Print this article


  FACE AND FEEL GALATIANS 5:16-26: “22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].” (v. 22-23)

When the Holy Spirit indwells you, love, joy, gladness, peace, patience which is the ability to have a good or even temper and to forbear, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness which is meekness and humility, self control which is the ability to restrain yourself over certain things are some of the attributes which the Holy Spirit will develop in you and then your character and behavioural pattern will change from bad tendencies to good tendencies displaying themselves in your relational ties with your fellow humans and you find out that once you begin to follow or allow these divine attributes in everything you do it is very hard for you to offend in the Laws and the Ordinances, in reality, as your life is transformed by the Holy Spirit you now begin to face facts and reality as you now feel more for others. Last week we talked about the defence of denial, that tendencies of not owning up to reality through deadness to feelings and reality which is lack of facing facts –the blocking of negative emotions such as lacking sensitivity to mournfulness by seeking for reasons or rights rather than acting in love, affection or benevolence. But now we need to look at another way in which we can inhibit or deaden our spiritual sensitivity. There are many who do not deny their emotions but give expression to them in ways that are harmful (such as bad or dangerous temper) to the personality. For instance, some teach that when a negative feeling, such as anger, rises within you and reaches explosion point, the best thing to do is to release that emotion by punching a pillow or getting alone and screaming out the feelings. Though that gives a form of release, studies show that it can also increase anger and hostility. It is not considered a long-term solution, and expressing negative feelings in this way alone is unlikely to provide resolution because you can only do this where you still have some control or restraint but what about in a situation when everything happened spontaneously and explosion point attained before you knew it? In today’s passage we read that part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Christians in whom the Spirit of God dwells have the capacity, or are supposed to have the capacity if really the indwelling is indeed there, should they allow themselves, to deal with an unacceptable emotion without doing damage to their own spiritual life or, for that matter, someone else’s. The Spirit’s purpose is to help mould us to live effectively. When a difficult emotion arises within us which, if it continues, is likely to inhibit our spiritual sensitivity, then a helpful approach is not to pretend it doesn’t exist but to acknowledge it exists and present it before God asking Him for His help to enable us exercise self-control. However, it is important that we do not dump or vent out that emotion onto another person, which most people do. You do not necessarily need to express an emotion to deal with it effectively, but it is important to acknowledge it. We can, take it to God, give it into His hands. He will help us understand and save us from our emotions. These things or attributes are not easy to cultivate, it takes a realistic endeavour on the side of the individual to study and be an embodiment of the word of God so that you don’t stumble on it, with willingness to allowing yourself by making efforts to live God’s word in the midst of your fellow humans bearing in mind that unlike the Jew or the Gentiles, for you the word of God which is Christ crucified is true power and wisdom as seen in 1 Corth. 1:23-24 ‘’We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. But to those who are called, whether Jew or Gentile, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God’’. When you begin to live and practice these attributes called the fruit of the Spirit, people will tend to take advantage of you, creating bottle-necks for you here and there just to cast aspersions on you and have occasions to throw or mud-slings on your God, avoid and defend the best you can in honesty and truth and leave the rest to God. In most cases the turns that issues may assume will appear as if God has forsaken you, such as the innocent becoming the guilty, no, just keep your cool and take things the way they come and try to guide your life the best you can in the path of truth, let your yes be yes and your no be no; God willing you and God will be vindicated in your life time or after but it is ‘the after’ which many people do not want because they may no longer be alive to witness the vindication but remember you are not the one to be vindicated but God, so whether the vindication happened in your life time or not has no significance, after all in that of the Lord God Jesus Christ, His vindication came after they have killed Him and that vindication is still ongoing spreading everywhere! That is God for you and how He wants His thing, all things are for His good pleasure, and always have this in mind so that you don’t serve God with regrets or frustrations due to your lack of knowledge!

