But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. (Galatians 5:22-26 NLT)
The fruit of the spirit is spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control – we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law – to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the spirit to produce in you?
Because the God who sent the law also sent the Spirit, the by-products of the spirit-filled life are in perfect harmony with the intent of God’s law. A person who exhibits the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the law far better than a person who observes the rituals but has little love in his or her heart. Everyone needs a certain amount of approval from others. But those who go out of their way to secure honors or to win popularity with a lot of people become conceited and show they are not following the Holy Spirit’s leading. Those who look to God for approval won’t need to envy others. Because we are God’s sons and daughters, we have his Holy Spirit as the loving guarantee of his approval.