On Tuesdays we are looking at the fruit of the Spirit. The verses about the fruit of the Spirit are found in the book of Galatians. This has caused me to read the book of Galatians two times to get a better understanding of what Paul is trying to teach us. I think it is important for us to get a foundational understanding from the book of Galatians so we can continue growing in our understanding of our rights to the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Galatians is a beautiful book, so if you have time I would recommend that you read the whole thing. Paul is trying to convince the Galatians that the Good News truly is Good News and that we do not need to add anything to it. We received the gift of salvation freely and to get the freedom that Jesus purchased for us we need to walk by trusting in Him and not by walking through the law.
I have titled this post: Secure your Identity because I believe that the key to walking in freedom is to know who you are. So do you know who you are? Pause here and think about this. How would you describe yourself to someone? What is your identity?
Your identity before God is this:
You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
God sent his Son who was born of a woman and lived under the law. God did this so he could buy freedom for those who were under the law and so we could become his children. Since you are God's children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and the Spirit cries out, "Father." So now you are not a slave; you are God's child, and God will give you the blessing he promised, because you are his child. In the past you did not know God. You were slaves to gods that were not real.But now you know the true God. Really, it is God who knows you. So why do you turn back to those weak and useless rules you followed before? Do you want to be slaves to those things again?
Did you get the point? You are God's child, you are a child of God, He knows you! Jesus purchased our freedom from the law. Why? So we could become God's children. What did we get as a result? We have the Spirit of God inside of us proclaiming what is true ~ we can call God Father. There are benefits too to being a child of God: we can receive all the blessings He promised.
Galatians 5:1, 4-6,
We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong. Do not change and go back into the slavery of the law. If you try to be made right with God through the law, your life with Christ is over—you have left God's grace. But we have the true hope that comes from being made right with God, and by the Spirit we wait eagerly for this hope. When we are in Christ Jesus, it is not important if we are circumcised or not. The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love.
The point of For His Glory Alone is to help people to walk in the freedom that God intended. When I think of Jesus, He spent much of His ministry talking to the Pharisees trying to show them how they misunderstood God and were burdening people. Now we have the whole book of Galatians trying to convince us that we truly are free because of what Christ did and that it has nothing to do with the LAW but everything to do with Jesus and the cross. How do we walk this out then? We walk this out by allowing the Spirit who lives in us to live through us and we do it through LOVE. By loving God with all our hearts, souls, mind and strength and loving others. How can we do this? Understand your identity.
You are a child of God!
You are a child of God!
You are a child of God!
So I tell you: Live by following the Spirit. Then you will not do what your sinful selves want. Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please.But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law.
I have said it before and I will keep saying it: This thing called Christianity is not about following rules it is about relationship! I think I'm passionate about this because I have grown up in the church. I have seen too many childhood friends fall away from the Lord because they grew up thinking they had to follow all these rules to be right with God and when they couldn't they got fed up and quit! And it is understandable why they quit because Galatians tells us that there is no hope in following the law. We can't do it and we will fail; that is why Jesus came! If you've been in the church for awhile you might start to get sucked back into this "obeying the law thing." The result of this kind of living is a people burdened by guilt, condemnation, shame, joyless, frustrated...
You began your life in Christ by the Spirit.
Now are you trying to make it complete by your own power?
That is foolish.
God did call us to live a righteous and holy life but it will not happen by our own power and strength and it will not happen by obeying all the rules. It only happens by being secure in your identity: knowing that you are a child of God and by following the Holy Spirit. This is how we live and walk in freedom! Be free today, everyday. Know who you are and walk in it confidently! Remember Galatians 4:8? It is God who knows you. He knows all your failures and your inabilities the fact that you could never make yourself right before Him. And you know what? He chose anyway to come and rescue you and call you His child. Once you are a child, His feelings for you don't change. His expectations don't change. He doesn't expect you now to do this thing on your own. Let Him walk with you today and love you as you are
a child of God.