2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
When a person comes to Jesus He accepts them the way they are as they accept Him as their Lord and Savior. There is nothing they could do to merit their salvation or prequalify by some good work to get it. It is a gift to be received by faith. Just because He accepts us the way we are does not infer He wants us to stay the way we are. He wants to change and transform us into all aspects of Christ-like attitudes, behaviors, and actions. This potential for change is placed within us by the new nature we receive at salvation but for any change to happen we must take personal responsibility. Change is possible but all change is always personal.
The Bible says when you are saved you become a new creation, or God did a creative act inside you and gave you a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4). God puts His nature in you, and that Godlike nature is who you really are, it’s the life of Christ in you. This new nature has these characteristics or expressions: love, joy, peace, long‑suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The fruit of the spirit listed here are the fruit of the spirit in a Christian. It’s called fruit because they manifest visibly like fruit. They are recognizable like fruit on a tree and fruit on a tree cannot be imitated. A tree is either bearing fruit or it isn’t.
I like to call them the Christian’s new nature or character traits or characteristics of the new nature in you. We can say, “because Jesus lives in me, my new nature is one of love, joy, peace, long‑suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” The nine fruit of the spirit listed here are really a picture of Jesus in His true character in us. The Father’s plan is for our character to grow up in Him in all things. Jesus came not just to die for us but also to show us how to live, and He wants our life to reflect love, joy, peace, long‑suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
If you are in Christ, you have received a new nature. As you walk by that new nature, it prompts these characteristics, and at the same time cancels the old nature’s characteristics. For every human character weakness, there is in the new nature of a Christian nine corresponding Christ‑like character traits potentially available. These are strengths potentially available for every natural weakness so no one has to stay the way they are. Every drug addict, alcoholic, murderer, adulterer, fornicator, unclean person can be transformed. The potential for change is in you in Christ (Colossians 1:27 Christ IN you the hope of glory) so no Christian needs to stay the way they are in the areas of their life that are not Godly or Christ‑like.
If Christ is IN you, there’s a new nature, the potential for fruit is there, but it’s not automatic. We must personally continue to be involved in:
Remain in fellowship with God by staying in His Word and staying out of sin toward God and others (John 15:1‑8; 1 John 1:9).
Grow in and be renewed in knowledge of who we are in Christ which gives us a new identity as well as the power to choose right and not wrong (Colossians 3:10).
This includes being renewed by the Word of God in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23/Romans 12:2) so that the mind of Christ within our spirit (1 Corinthians 2:16) governs us.
Do things that deposit or sow spiritual life to our new nature (Galatians 6:7‑9), like reading, studying, meditation in the Word, prayer, worship, praise, fellowship at church and involvement in serving God.
Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) by walking in line with our new nature and by obedience to God’s Word. We have to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22) as we work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12). Change becomes more and more permanent as we act and obey.