Paul Continues His Letter to the Galatians (Part 2)
OCTOBER 31 - Nº 304 Galatians 3:23 – 6:18
In the first half of his letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul explained that the only way anyone can become a child of God is through faith in what Jesus did on the cross. When he died, Jesus paid the penalty for all sin! No longer is anyone required to make sacrifices, be circumcised, or obey the Laws that were given to Moses. Paul insisted that this is true for everyone regardless of whether they are Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free, males or females.
However, Paul wanted these new believers to understand that freedom from Old Testament Laws did not grant them freedom to live sinful lives. Real faith should be evident in the way they served and loved each other. “As a matter of fact,” Paul insisted, “you are actually keeping the entire Law if you obey this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Paul warned the new converts that this was impossible to do on their own. He explained that it was only through the power and grace of the Holy Spirit that they could love each other properly and keep from sinning. If they allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them, they would no longer be slaves to their own desires—desires that resulted in immoral behaviors such as jealousy, anger, selfishness, envy, cliques, etc. Instead, the Holy Spirit would fill their lives with nourishing “fruit” that attracted others to Jesus. Paul listed nine types of “fruit” that are evident in the lives of true believers:
Love: By using the Greek word agape, Paul described the kind of love that is based on choice rather than emotion. Spirit-filled believers are able to love and serve others regardless of what is offered in return.
Joy: Spirit-filled believers learn to praise God in every situation. This leads to contentment rather than despair during difficult times.
Peace: Spirit-filled believers experience quietness in their souls instead of anxiety. They can rest calmly knowing how much God loves and cares for them.
Patience: Spirit-filled believers learn to wait for God and wait on others without getting upset or pushy.
Kindness: Spirit-filled believers show compassion. They are happy to help others who have needs because they have experienced God’s grace in their own lives.
Integrity: Spirit-filled believers are trustworthy and honest in every situation.
Reliability: Spirit-filled believers are always faithful to God and loyal to others.
Gentleness: Spirit-filled believers are not demanding, nor do they act superior, when they are helping or correcting others.
Self-control: Spirit-filled believers do not allow their own desires to get in the way of pleasing God or loving others.
Paul wanted the new believers in Galatia to enjoy every freedom and all the blessings that God makes available to His children.
Is there evidence that the Holy Spirit is in your life? Is He producing “fruit” that attracts and nourishes others? Choose one type of “fruit” from the nine Paul listed that should be more evident in your life. Then pray and ask the Holy Spirit to produce it and make it visible.