  LIFE IN THE SPIRIT GALATIANS 5:16-26:

The contents of Galatians 5 includes, 1. An earnest exhortation or the urge to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel as seen in verses 1-12. 2. To take heed of indulging a sinful or uneven temper as seen in verses 13-15. 3. And to walk in the Spirit, and not to fulfil the lusts of the flesh: the works of both which is in opposition with each other are described as seen in verses 16-26. Galatians 5:16-26, If it be our care as those that are called to act under the guidance and power of the blessed Spirit, though we may not be freed from the stirrings and oppositions of the corrupt faulty nature which remains in us, then we ought to zealously not allowing that this remnant corrupt faulty nature in us to have dominion over us. Believers are engaged in numerous conflicts both internal and external, in which they earnestly desire that grace may be obtained for full and speedy victory. And those who desire thus to give themselves up to be led by the Holy Spirit, are not under the law as a covenant of works, nor are they exposed to its awful curse because by their ability to live and practice the fruits of the Spirit as listed above are guided by the Spirit not to offend the Law and the ordinances by inspiration because not offending in all perspective enabled by their New Birth is now a part and parcel of them. Their hatred of sin, and desires after holiness and righteousness, show that they have a part in the salvation of the gospel. The works of the flesh are many and manifest. And these sins will shut men out of heaven. Yet what numbers, calling themselves Christians, live in these sins that shuts them out of heaven, and you still hear them hypocritically say they hope for heaven! The fruits of the Spirit, or of the renewed nature, which we are to do and practice in our everyday life, are named. And as the apostle had chiefly named works of the flesh, telling us that they are not only hurtful or harmful to men themselves, but tending to make men hurtful and harmful to one another, so here he chiefly notices the fruits of the Spirit, which tend to make Christians agreeable one to another, as well as to make them happy. The manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit plainly shows that such people are led by the Spirit. By describing the works of the flesh and contrasting it with the fruits of the Spirit, we are told what to avoid and oppose, and what we are to cherish and cultivate; and this is the sincere care and endeavour of all real Christians. Because of their new birth in Christ; Sin does no longer now reign in the mortal bodies of such people as true Christians, so that in their born again condition they obey God’s word and live their life in accordance with it, as seen in Romans 6:12 which says, “12 Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions”, for they seek to destroy it. Christ never will own those who yield themselves up to be the servants of sin. And it is not enough that we cease to do evil, but we must learn to do well. Our conversation will always be answerable to the principle which guides and governs us, as seen in Romans 8:5 “5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and [a]pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and [b]seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.” I hope you understand what the word gratify means, it means give pleasure or satisfaction to something. So from this understanding it is important for each and every one of us to try to sincerely find out the type and kind of things that gives you pleasure and satisfaction in life, discovering this essential fact and factor of life will help you know if you are born Spirit or if you are born flesh as seen in John 3:6 “6What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit”! Even those that are born Spirit have by their wrong way of life gotten use to fleshy living which is why we must set ourselves earnest to mortify the deeds of the body, and to walk in newness of life. Not being desirous or swollen-headed of vain-glory, or unduly wishing for the esteem and applause of men, not provoking or envying one another, but seeking to bring forth more abundantly those good fruits of the spirit, which are, through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Now let us read Galatians 5:16-26: 16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. 18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law. 19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, 20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), 21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge]. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. 25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [b]we have our life in God, let us go forward [c]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] 26 Let us not become vain glorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

  Introduction:

