Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 4 - A Spirit Guided Life

Galatians 5:22-26

Please read Galatians 5:22-26 if you haven’t already. Today I am looking at what becomes part of our nature when we are led by the Spirit. As I do this study, I am going to study each Fruit of the Spirit in depth so we can understand and apply what God desires to see in us. The important thing to remember when reading through this list is that these “virtues” are not gifts, this is a list of behaviors that God expects us to be living out. Spiritual gifts are a completely different thing, and the Spirit gifts each individual differently; Fruit of the Spirit is what every Christian should be showing in their life.

The list is so different from the list we read yesterday: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul then writes that “against such things there is no law,” verse 23. Once again, emphasizing that when we are being led by the Spirit, we are walking a life of obedience because our relationship with God is right. We are following the law better when we are showing all the fruit of the Spirit than when we are just following a set of rules with no love in our hearts. A pastor I work with explained to me that the law that was given to the Israelites on Mount Sinai was actually more like a marriage contract. He explained that it was a covenant of love between God and the Israelites; but the focus was lost and it became a set of rules for a lot of people. That would be the equivalent of a couple agreeing to a set of rules to follow in their marriage and once they were married they follow the rules exactly but forget why the rules were there. There is no longer love and communication in the marriage; they are just following a set of rules. God doesn't want us just to follow the rules; He wants a life that is showing a relationship with Him!

Paul then finishes this section of living in the Spirit explaining that, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let keep in step with the Spirit,” Galatians 5:24-25. We have given up our sinful nature and have replaced it with the Fruit of the Spirit. The Spirit will convict us and steer us in the direction that God would have us go. Jesus promised us exactly that; He said in John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” What a beautiful promise and a gift of life! The Spirit will remind us of how Christ taught us to live!

Are you following the Spirit’s lead?

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