When we say we are a "Christian" that statement should not be in quotes. This faith is real and our society's influence on our faith is strong, but should not be that way. Paul writes to the churches in Galatia about the result of being filled with the Spirit and the result is wonderful unless......you want to keep your old nature. Then you are in trouble and hypocrisy is on the menu. Here is what Paul wrote to the Galatians in Galatians 5: 16 I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.17 For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. 18 But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, 21 occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law.
In verse 17 the Word speaks about the war between the flesh and the Spirit and it is a very tough war with quite a few casualties. Paul also says there will be evidence we are guided by the Spirit by what fruit is seen in our lives. In verse 19 it identifies the fruits of the flesh and they are poison. immorality, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, 21 occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I have a Christian friend who shows most of those fruit except for the orgies and it is confusing to be around him because his fruit is different than what it should be. He is also a very unhappy person and makes so many people's lives miserable. His fruit appears to be ruined, even though he calls himself a believer. What a contradiction of terms. On the other hand, I have another friend who is all of the good fruits and he is very real and active in his faith. The good fruits are listed here: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
Paul wrote this to a very needy audience in Corinth in 2 Corinthians 5:17 So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. Paul didn't maybe things will change, but that all the old has passed away and the new is here!! What is the result of your conversion experience and what kind of fruit are people seeing in your life? If you have a few of both types of fruit it might be helpful to get into the Word of God and let Him take you on a journey of life change and then you will realize even more the will of God. Romans 12: 1 I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. 2 Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.
Paul wrote this to the Corinthians right before he wrote that the church is made up of many individual parts and one is not better than the other. All are important. So that pretty well speaks to the person who has fruit that shows a lot of judgment and unforgiveness because you cannot be the church if your church is full of this type of people. Time to evaluate our fruit and let the Holy Spirit do some transforming so we can "be the church" He wants us to be. Sadly, some won't be willing to change because it will mean they are wrong and a prideful heart never admits a wrong. To which the whole thing is tainted and the fruit is spoiled. Ugh!!
The Pilgrimage Continues