As I look around the world, I see a lot of brokenness, lawlessness, deceit, hatred, pain, and wickedness. I also see good things like gentleness, patience, love, and obedience, although they don’t make the headlines as quickly.
Do we have any reason to hope in this broken world? Yes. We just celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our best hope in this world. But what do we do while we wait for Christ to return? We do our best to live according to the Scriptures.
Sadly new survey results just came out recently that say Bible reading has dropped dramatically. Folks, that’s not a good thing. If we are not reading the Bible, how will we know what to expect in the future, who we are to love, and what we are to do each day? How will we know what peace, hope, and love look like in a broken world?
Truth is hard to find in our world today and easy to find in God’s Word, yet sadly many are tossing the Bible aside.
We may live in the world, but we do not have to act like the world in this way.
Today, we are going to look at flesh and Spirit from the book of Galatians, more specifically the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians teaches me about the works of the flesh I need to stay away from and reminds me of the works of the Spirit I need to grow more in because those things are pleasing to God. The works of the flesh are not pleasing to God, and after reading the list, I can see why.
What does Scripture say about the works of the flesh?
Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!”
Are we seeing those things today? You bet we are and they continue to escalate before our eyes.
What does Scripture say about the works of the Spirit?
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”
This list is a lot more pleasing to the eye. Love, joy, patience, peace…..
Did you notice what Paul said in verse 23? There’s no law against these things.
When you think about the laws in our society, what is their primary purpose? Who are they protecting? What are laws designed to do?
The laws were implemented to control the bad stuff listed in verses 19 through 21. They are designed to protect us; they are intended to prevent injury, death, hurt, chaos, pain, anger, retaliation, etc. Notice there is no law against being kind, peaceful, gentle, or loving.
Because these are the things we should already be doing., These are the things that promote goodness among people. These are the things people should be practicing. But why is it people seem to practice the other things more? What is the attraction of the flesh?
Tomorrow, we’ll dive deeper into the subject and keep reading what Paul has to say. In the meantime, let’s pray about what we have learned so far.
Father, may we all implement more of the fruit of the Spirit, fruit like peace, gentleness, joy, patience, kindness, and love. May we shed the other qualities that are not Christ-like. It’s hard to do sometimes, but Lord, we know we can if we are determined to do so. Thanks, Lord, for giving us a great example in your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray all these things, Amen.
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