By Pastor Nick Esguerra

Galatians 5:16-26

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. 

When we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we begin a life-long process of transformation and growth. Although salvation is instant yet to be transformed and changed is gradual. We are save the moment we receive Christ in our lives and we become born again. But our sinful nature is still within us that characterize by the works of the flesh that needs to be put to death. Even though we experience regeneration or being born in the Spirit but we are to be transformed in terms of attitude and character.

This is the reason why we are called in the Scriptures in the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), to become mature and to grow in faith and knowledge of the Lord (Ephesians 4:13-15), and to be transformed with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). The main purpose of this transformation is to change and mold us into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. But then, how do we know if we are in the process of being transformed like Christ? How are we to check if we are manifesting the character and attitudes of God in our lives?

The Bible tells us that our character and attitudes will reveal who we are. Whatever the true condition of our hearts will be revealed and manifested outwardly by the way we speak, live, and do things. If we are manifesting the works of the flesh in our lives then we are still far from Christ-likeness. One indication that we could check our lives if we are in the process of being transformed in the image and likeness of Jesus is whether we are bearing the Fruit of the Spirit. If we are manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit then we know that we are in that process of being changed like the Lord.

Many people try to make resolutions and ways to change their attitudes and to mold their characters. But without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, we will not succeed. It is by the power of the Spirit that God is transforming us into the image and likeness of Christ. Similarly, through God’s word we grow in faith and knowledge of the Lord. It is the regenerating power of the Spirit that we are born into God’s family and not by human effort. It is by the same Spirit that changes and transforms us as children of God to bear the attitude and character of our Heavenly Father.

Let us know and understand that key of producing Christ-likeness of bearing and manifesting the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is found in Galatians 5:16 when it says, “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature”. Let us admit that to be like Christ in attitude and character is opposite to what our sinful nature wants us to be. Many times we allow the sinful nature characterize by the works of the flesh to control us instead of walking and living by the Spirit. It is only by living in the Spirit that we are able to put into death the sinful nature and not to gratify its desires. Similarly it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are change and transform into Christ-likeness.

As children of God and as Christ followers, the Lord expects us to become like Him. Let us submit our hearts into the Potter’s hand that God may mold us the way He wants us to be. Let us be filled with the Spirit of God that we may manifest and bear the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.