The fruits of the Spirit are not a new testament version of the law. They are Christ as us. I once heard a man urge hearers to adopt the fruits as a method of attracting the favour of Jesus. He had it upside-down and did so because the law was the lens through which he read the gospel – which made it ‘no gospel at all’. We must repent of an upside-down cross. The cross does away with the law. It is not a better method of doing the law. It’s the only way of being a son.
RIGHT SIDE UP
God does not expect us to drum up the fruits of the Spirit. Because we cant. The fruits of the Spirit are the characteristics of us when Jesus is our life. Jesus is not our life if we are rooted in the law. The law us our life – which means that we are dead in the name of life.
‘I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ Gal 2.21 NIV.
You can ignore what is written in these posts if you choose. But you will not find life and you will not be alive. Which is why Paul wrote, ‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
Adamic/Mosaic, old covenant thinking has a perverse epistemology of its own. If we are locked into old covenant thinking and the law, we will instinctively impose legalism onto the new covenant. But it does not fit and nor was it meant to. When Jesus spoke of the disaster of attempting to put new wine in old wineskins this is what He was talking about. The addition of the gifts onto an old covenant mindset can open us to ‘revelations’ that did not come from God. Or set up contradictions in our soul that tend to emotional disease and neurotic behaviors. To think that we can advance the Kingdom by rubbing the anointing into the old covenant is a profound misunderstanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
When Christ is our life His life is our life. Christ has come in our flesh and the result is our expression of Him and His nature – the fruits of the Spirit.
We have been made one with God in the person of Jesus Christ – that is to say in His person and not in some abstract belief and not just resulting in a forensic notation. When the word ontological is used it means this: The real person of Jesus acting on behalf of you. More than an adherence to a doctrinal notion this is a living mystery by which Jesus manifests as you by the Spirit. This is the real Jesus in you and the real Jesus expressing His life through you.
BEING AS IN EXISTENTIAL RATHER THAN THEORETICAL AND POSITIONAL
“Atonement is thus ontological not merely forensic. According to Torrance, "Not only does [God] redeem us out of bondage and death, but he draws us into his holiness and sanctifies us with it, so that in redemption we are given to share in the sanctification of the Lord" (p. 194, quoting Atonement, p. 47). His point is that the atonement brings about an ontological change in our being. As Torrance notes, "Jesus became the center of a volcanic disturbance in human existence" (p. 194, quoting God and Rationality, p. 66).” (1)
This change in our being is the new us – the new person in Christ who is like Christ because Christ is our life by the Spirit, manifesting in our flesh. The incarnation means that our flesh is no longer the abode of the fallen Adam. It is the habitation of the risen Christ and the dwelling of the life multiplying trinity.
(1) This post continues a series exploring T.F. Torrance in Plain English wherein Stephen D. Morrison presents nine key ideas in Thomas F. Torrance's Christocentric Trinitarian theology.