March 3, 2019
- By Ed Powell
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"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:25
There are two covenants mentioned in the epistle to the Galatians. One is the covenant of works, and the other is the covenant of grace. Mankind is under one covenant or the other. Those under the covenant of works are transgressors and are under the curse of God. The principle that rules their lives is called the flesh, and all of its diabolical fruit is known as the "works of the flesh." These are mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:19-21, with the conclusion that "they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
You might say, "Well, how does one make the transition from the covenant of works to the covenant of grace?" It is by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as our sin bearer who paid the debt of our sin on Calvary's cross. We accept Him as our personal Savior, having taken the place we justly deserved. God makes us "a new creation in Christ." The vital principle that now rules our life is known as the spirit of grace.
Someone has asked, "How can we recognize which principle people are living under?" It is by the fruit they bear. The fruit of their life displays the nature of its origin. A corrupt nature manifests abominable fruit that adorns those who are controlled by Satan. Paul said, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Galatians 6:7,8).
What a contrast to the believer who is under the covenant of grace and the influence of the Holy Spirit. John said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (John 15:16). Now what is this "fruit" that is of the Spirit? Paul says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22,23).
The first fruit that is mentioned is love, which is the foundation of our faith, the very essence of God, for God is love. His love finds expression to the degree that God lives in and through our lives. The "fruit of the spirit" is bestowed only and always through the increased presence of His person in our lives. The more I have of Christ, the more I have of His love. The more I have of God, the more I have of His goodness. The more I am controlled by the Holy Spirit, the more I have of His holiness. The love of God is the "life of God" poured out lavishly and constantly. Only when our lives are in harmony with the love of God can we know the will of God. Then the minute details of our life bear enormous meaning and purpose.
Everything must find its beginning and foundation in the love of God if our lives are to be effective and fruitful for eternity. As the Holy Spirit controls our lives, so will we walk in the Spirit and reflect through our lives the "fruit" that only He can produce for His glory. Oh that we might be channels through which His life can flow freely and fully! Is this the desire of your heart? What kind of fruit is your life bearing? Make Him the Lord and Sovereign of your life.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2019-03-03
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