The bible makes us understand that fresh water and salt water cannot flow from the same spring, so also would not the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the flesh co-habit. We are either living by the Spirit or by the flesh. The Spirit does not agree with the things of the flesh, neither does the flesh agree with the things of the Spirit. For example, the Holy Spirit talks of love but the flesh talks of lust; these two seemingly the same but entirely opposite terms can generate an unending argument between the spiritual man and the carnal man.
The carnal man who commits fornication because he believes he likes a lady sees it as love but the spiritual man calls it lust. The difference between love and lust can be seen by the spiritual man but the carnal man would deliberately refuse to see any difference. The bible says to be spiritually minded is life and peace, but to be carnally minded is death. Therefore anyone who is being ruled by the carnal mind is dead to the things of the Spirit, so would not be able to understand them, for the carnal mind does not understand the things of the Spirit.
The spiritual man is the one who has the Spirit of God living in him. A man cannot claim to be spiritual without bearing the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is the evidence that we are walking in the Spirit. The human vessel cannot be empty, it must be filled up with either positive things or negative things; that’s why our Lord Jesus gave a parable of a man from whom was cast out a demon, then the demon roamed about and came back to find out that the place from which he was cast out was still empty, then it went and invited seven more demons worse than itself to inhabit the man. This signifies that a man’s life must be controlled either by the Spirit or the flesh. If the Spirit is in control the flesh gives way and if it is the flesh that is in control the Spirit gives way. The bible is not unmindful of the fact that our flesh tend to rule over us several times, but the solution the bible gave is that we should walk in the Spirit.
Walking in the Spirit means bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit are clearly spelled out in the above scripture and it will be pertinent for us to study each fruit vis-a-vis their antonyms so we may have a better understanding.
The bible says we should walk in love. In order for us to understand what love is, there is need for us to see the opposite of love, which is hatred. The bible states that any one who hates his brother is a murderer, Matthew 5:22; I John 2:9-11. Many of us may not want to agree with this scripture because it seems so harsh, but it is absolutely true. It is true because, if a man hates another man and he sees the other man drinking poison unknowingly, he may not care to tell him that it is a poison. He may give the excuse that he is not the one that told the man to drink it, neither is he the one that poisoned the food or water. But the question is -if that man drinks the poison and dies; who killed the man? Definitely it is that man that refused to warn him because he hated him.
Several examples can be given of the disasters brought about by hatred, such examples as, brothers planning evil against brothers, friends against friends, neglecting to attend to a sick neighbour because of hatred, neglect to rescue a neighbour’s property from damage because of hatred, and others. For us to walk by the Spirit, we must love all men and be ready to assist them as long as we have the capacity to do so.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that is a must for every believer. The Psalmist talked about the joy of salvation. This joy is as a result of the Spirit of God that rules our hearts. When we realise that the Spirit of God is within us and our lives are right with Him, we just know that we are happy whether we have little or much. There are many rich people that don t have joy, so Joy is not a result of wealth. Some youths think that once they obtain admission into an institution of their choice, that will bring them joy; but they are later to discover that such can only give them happiness for a brief period, which is bound to fade away as they encounter other challenges of life. As men grow, there are greater challenges; for example, the challenge to graduate with a good grade, of getting a good job, of marrying a good husband/wife, of buying a car, of building a house etc. One gets temporary happiness on accomplishing each of these things; but since the human taste is insatiable, men would always long for more. However, Joy teaches a man to be happy in each stage in life while striving for a higher level. You may not be satisfied with your present level but that does not remove the joy from you.
The opposite of joy is sadness. A man that is always sad can hardly move forward, for his countenance is enough to put people away from him. If a man is not satisfied with his present level, the solution can never be sadness; because sadness would only make him to be jealous of those who have moved ahead of him. Jealousy is a fruit of the sinful nature. Be happy when others prosper, and God who sees your heart will also prosper you, and your joy will abound. Also, try to make others happy, for their happiness will result in you being happy too. This is a fruit of the Spirit; but making others sad by your actions such as denying them what rightfully belongs to them is a fruit of the flesh. Be joyful always, for this is the will of God concerning you.