Joy to the World

Jesus did not come to fortify the rules or create new ones; He offers us a joy-filled relationship with God

The Evidence of God’s Spirit
Walking in the Spirit – Part V

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:16-26

Key Verse: Galatians 5:22
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: … joy…

Another important phrase that comes from the Scripture Reading for today is:

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25).

I think another way of saying this is: “Since our walk with God is not about rules and regulations, let us be attentive to what the Spirit is revealing in our minds”. There is no real joy in a person who is all about keeping rules.

The Pharisees in Jesus’s day knew all the rules of their faith but lacked any joy in their relationship with God. Look what Jesus said to them on one occasion:

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.” (Matthew 23:27).

In other words, Jesus is saying they had no underlying joy or peace in their lives!

Jesus did not come to fortify the rules of religion or create new ones. Jesus came to offer us a wonderful relationship with the God who created us. It is for this reason that we should sing “Joy to the World”.

I think some Christ-followers doubt that God has filled them with the Holy Spirit, but the Apostle Paul reminds us:

…And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all. (Romans 8:9b).

The real issue is not that God has not filled these Christ-followers with the Spirit. The real issue is that these Christ-followers are not following the Spirit’s lead.

When we are following the Spirit’s lead, we experience the joy and peace that the Bible promises us. When we do something that causes us to lose that joy or peace, we must decide to stop doing it. When you obey that correction of the Spirit, you are “walking in the Spirit”!

Tomorrow we will look more into the “how to’s” of this kind of walk with God.

Father, I do not want to be like the Pharisees as I walk with You. Help me enjoy the Spirit you put in me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.

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