January 29, 2018

Deeply Rooted - Week 1:

Galatians 5:16-26

The New Testament teaches that acceptance by God comes through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ, one we choose to participate in by asking Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. In contrast, most Israelites in Jesus’ day were depending on their birth heritage (as children of Abraham) or upon obeying the Law to provide this standing.

When a person asks Jesus to forgive their sin and come into their heart as Lord, it is a faith decision. We cannot see Jesus coming in or see him forgive our sins. That’s the faith part: believing in what we cannot see. By making this important decision, we are freed from the ultimate penalty for our sin through Jesus’ forgiveness and we are filled with the Holy Spirit to live in a new relationship with God through Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes and resides in our hearts to direct our lives. Salvation is the free gift of God, not something we earn or deserve.

The Apostle Paul spent his life teaching people what it meant to live in a relationship with Jesus. Led by the Spirit of God, Paul ultimately wrote out instructions for godly living which now help guide Christians of all generations. When we depend on and live in obedience to the Holy Spirit, others see noticeable changes in our attitudes, words, and actions. The Holy Spirit living in us enables us to show and tell others what Jesus is doing in our lives. This process is what Paul referred to as producing the "Fruit of the Spirit” in our lives, which ultimately leads to others coming to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Today’s Scripture passage introduces the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Paul describes what the Christian life is supposed to be. He describes how we are to think, act, and feel since we have the Spirit of God inside us. It can only happen for those who recognize they have sinned and ask Jesus to come into their lives to forgive them of their sin.

For the next several weeks, we will look at each of the nine “Fruit of the Spirit” traits. Pray God will produce and grow these characteristics and qualities in our lives.