“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
You tell me, is that a saved person or a nice person?
How many people have you met in your life that extol every one of these virtues that you knew were not saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ? And I’m not referring here to people that can fake these virtues, who can by willful thoughts and actions attempt to deceive those who are indeed saved, those individuals would be the ones spoken of in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” I’m speaking here of those who are actually very nice, kind caring people who truly have a heart and desire to serve their fellow man for their betterment, those who are self-sacrificing for the good of others, yet believe that Jesus Christ is a myth, and that if there is a God, well, so be it.
We who have been born-again have the Holy Spirit within us, those fruits of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23 are self-explanatory, they are not ours, they are His.
The nature of man is not for God, it is against God, even after we have been saved by His grace, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25) Left to ourselves, we would continue to walk away from the Lord further each day, not towards Him. There is nothing in the nature of the natural state of man that can produce the fruits of the Spirit in their intended usage, to glorify God, it is not possible, they are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, not ours, and they only grow on the branches that grow from the vine which is Jesus Christ, that statement cannot be expressed enough, those fruits do not belong to us.
A good, nice, caring individual that devotes their life to others, who raises up children and grandchildren to be loving and caring, to be longsuffering, to have self-control are no more than a good person who will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire if they do not do so for the glory of God. They are not of the vine.
These statements go against everything the world teaches and believes, and against what many who are indeed saved believe, for it is by these fruits that we will be known, and so they intentionally perform them, turning them into a form of works, works not for the glory of God, but so that others will see them as Christlike, and so that they will believe themselves to be of the vine. It is so subtle that few see this deceit of Satan I fear, and it must be contemplated deeply at times, if these fruits are indeed of and from the Holy Spirit of God, if we can do nothing of ourselves, if we cannot produce these fruits, then who are those that are filled with the Holy Spirit and who are those that are attempting, by their own will, to produce those fruits?
I offer you only the wisdom that has been given to me at this time on this matter, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41)
Here in part is the key, “in my name.” When you are being loving, the people you are being loving towards are to know that it is because of Jesus Christ you are being so. When you are expressing self-control, longsuffering, those who are witnessing this must be made to know that it is because the Holy Spirit is producing this fruit in you, that it is not in your nature to be so, but is because it is Christ that lives in you.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13)
They are the Holy Spirit’s fruits, and if the person in front of you does not know that, if you do not tell them that, if they do not know that it is for the glory of God that you are being blessed with these fruits, and that they are not your own, they will see nothing more than a nice person.