Work Versus Fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love… —Galatians 5:22

Paul had been talking about the works of the flesh, and then in verse 22 he begins, "But the fruit of the Spirit." The word "but" is a disassociative conjunction. It ties together two contrasting ideas. The contrast is between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. 

Whenever you talk about works, you are talking about a fleshly effort. We all fall into that disappointing trap from time to time. We promise God we will do better next time. Somehow, in spite of the sincerity of my heart, I can't keep the vows I made. If I endeavor to please God with my works, I already have an impossible situation, because, "by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified" (Galatians 2: 16). 

If you have the agape love of the Spirit, fruit will come forth from your life.

Whenever you speak of fruit, you're speaking of a relationship. "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine," Jesus said, "neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15: 4). If you have that right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the natural consequence will be fruit. I cannot bring forth the kind of fruit that God wants, except by abiding in Jesus. 

The fruit of the Spirit is agape love. You can't be in a relationship with God without this love coming forth from you—it happens naturally as you abide in Him. 

Is the fruit of the Spirit coming forth from your life? Abide in Him and let His words abide in you. Hang in there, and God's love will begin to develop and be perfected in your life. 

Father, help us to leave that positive mark of Your love upon others. In Jesus' name, amen.