Fruit of the Spirit

In light of my last post, while I was searching through my old blog looking for something entirely different, I stumbled across the post in which I recounted the story originally of what God taught me about his purity, back in April of 2011. You can read the whole post here, but here’s the original story:

A week or so ago God spoke to me about purity. As some of you know I have struggled a very long time in the area of purity. This particular day I was feeling quite discouraged, having just fallen down under my own burden of sin, and I was talking to myself, beating myself up over this incident. But then God told me something quite clearly and it was this: “I don’t want you to be pure for Me; I want to be Pure for you.”

I’m reminded once again that no longer do I have to struggle on my own; quite the opposite! Christ has now stepped in; it isn’t about me, it’s all about him and what he did for me! My works won’t and can’t earn my righteousness, but the good things I now do are because the Spirit of God lives in me, because God has written his laws in my heart and on my mind. So then the good things I do are not really my works but the works of the Spirit of God in me. I love Paul’s admonition to the Galatians to allow the Holy Spirit to guide their lives:

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. 

                                                                          – Galatians 5:16-25

So when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we no longer have need of the old system, the law, and we are no longer under the law when the Holy Spirit is in us. And we no longer have to worry, because when we allow the Holy Spirit to live in us, he produces goodness within us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And it isn’t really like I learned it under the Adventist system of thinking, that these “fruits of the spirit” were something I had to achieve, no! Paul is very clear in verse 22: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives” AMEN! It isn’t even my responsibility to live right anymore if the Holy Spirit lives in me! And that brings me back to what God said to me: “I don’t want you to be pure for Me; I want to be Pure for you.” 

None of my effort or strength comes anywhere near to God’s matchless all-powerfulness. None of my attempts toward purity or righteousness compare at all to Christ’s robe of righteousness which he has wrapped around me. Nothing could ever be more complete or perfect than what Jesus did that day some two thousand years ago on the cross – what the Holy Spirit now does right within me. And I can only wonder: how could anyone not accept such an unmatched, priceless gift?

P.S.: I’ve been studying lately about the Sabbath of the new covenant; I’ll be writing more on that very soon.

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