i asked these questions yesterday:
why do we fail so miserably? why are there so many who claim allegiance to the master, yet suffer so deeply from the effects of their own poor decisions? in the face of such clear directives from the word of god, how do we explain the anemic lives of righteousness present in so many of god’s faithful?
i think the answer is found between the lines, near the end of paul’s letter to the galatians:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25
paul makes a definitive statement when he says, “…those who belong to christ jesus have crucified the sinful nature…” the answer is in belonging. how do we determine if someone belongs to christ jesus?
i’m afraid this is going to come across pretty harsh and judgmental, but maybe the struggle lies in an awareness of who we belong to. i think there are many who are really fond of the idea that when you come to christ, you get a lot of cool things…heaven…new friends…forgiveness…hope…someone to talk to…etc…
but i wonder if the whole story is getting out there. following christ is about ownership. it’s about being bought with a price (romans 6). it’s more about who lives in us…than who we live for. it’s about the holy spirit taking up residence inside of us…than a change in our location.
it’s a whole new way of thinking. a whole new way of viewing our lives. a whole new way of living. not just an adjustment to the way we used to live.
wholesale. and it’s called being filled with the spirit. and you are supposed to have fruit to prove it.