Verses 19 to 21 lists clearly the godless human nature that could be in any godless person, which are: immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, ill temper, selfishness, divisions, dissensions, party spirit which includes factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies, envy, drunkenness, carousing. If we are not hypocrites, we know we have many of these ill or bad natures stuffed in us, then without rebirth why do we claim Christianity? For us to rightfully claim to be true Christians, we must try to allow the Holy Spirit rebirth in our lives which removes the above bad natures in our life. Paul starts off this passage with a contrast using a “but”. In the immediate context, Paul was speaking about how the freedom of the gospel should not be used as an opportunity for the flesh but to serve one another. He cites Leviticus 19:18 “18 You shall not take revenge or bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” and encourages one to love his neighbour as himself. So all of this talk in Galatians is all about contrasts of law versus grace, works versus faith that has brought us here. We are to love our neighbours as ourselves. We are to be as concerned about another's well-being as about our own. How is that possible? It seems like the very thing that I don’t want to do. How can we wake up each day thinking about someone else other than us? In fact, we are more than ready to bite and devour one another as Paul says in Gal 5:15. ‘’But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another’’. So how then do we bite and devour? Today's passage will hopefully provide some encouragement and practical insight into how this diverse war in our lives can be possible! So now let us start by taking them one by one as they fit, (A) LIFE IN THE SPIRIT IS WAR: SPIRIT VERSUS FLESH (GAL 5:16-17): Let us trace Paul's argument in the preceding verses in Gal 5:13-16 “13 For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for [d]selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 14 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is [e]complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).” He calls them to not use this freedom that the Gospel gives as an opportunity for the flesh as seen in Gal 5:13 but instead, to love their neighbours as themselves as seen in Gal 5:14. Not loving their neighbours as the Gospel commands but instead reflecting a godless nature by consuming one another was instead contrasted against walking by the Spirit as seen in Gal 5:15-16. Paul tells them not to gratify the desires of the flesh as seen in Gal 5:16 but instead, "walk by the Spirit". What does this mean? Firstly, to walk has the idea of continuity, and of journeying. It is active, dynamic and not standing still. It covers all aspects of the conduct of life. There is a sense of consistency too. Hence, we like to say “walk with God” which just means our relationship with God. Walking then is or means living. That’s why so often Christians ask each other “how’s your walk” or in other words they are asking how you are living you’re life-carnally or in accordance with the Gospel. Essentially, we are interested in each other’s life with God and our relationship with Him! To walk by the Spirit also means that the one who is called to freedom in the gospel is not called to love by themselves, but with the help of the Spirit. We are not called to keep walking by our own will or resolve, but really with the help of the Spirit. After all, the Spirit is called “another Helper” in John 14. So to walk by the Spirit then means that one is living life out “by the Spirit”, all of your life is done according to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and guidance; the Spirit helps us in our inability. You plan, you desire, you make decisions and ambitions, you allocate resources, you work, you play, you do everything with God the Spirit. We never do anything apart from the Spirit! This is what characterizes a true Christian. The result of this is that you will not “gratify the desires of the flesh”. This is exactly what Paul warned against in Gal 5:13. The flesh here is the sinful self which says or propels one to sin against God, such sins are the one who turns or adheres to the law for salvation, the one who rejects God’s mercy, the one who compares himself to his neighbour to measure his worth, etc. Can you now see some of the things and acts that are sinful which we do not know? Isn't it great that the result of conducting all of your life with the guidance of the Spirit leads to you not gratifying the desires of your flesh? The flesh and the Spirit are in opposition, conflict and war. The Spirit and the flesh are mutually, diametrically opposed to one another, foes. Why? Because of their contrasting desires! They have different goals, and pursue different things. In fact, it says that this conflict “keeps you from doing the things you want or ought to do”, it keeps you from gratifying the desires of the flesh which is in me and your nature! If you are a true Christian today, is this war/conflict familiar to you? Do you feel like you are fighting every day within and outside yourself? This fighting and war is written of in other parts of the Bible. Spiritual warfare is real, and present as seen in Eph 6:10-12 “10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere”, and 1 Pet 5:8 “8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour”. If you don’t even know that you are engaged in a battle, you are losing a war you didn’t know you were fighting. This ignorance kills you spiritually. What are you fighting? Maybe you fight a comfortable life, enough to get by, with enough time and money to do the things you want to. But Scripture tells us that there is a war, and the fight against sin is important, lest you be killed by sin. Do you fight together in community, or do you do it alone? Do you have others to encourage you in your fight, do you feel surprised that in the church itself, you face brokenness and are offended? These are the realities the Gospel wants you to know so that by realizing that you cannot fight it by your own effort, you then hand it over and surrender to the Holy Spirit who now leads, guide and give you help in all your actions, decisions and desires.

   (B) LIFE IN THE SPIRIT IS FRUITFUL: GRACE VERSUS MERIT (GAL 5:18-23):

