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Signs of Life

Read: Galatians 5:22-25

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (vv. 22-23)

Actors are sometimes required to undergo significant physical changes for roles in film and television. It has become fashionable for celebrities to post photos of their “body transformations” on social media. The signs of a radical change in lifestyle are on display for the world to see.

Christianity is not primarily a new set of religious beliefs and behaviors. Rather, it’s a whole new life—a radical change. Jesus taught that a person cannot enter the kingdom of God “unless one is born again” (John 3:3). This new birth is the work of the Holy Spirit, who enters our hearts and makes us new people. But how do we know whether that transformation has begun? Paul provides a convenient list of the visible signs of the Holy Spirit’s work. He calls these the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22).

There are two catches to these convenient signs. The first is that they operate as a set. Paul doesn’t call them “fruits” but “fruit.” If you have the Holy Spirit, all nine signs will begin to appear in you. The second is that once these traits take hold in your life, they take over. Paul writes, “against such things there is no law” (v. 23). When you’re following a rule, you know when you’ve met its requirement. Unlike the law, the Holy Spirit knows no limit. He’ll work in us, and through us, until his transforming work is done. —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to display his work in your life.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.