Monday, February 1, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: Time of Redemption (Preparation)
Galatians 5:16-24
Eugene M. Sadhu, MD
  Bethel MTC, Frankfort, IL
16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
 
This highlighted verse says that as we walk in the Spirit, “you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”, but not that we won’t still have the flesh, nor that we would no longer experience the desire of the flesh.  Likewise, it does not promise we will sin no more.  Only in Jesus was that full perfection, and until we arrive in glory, we should expect to fail.  However, when we walk by the Spirit, as we are transformed and conformed to the nature of our Lord and Savior, we will not wallow in sin nor constantly remain in that sinful state as if a slave.

Each follower of Christ has been redeemed (bought).  This has meant redemption from a slave-life to sin--to our own sin nature(19).   Now that we are free (13), a choice is set before us, we can surrender again to that sin nature and desire, or, choose to listen to the Spirit’s leading and submit to God’s will.  We are advised in scripture that this is a daily struggle even for the redeemed.  And so, this must be a conscious choice.

At the same time, we do not and cannot earn salvation or redemption via our good deeds or via resisting the desires of the flesh.  Our redemption, by grace alone through Christ, means that we are under no “covenant of works”. Indeed, the fruit of the Spirit should be the natural product of the change made in us and our alignment with the Holy Spirit as we “walk by the Spirit”.  We will trade the fruit of the flesh for the fruit of the Spirit as we consciously decide each day to follow the Spirit’s leading and resist our temptations.

PRAYER

Lord God Almighty, we pray that You would help us to listen to the Spirit’s leading and follow it as we strive to love You with our whole being and conquer our sin nature. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
A choice is set before you now, living or dying, blessing or cursing.  Choose life! Deuteronomy 30:19