"The source is the divine life of Christ."
Is your life animated by divine life, or is it merely human? Galatians 5:19 speaks of the “works of the flesh,” but in contrast verse 22 speaks of “the fruit of the Spirit.” The inspired text does not say the “works” of the Spirit, but rather the “fruit” of the Spirit. This emphasizes divine life. This distinction is quite significant. Many attempt to work up the fruit of the Spirit. While this may not be the works of the flesh, it is still the work of the flesh. But this defies God’s economy.
Once, I was admiring an orange grove in Florida. Having grown up in Chicago, this was fascinating for me to actually see where the oranges came from. As I stood there, I didn’t hear any groaning and grunting, and yet there were beautiful oranges everywhere.
Just as a fruit tree does not “toil” to produce fruit, but rather bears fruit, so the fruit of Jesus in your life is not through self-effort, but rather the Spirit of Jesus bears fruit through you as you abide in (depend on) Christ. The source is the divine life of Christ. As you yield to Him, the Spirit in you imparts to you the very life of Christ. As you trust to obey, you access divine life as the power to energize the obedience, so that it is not the mere form of godliness without power, but the form of godliness energized by the power of God.
- The flesh cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, only the Spirit can.
- The life of the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit.
- Spiritual fruit demands a spiritual root.
- The root of the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit.
This is not something you do through mere human self-effort. It is something you allow God to do through you as you cooperate in faith. This conscious dependence—trusting Christ’s power to obey His will—is abiding in Christ. When you abide in Christ, He abides in you. When He abides in you, you bear fruit—the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus. This is your life, yet not your life, but divine life in you.
John Van Gelderen