THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control." This shows us that "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control" are not virtues given to us by the Holy Spirit, but are fruit borne by the Holy Spirit in us. The fruit of the Holy Spirit means that something of Christ is assimilated by us through the work of the Holy Spirit with the result that these things become our character and our characteristics. This is the meaning of the fruit of the Spirit. This is what we mean when we say that the Holy Spirit is constituting Christ into us. The Holy Spirit is doing one work in us, which is to deal with our natural life and to constitute Christ in us, making Christ’s character our character so that spontaneously "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control" will be lived out of us and we will bear the fruit of the Spirit. This is what God is showing us today.
CHRIST BEING FORMED IN US
Paul told the Galatians that he travailed "again in birth until Christ is formed in you" (Gal. 4:19). God has given Christ to the believers; this is the first step. But He wants to do a deeper work, which is to have Christ formed in us. God deals with our natural life so that Christ may be formed in us, that is, that Christ may be wrought into us and constituted in us.
Peter was originally a very strong person. His natural life always put him ahead of others. After God touched his natural life, that is, after He touched his strongest part, Peter became weak. However, Peter’s weakness was not the end. God went on to constitute Christ into his being. As a result, when others touched Peter, they realized that his being was changed and that he had become a new person. What is the extent of the work of the Spirit? He works to the extent that Christ is constituted and formed in us.
Paul said in Philippians 4:11, "I have learned." This was Christ being formed in him, which he learned step by step. He learned "how to be abased" and "how to abound;" he learned "in whatever circumstances..to be content." "In everything and in all things I have learned the secret" (v. 12). Paul’s person had undergone a basic change. Therefore, not only do we need Christ in us to be our life, but we also need Christ to be formed in us. Not only do we have the Christ given to us by God, but we also need the Christ assimilated by us and then formed in us. This is what God wants us to attain. This is to know the God of Jacob.
(The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Chapter 12, by Watchman Nee)