CONTRASTS MAKE IT CLEAR! Contrasts. We see them all the time. Light vs darkness. Strong vs weak. Beautiful vs ugly. Good vs evil. Rich vs Poor. The Apostle Paul uses contrasts throughout his writings to contrast the results of being a Christian and under God's influence and the ways of those under the world's influence. Society exerts a strong influence on the thought life, morals, and actions of every person as they develop and mature as human beings. Unless there is a strong counter influence both culturally and spiritually, hopefully by a Christian father & mother or other responsible Christian person, disaster undoubtedly can and does lie ahead for many people as they age. Even a casual examination of our societies’ trends over the recent decades will reveal the moral and spiritual degenerative contrasts clearly.
All that to say this: when Christ comes into our lives the indwelling Holy Spirit will make changes in us. The worldly characteristics we have developed before we come to Christ should be replaced by God's characteristics and actions through the help of the Holy Spirit. This is not a human developed ten-step program; it is a God's Spirit program. The more we yield to God the more God will develop His characteristics in us. The Apostle Paul said it this way, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control," (The book of Galatians 5:22-23a NIV). This is not a menu to order from. It is a description of what should be developing in every Christian's life. May God help each of us to continue development in these areas until we see Jesus face to face. Just remember that with growth comes trials and testing to produce maturity. Just like the fruit we eat requires sun, rain, and cultivation so does the work of the Holy Spirit within us take time to cultivate us for God purposes. Our life after meeting Jesus should show a distinct contrast from what it was before that time.