Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekly Meditation - Trinity 14

Greetings in the Name of Christ Jesus!

Today we will consider the Epistle for Trinity 14, Galatians 5:16-24, and in particular verses 22 and 23 which read:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

One of the things that that be frustrating to many Christians is that our faith is not a "checklist" faith. When it comes to living as a Christian, it is not merely a matter of checking off the things that you don't do - I haven't killed, I haven't had an affair, robbed a bank, or lied in court - and being content. Yes, there are many things that as a Christian you ought avoid, but living a Christian life involves "doing" - not just not doing.

Paul gives us a list of the "fruit of the Spirit" - things that constantly and continually well up in a Christian - and the thing to note is that there have no limit. There isn't a point where we stretch our arms back and say, "Well, I've shown my daily allotment of love, time to punch the clock and head home." We don't say, "I've been faithful enough, guess I can afford a little bit of unfaithfulness now."

And these are the things that we as Christians are to be about at all times. And of course, this is most daunting, because although we can all say we want to be good little boys and girls, someone at work does something. . . or our kids do something. . . or our boss says something. . . or our neighbor. . . or our spouse. . . or that random guy who just was rude. . . and our sinful flesh can kick right in and the enmity, strife, and other things from verses 19-21 can pop right up and in.

It is here where I would note that these works Paul puts forth are not "your" fruit - they are the fruit of the Spirit. Here we are reminded of what our Lord teaches - "I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in me bears much fruit." The fruit is the fruit of the Spirit - it is the fruit that comes from being in Christ and in His Word. When we live lives of forgiveness, Christ forgives us, the Spirit dwells in us, and He beats down our sinful flesh and its desires (the old, classic word is "mortifies" - literally puts our sinful desires to death), allowing His fruit to spring forth.

So, this week, consider what fruit is present in your life - is love and joy and peace and the rest coming out like they ought? If not, confess your sins, and God, who is faithful and just, will cleanse you from all unrighteousness - and we will see what He brings to produce in you.

Have a blessed week,
Pastor Brown

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