Know that whatever you merit you have definitely worked for. But whatsoever that is given to you or done for you by grace definitely is a thing you did not work for but is rendered to you as an unmerited favour. Paul introduces another set of contrast in the “works of the flesh” and the “fruit of the Spirit” as seen in Gal 5:19 “19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency”. Notice first that the works of the flesh are not purely works in that they are all action; No. In fact, many of them are not outward actions (like envy, jealousy, fits of anger), but are emotions inside you that comes from the heart of a person, from the inside. So the works of the flesh is not one of physical bodily action but sinful human desires as we have spoken about earlier. “Works” carry with it the idea of man working towards something, and acting in order to achieve. But with fruit, you can’t really control and force it to happen. Work is toil and a struggle, but fruit arises or comes out from life and is enjoyed. So when the Lord God uses the words ‘works of’ and ‘fruit of’ respectively, we have to be very careful that we understand what is meant: one being an outward action and the other an inside desire. But if we look at the list carefully on grounds of strictly actions and desires, we will see that the actions under the works of the flesh come rather easily in fact not falling into the category of work or action, because I don’t have to work or carry out any action in other ‘to feel angry’, or to be jealous or envious of another. So categorically this is not an exhaustive list, but Paul is just giving some examples. But why then do we use the word “works”? John Piper puts it this way: “They are an emotional attempt or outburst to settle accounts because we didn’t get what we thought we had earned or deserved”. This is the heart or nature of the flesh, that we think we have or suppose to earn it, that we deserve it. We know this so easily! For instance when we Go on Facebook and we see the holiday pics of a friend, and we think about how we have worked hard enough but cannot have such pics. It is a merit-based life; we begin to think we ought to be the one to have those pics and not the friend –that is jealousy and envy playing out. We feel we merit or deserve it and not the friend, have you ever felt that way? Then if you do know that you have works of the flesh in your life to deal with by the help of the Holy Spirit. Remember that feeling I merit or deserve it here is different from the case of covetousness. Do you feel like this sometimes? Have you ever felt like you deserved something? We have this mindset at work, where we think that if we work hard enough (maybe even harder than our colleagues) we deserve a better pay, a better bonus, a better position. As students, maybe we think that we deserve a good job since we went through all that studying in University and at the top of our class. This could be extended to those who are serving in ministry too. Shouldn’t you deserve more recognition for all the stuff you have done for the church? Shouldn’t someone thank you for all your sacrifice, for all the time and effort you spent on your ministry? It can actually also be extended to our relationship with God! We think that God should bless us because of how much we read our Bible, pray or tithe to the church. We think that God should love us much more than the other guy whose church attendance is poor, who never prays, who never reads his Bible. All are the Works of the Flesh! That inherent ill or bad nature in us, needs to be transformed by Christ in us. Fruit then, seems different. “Fruit” is different though. In fact, we just have to see whose fruit it is. It is not our fruit, but the Spirit’s. It is the Spirit that bears the fruit in us, not the Christian who “does things perfectly”. The Christian has nothing to do with this fruit, and it is entirely of God! The people who bear this fruit are the ones that know they stand condemned without Christ. These will be the ones bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Now that we have explained works and fruit, it is easy to see how this relates to the theme of law and grace that we've been unpacking in Galatians. In fact Gal 3:18 draws the link for us when it says ‘’318For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing) the Law[as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer[depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham[as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise’’. Being led by the Spirit, and producing fruit means that you are not under the law and that you are under grace, you have not fallen away from grace, that unmerited favour that only God can give; as seen in Gal 5:4 saying, ‘’If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favour and unmerited blessing)’’. Bearing fruit is a work of grace! On the other hand, being under the law, you are led to a merit-based salvation; you will be producing “works”, this is the kind of heart that always thinks that everyone is a debtor to it; that everyone owes you something. Do you now see why salvation is by grace and not by works? Thus, this passage in Gal 5 is not basically a list of good things to do, and bad things to avoid. It helps us to see how living under the law contrasts with living under grace. Living under the Law you have to work very hard to merit it but living under grace God just favours you, intervening on your behalf to save you from your sin caused death because He loves you and is pleased to do so for you not that your works makes you to merit or deserve it, No! So we see the theme in Galatians of faith versus works, law versus grace continuing in this chapter and being developed (or, bearing fruit) in the form of our sanctification. Galatians teach us that we don’t bear fruit by trying harder or by doing more. We bear fruit by walking by the Spirit and being led by the Spirit. Now, what does this mean? Christians bear fruit, and it’s not our fruit! It is the fruit of the Spirit as listed above.

