Greetings CrossTrain family! How blessed are we to have a church that unapologetically preaches the whole counsel of God? We’ve discussed much in these posts on the foundational doctrine of “sola scriptura”, or that scripture alone is our sole infallible source of truth for the faith and that scripture is all we need to do every good work. Just as important is the idea of “tota scriptura”, or that we must let the totality of scripture speak to a subject, allowing the text to speak for itself. Although Romans 9 can be a difficult portion to tackle, the peace, courage, and security it brings to the believer when it anchors our faith and our lives to the only Sovereign is priceless. It would truly be sinful for us to skip this portion and we would be missing out on such riches, leaving us emaciated Christians like much of the American church today. We continue in our family ministry verses having seen how God has laid out His gospel in His word and finished last week understanding that he saved us unto good works. We’ll continue this week to learn and discuss what this new creation, into which God has formed us, looks like.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Why this verse? Here, God describes what the behavior of a Christian looks like. It looks like Jesus. When we are saved, scripture tells us that we are sealed, indwelt with, and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1, 1 Cor 6, Col 1). The Holy Spirit in us is what accomplishes what could be done no other way. God conforms us into the image of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and through renewing our mind with his word. The fruits of the spirit are evidences of God having saved us and ought to be continually produced in the life of a believer. And may we not forget, the fruits are just that… fruits. They are not the source of our salvation but rather the products. As James says in chapter 2, “I will show you my faith by my works.”
Questions Galatians 5:22-23 can answer
What do the fruits of the spirit describe?
What are the fruits of the spirit?
Is figuring out how to be more like these fruits the way we are saved?
Will I ever demonstrate these perfectly? Who was the only one to do so?
James also tells is in chapter 2 that “faith without works is dead.” Do we see these fruits in ourselves? In our children? Praise God if so! For this is not our own goodness, but him working in us by his grace. If not, may we humbly and earnestly turn to his word and pray to our father that he would grant us repentance and faith and that he would have his way. May his will be done. By no means will any of us exemplify any fruit perfectly in this life, but God still gives more grace and His mercies are new every morning! We will see these fruits be more evident as we continue in our walk. This process of conformation into the image of Jesus might hurt sometimes! But if God is glorified in His Son, how much more will he be glorified if because of the Son’s work through the power of the spirit, multitudes of mankind are made more and more into Jesus’ image!! “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end”, folks! Take courage. Read the word. Pray. And share the Gospel. God saves sinners, so go get them. Until next time, may God richly bless you by the grace and mercy won by Jesus Christ!
Adam and Audra Griffin