What is the result of true faith?
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
hat good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? James 2:14-16
LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken. Psalm 15:1-5
True faith will result in transformed living as the Holy Spirit works in us to make us like Jesus.
What happens when Jesus forgives us of our sins? Do we become perfect people overnight? Well, no. But shouldn’t we expect our lives to change?
The answer is a resounding yes!
But don’t worry. You don’t do this in your own strength. That’s why God gives you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will go to work on your heart and make you more like Jesus.
In Galatians 5:22, Paul puts it like this: the Holy Spirit gives you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These characteristics are often called the fruit of the Spirit, as a reminder that they are the product of the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
Again, remember, you don’t have to work these up in your own strength. And don’t be too hard on yourself if the results aren’t immediate. The process of sanctification takes time. And sometimes on our journey, we take one step forward and then two steps backward.
And that’s okay too because God loves us and forgives us! And the Holy Spirit will pick us up, dust us off, and go to work on our hearts again to produce the fruit of the Spirit.
Spend some time today asking God to remind you of the ways you have displayed the fruit of the Spirit and to fill you with his strength and power to reflect him even more clearly.