealousy, dissension, drunkenness, unclean thoughts, and carousing are some of the problems we have when we live apart from God (Galatians 5:19-21).

When living the new life in the Spirit, we grow out of the works of the flesh as we grow into the fruit of the Spirit. This change brings new contentment and thanksgiving for it.

We are so different, we wonder how this could happen. Others also recognize we are a new person in Christ. Some like us and some don't, but we like our new self. It is as if a load of bricks has been lifted from our back. We are free from a life that we couldn't control or change. Chains are cut that limited us from being the full person we always knew was our true destiny.

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