  (C) LIFE IN THE SPIRIT IS VICTORIOUS: KEEPING IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT BY FAITH IN CHRIST (GAL 5:24-26):

Paul goes on to assure the Galatians by telling them that those who belong to Christ by faith “have crucified” the flesh, in other words have rendered the propensities of the flesh numb. This act of crucifixion is in the past. He is not saying "are crucifying" but are ‘’crucified’’. They are people that have killed the flesh, and they have killed their sin, sin no longer controls them. These are the people who make serious effort to restrain themselves from acting sinfully, such people do everything to deaden the propensities of their sinful acts, and they try hard to avoid doing all those things listed under the works of the flesh. This is what Paul is speaking about in Gal 2:20 “20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me”, when he speaks about being crucified with Christ as can be seen also in Romans 6. Secondly, the order of these events is important to note, it is not that “those who have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires belong to Christ Jesus”. This is clearly not a justification by works, and hence these lists of works and fruit above were never meant to lay a further burden on the reader that they have to do more things to be saved. Again, the idea of killing sin, and of spiritual war is alluded here. If you are a Christian today, you must have killed sin at some point. Is this true for you? In Gal 5:25 “25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [a]we have our life in God, let us go forward [b]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]”, Paul uses an "if" clause. He tells the Galatians that if they are alive by the Spirit, then they are to keep in step with the Spirit. There is the idea that one is marching along with the Spirit, step by step, keeping at the same rhythm. This is” a similar picture that we got from walking, and this literally means to “walk in line behind a leader”. The Spirit makes us alive and we are to keep walking in this same Spirit one step at a time. This is not actually something impossible for the Christian! The Christian that has been made alive is being told to do something that is natural to them actually — take a deep gospel breath, take it deep into your soul and just walk! The end of chapter 5 nicely brings together many ideas that have been raised in the previous chapters. Paul has hammered in the idea again and again that they are alive in the Spirit only by faith in Christ. This is the one and only gospel message. In Gal 2:20-21 “20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 [Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous]”, he tells them that he lives his life in the flesh (i.e. physical body and not sinful desires) "by faith in the Son of God". In Gal 3:5 “5 Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?”, he reminds the people that God supplies the Spirit not because they have kept the law, but because of their hearing with faith. So hearing the Gospel and practicing what the Gospel says is what moves God to action on your behalf. In Gal 5:5 “5 For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our [a]conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope”, even in our waiting "for the hope of righteousness" at Jesus' coming, we do so through the Spirit and by faith. In Gal 5:6 “6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love”, we are told that if faith produces love, and love is a fruit of the Spirit, then it is by faith that one walks by the Spirit. So overwhelmingly, what does it mean to walk by the Spirit? It means this; it means to have faith in Jesus Christ, the only one who can save, and who obeyed the law perfectly, whose righteousness is ours by faith. This is not just a "one-time" decision but has daily implications. Every day, we look not to ourselves, our goodness, our achievements, our wisdom, our failures, our successes to grant us satisfaction, but overwhelmingly, we do it by faith in Christ, knowing that His promises are true, and that we can depend on Christ for salvation. We meditate on the promises that are in Christ. The Christian is one who walks by the Spirit bathes and soaks himself in the one truth that his salvation in Christ is true, and so are the promises in Christ. He reminds himself that only Christ obeyed the law perfectly. So if he can sincerely and honestly hold firm unwaveringly unto Christ, then Christ perfection will be imputed for him. That is it! This is a life of war, and requires us to fight sin. This is also a fruitful life, not because of anything we do but by grace and is also a victorious life in the Spirit. Gal 5 tells us that our sanctification is also by faith. This is a comfort! Paul doesn’t tell us to do the right things now that we are Christians. Not only is our justification and our decision to receive Jesus Christ as our saviour is by faith, but our transformation into Christ-likeness, our keeping in step with the Spirit is by faith in Christ. Only then can we be fruitful, and thus fulfil the law as seen in Gal 5:23 “23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge].” In other words, if you can live life gentle, meek and humbly with self-control, automatically you are keeping or fulfilling the law. What will it look like for you? Praying and reading the Bible? Probably, and also doing so not just for the sake of doing so, but also by faith, depending and trusting that He will provide! It also means telling Him that we will want to walk in Him, not ahead of Him or away from Him. We wish to commit and say that all our life, our plans and decisions, ambitions is His, and trust in His promises in Christ, trusting that it is greater than all this world promises and satisfaction.
Father Lord, I recognise that having emotions is part of being human, help me to experience and express my emotions in ways that will bring glory to You and not harm others. In Your name Lord Jesus I pray. Amen!