Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Spirit-filled Life

Yesterday afternoon, I got a haircut. The lady who cut my hair was talking about how many new movies have innuendos that the children don't notice. When I told her that I was a Christian, that led to a discussion about the lack of morals in our current culture. Even she pointed out that anything goes. The problem is that there is no moral compass without the Bible. Years ago, people would have been more aware of the sinfulness of sin, but now they no longer accept the Bible's indictment against them. Christians don't have the same excuse. We know that we are to avoid the "works of the flesh" because they are contrary to what God desires as revealed in the Bible. We know that

"adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like" (Gal. 5:19-21)

are displeasing to God. But even though we know that these are wrong before God, we still have a difficult time with these sins. What will help us to avoid them?

In Galatians 5-6, Paul points out the power to change: "Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16). It is this continual submission to the Holy Spirit's control that enables every Christian to do what is pleasing to God and to avoid the opposite. He enables each of us to have the godly attributes needed to overcome our fleshly desires, replacing them with what Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

The results that come from walking in the Spirit are awesome! We will begin loving our neighbor as ourselves (Gal. 5:14). We will develop self-control that we never had before (Gal. 5:23). We will crucify our fleshly passions (Gal. 5:24). We will be able to help those who have fallen into sin (Gal. 6:1). This sampling of benefits is just the beginning of the Spirit-filled life, but it is incredibly different from what the world is used to. Whether that is appreciated or not, doesn't really matter. But we do know that life will be better this way because it is what God wants. So, if you are a Christian who has been born again by God's Spirit, submit to his control today and see the benefit's of the Spirit-filled life!

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