1. The works of the flesh are things that we do on our own, by our own efforts. That's why they're called 'works'. However, the fruit of the Spirit can only be produced by the Holy Spirit. Nothing that we try to do on our own can produce 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
Now, this was nothing really new to me. However, read on for the part that surprised me.
2. Notice also that the works of the flesh are plural, but the fruit of the Spirit is singular--indivisible! In other words, when an individual fully gives his/her life over to the Spirit, he will produce all of these fruits!
This was a new revelation to me. I had always had the sinful thoughts of "Well, so and so is good at being joyful, and so and so is good at being patient, and I am good at loving." Almost as if these were different talents or gifts that different people had. Wrong attitude! If the Spirit has full control over my life, then I should be displaying all of these fruits!
So, I guess that it is safe to conclude that when I worry and have no peace, I have stolen a piece of my life from the Spirit. Or when I lose my patience, I have failed to give a part of my life totally to Him.
Now, I don't always agree with my Bible Commentary, but I have to say that on this particular point, it has shed some new and welcome light on what I thought was a familiar subject!
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12