The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peach, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.-Galatians 5:19-26
What is Paul telling us here in this long and drawn passage where he lists the “acts of the flesh” and the fruit of the Spirit? He is telling us that when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior our desires and passions change. And that change is made obvious by the “fruit” that we produce. In fact Paul starts off this section of his letter to the Galatian church with this very same idea.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.-Galatians 5:13-18 NIV
What Paul is saying throughout this entire section is that we have two different desires competing within us as followers of Christ. We have the desires of the “flesh”. Which are our natural desires, because by our nature we are sinners and are drawn to the desires of the flesh. And we have the desires of “the Spirit”. Which are the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of which are completely different then what the desires of the “flesh” are. And as followers of Christ we are put aside the desires and passions that are contrary to the desires and passions that God wants us to be filled with. However, this is not a one and done thing. It is a process that can take years and years for you to complete and in fact you may never be completely rid of your sinful desires in this life. But that does not mean that we should not be walking everyday in step with the Spirit.