Tag: no law
Living by the Spirit!
Scripture reading for September 20th: Galatians 5:13-26
Paul’s concern for the Galatians was that they might use their freedom from the law to indulge in the sinful nature! The way of Christ could be summed up in one short command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14) Living for the flesh would end in confusion, strife, and ultimate division.
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with one another, so that you do not do what you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16-18) In order to live by the Spirit, you must have the gift of the Holy Spirit because you have repented of your sins and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. (Acts 2:38) Prior to conversion, the Holy Spirit draws a person to Christ and convicts them of sin, righteousness and the coming judgment. (John 16:7-11) Following conversion, the Holy Spirit dwells in you to be your Counselor, testifying about Jesus and revealing His word. (John 15:26) When the Counselor leads you into truth, you still must choose to obey and follow. There will still be conflict between the Spirit and the sinful nature!
Paul lists some of the acts of the sinful nature to help these Galatians recognize the conflict. Sexual impurity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred and jealousy all come from the flesh. Factions, drunkenness, and selfish ambitions are also on his list. Paul warned them that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of heaven! (Galatians 5:21)
Paul also listed the fruit that comes to the person who lives by the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-24) A consistent choice to live by the Holy Spirit produces fruit that is peaceful and sweet. The person whose life is marked by the Holy Spirit will be totally different than those in the sinful nature. The Spirit produces fruit that fulfills the law without human effort. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) This should be our daily choice!
Faith credit in God’s bank!
Scripture reading for July 17th: Romans 4:1-13
“What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about–but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”” (Romans 4:1-3) (Genesis 15:6) Paul begins to explain to the recipients of his letter that Abraham was not justified by works of the law. He lived over 400 years before Moses and God simply credited righteous to Abraham for his faith. When someone works, they earn wages and they are not a gift but what is due them. God owed Abraham nothing and Abraham did nothing to get the credit except believe!
Paul then cites David who said the same thing in Psalm 32:1-2. “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Many commentators think that David wrote this Psalm to explain the righteousness that was granted to him in forgiving his sin against God through the incident with Bathsheba. When he confessed his sin, God forgave him and covered his transgression. It was a gift and the wages that were due David through the law was death! David was thankful for the faith credit!
Abraham received the promise that he would be heir of the world and through his offspring all nations on the earth would be blessed. Abraham had no children at the time and God told him to look at the stars and count them. His offspring would be as numerous as the stars! (Genesis 15:5) It was this promise that Abraham believed.
You might say that our simple trust in God’s promises through Abraham’s offspring–Jesus Christ, guarantees our inheritance as well. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that causes us to be born again in to the family of God. It is through our faith that God credits righteousness to us as well. (2nd Corinthians 5:21) The righteous inherit the promises! Isn’t it wonderful to have faith credits deposited in our heavenly account! Thieves won’t break in and steal it. We have true riches which we will enjoy for eternity! Praise the Lord for His glorious grace!