Hi SPV Family,
This is Patricia.If you plant an apple tree you get apples you don’t get oranges from an apple tree.
Years ago I planted a navel orange tree and the fruit was large, juicy and very sweet. The tree grew and needed to be trimmed back so I got out the loppers and trimmed the tree, well actually I over-trimmed the tree. I cut out the part that was grafted in the tree and what was left was the root stock called Trifoliata orange. The fruit was so bitter and filled with hundreds of seeds . When the tree grew back out it looked beautiful and the fruit was bright orange but the inside of the fruit was not sweet or juicy and was very bitter to the taste.
I have really enjoyed hearing the sermons on Galatians, and many of the sermons spoke to me on a personal level. Thinking about the contrasts in Galatians made me think of my orange tree and the fruit we produce.
In Galatians chapter 3 Paul talks about receiving the Spirit of God because we believed in Jesus Christ, not because we obey the law. We are all taught to obey the “Rules'' from very early in life. If we obey the rules then we will be rewarded, this reward is because of our good behavior. God’s way is not man’s way, God gave us the Holy Spirit because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross. We don’t have to be good to receive the Holy Spirit, we just have to believe in Jesus. Because we believe in Jesus, we are saved by grace and not by the works we do. The finished work of Christ brings us into the right standing of the Father, not being a certain race, color, male, female, slave or free, but by Grace alone. Grace “The divine influence of the heart.”
We are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26 NLT
In Galatians 5:19-22 we see the difference between following our sinful natures or allowing the Holy spirit to produce fruit in us. The Holy Spirit was placed inside of us to teach us and show us Christ and when we allow the Holy Spirit to live through us, we can produce the kind of fruit that changes our lives and the lives of others. In Romans 13:14 it says “put on Christ” this means that we choose to be guided by the Mind of Christ, and when we are guided by the Holy Spirit we won’t be doing what our carnal nature craves. Fruit is produced by the tree, apples grow on apple trees and oranges grow on orange trees. Living by the Spirit of Christ produces good fruit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Galatians 6:8 says Those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
How do we live to please the Spirit? Verse 10; Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to those in the family of faith. It is easier to produce good fruit when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives.
Living by the Spirit of God gives us freedom, we are not enslaved to the law, we don't have to follow the law to be good enough to be rewarded with the Holy Spirit. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. Love is our superpower and God’s love changes the world and takes us along for the ride.
Galatians 6:15 What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.
May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Blessings and love,