Encounter With God 31st May 2020 Devotional – Spirit-Led Freedom
TODAY’S TOPIC: SPIRIT-LED FREEDOM
Opening Prayer: Lord, lead me by Your Spirit.
Read GALATIANS 5:16–26
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
a Galatians 5:17 Or you do not do what
New International Version (NIV)
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Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Think Further: Encounter With God 31st May 2020 Devotional
Today is Pentecost, when we remember and celebrate the coming of the Spirit to empower and guide the Church of Jesus Christ. The Spirit is the hallmark of Christianity and a deposit, guaranteeing that God’s promises will come true (Rom. 8). In today’s passage, the Spirit is presented as the new guardian, teaching, guiding and empowering believers in Christian living. Believers are no longer in the custody of the law with all its regulations, but rather in the care of the Spirit.
The different expressions—to live by the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit, to keep in step with the Spirit—all point to the same reality. Believers cannot live the Christian life on their own; they need the help and guidance of the Spirit.
Although believers have been set free by Christ, the old man or woman with its sinful desires still has a pull on them and can be resisted only by keeping in step with the Spirit. This struggle does not need to be a moral stalemate; indeed, the essence of Christian freedom is that believers (should) have crucified the sinful nature and are being guided by the Spirit in their Christian life.
A life under the guidance of the Spirit will bear fruit. The manifold fruit of the Spirit in verses 22 and 23 refers to the Christ-like character that the Spirit seeks to produce within believers. Moreover, the use of the singular “fruit” suggests that these qualities are indivisible, so all should be manifested in any Christian’s life (Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, 408). There is permission to cherry-pick the qualities that appeal to us.
At the same time, we must understand that this fruit is the result of the Spirit’s work in us, so we need only to keep in step with the Spirit.
Apply: Reflect on how you can better keep in step with the Spirit and which elements of the fruit of the Spirit need to become more visible in you.
Closing Prayer: Lord, I understand that I am incapable of living up to Your requirements apart from the supernatural assistance of Your Holy Spirit.
ONE YEAR BIBLE READING PLAN: 2 Kings 8,9 / Psalms 64,65
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