Fruit Of The Spirit Over Sin. Spiritual Approach To Overcoming Evil.
Do you ever struggle about overcoming those bad habits and acts of sinful nature? Do you know how they can affect your overall well being? It may seem good at the moment to do those bad habits and sinful acts, but those things never result a healthy well being. If you continue to do those things, pretty soon you will start feeling bad and guilty, which can lead to depression. And above all, God is not pleased and will hold you accountable for those sinful actions.
On the other hand, there are fruit of the Spirit, that God will graciously give to us. The fruit of the Spirit is produced in people who allow the Spirit of God to direct and influence. Below we will find out what are the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit.
No passage in the Bible draws a clearer contrast between the lifestyle of the Spirit-filled believer and that of the person controlled by the sinful human nature than Galatians 5: 16-26. Paul not only discusses general lifestyle differences by emphasizing that the Spirit and the sinful nature are at war with each other, but he also includes a specific list of both the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit.
THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE. “Sinful nature” (Gk sarx) is a term for the human nature with its corrupt desires. The sinful nature remains within Christians after their conversion and is their deadly enemy (Romans 8:6-8,13; Galatians 5:17,21). Those who practice the acts of the sinful nature cannot inherit God’s kingdom (Galatians 5:21). Therefore this sinful nature must be resisted and put the death continually through the power of the Holy Spirit. The acts of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21) include:
1. “Sexual immorality” (from the Greek word porneia), in other words, sexual activity or intercourse outside the marriage union. The word pornography comes from the root porneia thus, sexual immorality comprehensively may include taking pleasure in pornographic pictures films or writings (Read Matthew 5:31-32; 19:9; Acts 15:20,29; 21:25; 1Corinthians 5:1).
2. “Impurity” (Greek word akatharsia), in other words, sexual sins, evil deeds and vices, including thoughts and desires of the heart (Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5).
3. “Debauchery” (Greek word aselgeia), in other words, sensuality; following one’s passions and desires to the point of having no shame or public decency (2 Corinthians 12:21).
4. “Idolatry” (Greek word eidólolatria), in other words, worship of spirits, person or graven images; trust in any person, institution or thing as having equal or greater authority than God and His Word (Colossians 3:5.
5. “Witchcraft” (Greek word pharmakeia), in other words sorcery, spiritism, black magic, worship of demons and use of drugs to produce “spiritual” experience (Exodus 7:11,22; 8:18; Revelation 9:21; 18:23).
6. “Hatred” ( Greek word echthra), in other words, intense, hostile intentions and acts; extreme dislike or enmity.
7. “Discord” (Greek word eris), in other words, quarreling, antagonism; a struggle for superiority (Romans 1:29; 1Corinthians 1:11; 3:3).
8. “Jealousy” (Greek word zêlos), in other words, resentfulness, envy of another’s success (Romans 13:13; 1Corinthians 3:3.
9. “Fits of rage” (Greek word thumos), in other words, explosive anger that flames into violent words or deeds (Colossians 3:8).
10. “Self ambition” (Greek word eritheia), in other words, unrighteously seeking power or position (2 Corinthians 12:20; Philippians 1:16-17.
11. “Dissensions” (Greek dichostasia), in other words, introducing divisive teachings not supported by God’s Word (Romans 16:17).
12. “Factions” (Greek word hairesis), in other words, division within the congregation into exclusive groups or cliques that destroy the unity of the church (1 Corinthians 11:19)
13. “Envy” (Greek word phthonos), in other words, resentful dislike of another person who has something that one desires.
14. “Drunkenness” (Greek word methê), in other words, impairing one’s mental or physical control by alcoholic drink.
15. “Orgies” (Greek word kómos), in other words, excessive feasting and revelry; a party spirit involving alcoholic, drugs, sex, or the like.
The Fruit of the Spirit. Contrasted to the acts of the sinful nature is a single-minded lifestyle called “the fruit of the Spirit.” This is produced in God’s children as they allow the Spirit to so direct and influence their lives that they destroy sin’s power, especially the acts of the sinful nature, and walk in fellowship with God. The fruit of the Spirit includes:
1. “Love” (Greek word agapê), in other words, a caring for and seeking the highest good of another person without motive of personal gain (Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 13; Ephesians 5:2; Colossians 3:14).
2. “Joy” (Greek word chara), in other words, the feeling of gladness based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God that belong to those who believe in Christ (Psalm 119:16; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 12:9! 1 Peter 1:8).
3. “Peace” (Greek word eirênê), in other words, the rest of heart and mind based on the knowledge that all is well between the believer and his or her heavenly Father, resulting in freedom from the turmoil of anxiety (Romans 15:33; Philippians 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20).
4. “Patience” (Greek word makrothumia), in other words endurance, long-suffering; being slow to anger or despair (Ephesians 4:2; 2 Timothy 3:10; Hebrews 12:1).
5. “Kindness” (Greek word chrêstotês), in other words, not wanting to hurt anyone or cause them pain (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 2:3).
6. “Goodness” (Greek word agathòsunê), in other words, zeal for truth and righteousness and a hatred of evil; it can be expressed in acts of kindness (Luke 7:37-50) or in rebuking and correcting evil (Matthew 21:12-13).
7. “Faithfulness” (Greek word pistis), in other words, firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trust and honesty (Matthew 23:23; Romans 3:3; 1Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:7; Titus 2:10).
8. “Gentleness” (Greek word prautês), in other words, restraint coupled with strength and courage; it describes a person who can be angry when anger is needed and himbly submissive when submission is needed (2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Peter 3:15; for gentleness in Jesus, compare Matthew 11:29 with Mark 23 and Mark 3:5; in Paul, compare 2 Corinthians 10:1 with 10:4-6 and Galatians 1:9; in Moses, compare Numbers 12:3 with Exodus 32:19-20).
9. “Self-control” (Greek word egkrateia), in other words, mastering one’s own desires and passions, including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; also purity (1 Corinthians 7:9; 9:25; Titus 1:8; 2:5).
Paul’s final comment about the fruit of the Spirit indicates that there are no restrictions to the lifestyle indicated here. Christians can–in fact, must—practice these virtues over and over again; they will never discover a law prohibiting them from living according to these principles.
I hope you are finding this article very helpful to you and can apply it in your life. We all struggle as human beings how to live our lives accordingly that will be healthy to our well-being. Perhaps the definition above will make a difference.
Thanks for reading. Be blessed, inspired, encouraged and loved.