In Acts 8, we see a story of believers who accepted Christ and were baptized in His name. Yet some of them were still captives to sin and their focus was on God’s gifts and personal profit rather than renewal into true relationship with him. Peter and John prayed for those people to receive the Holy Spirit and called those who sought to earn the power of Holy Spirit for personal profit to repentance. Similarly in Hebrews 12:16-17, we see that Esau regretted in tears the losing of his birthright, but found no place for true repentance and was only sorry for himself loosing the blessing.
The mark of a mature Christian is seeking God above His gifts. The most important work in our faith is growing our relationship with him. God will never reject us if we come to him with repentance, which is also a mark of maturity, however, if we see our faith in terms of benefits and what we can receive, we deceive ourselves either into false security or fall away. When we make our faith a trade with God and don’t see the true value of salvation, we exchange our birthright for the pleasures of the world. That means we crucify Christ again calling his sacrifice worthless, and from that point, there is no return because there is no place for repentance.
Let us then press on to maturity and with diligence seek to grow our relationship with Christ day by day, living in true repentance and drawing closer to him who is our true reward and our goal. As verses 7-8 show, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are the product of our relationship with Christ, they are the evidence that we have been born again and live a healthy Christian life, and the security of our salvation is in the unconditional love of God given to us on the cross, and not in who we are or what we do.