But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.Galatians 5:22-26 RSV
Most of these wonderful virtues are subjective, lying within the hearts of Christians, but kindness, goodness and faithfulness are, at least in their manifestation, objective qualities.
Goodness and kindness are likewise determined by actions involving others outside the person of the believer.
Significant especially in this list are the things left out of it. The apostle Paul did not list tongue-speaking, charismatic experiences, visions, premonitions, and things like that as being connected in any manner with the “fruit of the Spirit.”
Strangely enough, some who believe that those omitted things are the fruit of the Spirit very frequently stop being faithful to the Lord’s church.
There is more misunderstanding in current times over the meaning of the Spirit’s indwelling of Christian hearts than of any other doctrine of the New Testament.
There are no less than eight designations in the New Testament of a single condition (see SUMMARY below).
Ye are the temple of the living God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:16).
For it is God that worketh in you (Philippians 2:13).
God abideth in us … we abide in him and he in us … God abideth in him and he in God … he that abideth in love abideth in God and God abideth in him (1 John 4:11-16).
The entire Thessalonian church was said to be “in God” (1 Thessalonians 1:1).
From the above citations, there can be no way to avoid the truth that Christians are in God, and God is in them.
But note also the following:
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If Christ is in you … the spirit is life (Romans 8:10).
It is Christ that liveth in me (Galatians 2:20).
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17).
From the above citations, there can be no way to avoid the truth that Christians are in Christ, and Christ is in Christians.
Note likewise these references:
The Spirit of God dwelleth in you (1 Corinthians 3:16).
The Spirit … dwelleth in you (Romans 8:11).
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6).
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10).
Walk in the Spirit (KJV, Galatians 5:16).
If we live in the Spirit (KJV), let us also walk in the Spirit (KJV, Galatians 5:25).
The obvious and undeniable teaching of the New Testament is that the Spirit is in Christians and that Christians are in the Spirit.
In addition to the above, it should also be observed that Christians are commanded to “have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), Paul declaring that he himself had “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Thus the mind of Christ dwells in Christians, and the word of Christ dwells in Christians.
God is in Christians.
Christians are in God.
Christ is in Christians.
Christians are in Christ.
The Holy Spirit is in Christians.
Christians are in the Holy Spirit.
The mind of Christ is in Christians.
The word of Christ is in Christians.
A full understanding of this, with all of the implications of it, will eliminate the mystical nonsense which has been advocated in this connection.
The perfect identity of all of the above as various expressions meaning the same thing is perfectly and glaringly obvious; but, in addition, all of the above expressions are used interchangeably in the New Testament.
Vain-glory and jealousy are two of the fundamental fleshly lusts, especially degrading and unbecoming in the church of Jesus Christ.
“Joy” may be taken typically of all the various “fruits” here mentioned.
This is by no means an experience attributable to the Holy Spirit as separated in any manner from the other persons in the GODHEAD, or even apart from the mind of Christ and the word of Christ dwelling in people’s hearts.
Continuing to walk in the Spirit, centering and continuing the thoughts and meditations of the heart upon the teachings of the Lord, actively seeking to maintain identity with the mind of Christ, consciousness of the indwelling Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – these things will indeed “crucify” the lusts and evil imaginations which feed them.
This is possible only in the spiritual religion of Christ Jesus, free from the externals and attractive allurements of spectacular Judaism, the same being the blessed “freedom in Christ.”