What the Holy Spirit Does – The Fruits of the Spirit
How come the Holy Spirit manages an “extreme makeover” in some lives but barely makes a dent in others?
As you work through this passage, ask yourself: “Do I really want to hear from the Spirit?” “Am I ready to take action on what He reveals?” and “Am I making a good-faith effort to distinguish between my own ‘druthers’ and His promptings?”
Interact with God’s Word
- What two sets of desires, according to verse 17, are in conflict in your life?
- Review the list (vv. 19-21a) of “what the sinful nature desires.” Which of these still threaten to trip you up?
- Review the list (vv. 22-23) of “what the Holy Spirit wants.” Which of these needs work in your life?
- What drastic action is required (v. 24) to insure that “what the Holy Spirit wants” comes out on top?
- How can you be confident that you’re being “directed by the Holy Spirit” (v. 18)?
- To assure the Spirit’s control, which people or things trying to determine your values and standards must you push aside?
- Paul urges us (v. 25) to follow the Spirit’s leading “in every part of our lives.” Ask yourself if He’s in control of the emotional, physical, social, intellectual, and vocational aspects of your life.
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God to give you an ear that amplifies the Spirit’s voice while suppressing competing voices, and a will prepared to make the changes He calls for.
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.