Reflection: In today’s passage from Galatians, Paul itemises nine unmistakable fruits of the Holy Spirit. Just a little earlier in the letter, he wrote: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Gal. 5:6b). For me, that sentence superbly encapsulates genuine Christian faith. Faith is key, but it must be alive – expressing itself through love – to be of any value at all.
Faith expressing itself through love is hard evidence of increased holiness – or sanctification. One of the giants of recent Christian history, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed this strenuously. He went as far as to argue that a form of complete sanctification was possible in this life – not sinlessness, of course, but being “the best that we can be”.
Question: Since you became a Christian, have you noticed that you have become increasingly loving, joyful, peaceable, forbearing, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled?
Prayer: Father, I yearn to be the best that I can be, as holy as is feasible in this life. Strengthen and renew my faith, through the Spirit. Amen.