I believe personally, this is the greatest single contribution of the Holy Spirit to our spiritual life: to make it possible for us to be united in a kind of marriage union with the resurrected Christ.
According to whom we are united, we will bring forth the fruit of the union. If we are still married to the flesh we will bring forth what Paul calls the “deeds of the flesh.” Now Paul lists these in Galatians 5:19–21:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and things like these . . . (NAS)
There’s not one good thing on that list. The flesh is corrupt. Whatever it brings forth is corrupt. As long as we are married to the flesh, no matter how hard we try to do good, we’ll bring forth the fruit of the union with the flesh.
But once we’re set free from that union and once we’re married to the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit, then we’ll bring forth the corresponding fruit of that union. In Galatians 5:22–23 Paul speaks about this kind of fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control: against such things there is no law. (NAS)
When you’re bringing forth that kind of fruit out of your union with the resurrected Christ, you don’t need to be controlled by a law because there is no law against the fruit of the Spirit.
Let me give you a picture of the kind of union that the New Testament speaks about. In 1 Corinthians 6:16–17 Paul joins together two things that may, at first, seem very surprising. He says:
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot [or a prostitute] is one body with her? For He says, The two will become one flesh. But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. (NAS)
Now that’s a very astonishing parallel that Paul uses, in the flesh and in the spirit. In the flesh, he speaks about a man being united by an immoral sexual union with a prostitute, who become one flesh, one body. But in the same context, he talks about being united with the Lord Jesus and becoming one spirit.
Do you understand? There are two kinds of unions, a fleshly union, and a spiritual union. What the Holy Spirit does is enable us to be united in spirit with the Lord Jesus and once we’re united with Him we will naturally, not by a matter of effort, bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. You see, the question is not our effort, the question is whom are we united? Effort won’t do it. Union is the only answer.
Effort won’t do it. Union with Christ is the only answer.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the liberating truth about union with You. By my own carnal nature, I could never bring forth good fruits. Thank You for the alternative; to bring forth fruit of the Spirit through my union with You. Amen.
This devotional is taken from: The Holy Spirit in You
Also recommended: How to be Led by the Holy Spirit