Life in the Spirit is so different from life lived under Jewish law.
The difference between the Jewish faith and the Christian faith is not found in its morality, but in its source of ability. Thanks to Christ's saving work, the Spirit of the living God inhabits all Christians. And God's Spirit within us produces a fruit we could never produce on our own.
He progressively transforms us into the very image of Christ, so that we manifest His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, and His self-control more and more as we trust in His empowering presence.
As Christians, we are not called to live under the law, trying to obey God in our own strength. We are called to live in the Spirit. We are guided, not by external rules, but by God's very own constant guiding and empowering presence so that we can actually discern His will moment by moment and do what He wants in the way He wants — in His strength, not ours!
This is why Paul says that life in the Spirit is not against the law. Grace is never a permission to sin. Rather, it is the gift of being able to obey God in love, using God's strength. It is the ability to progressively manifest the very character of God in our thoughts and actions. It is the glorious freedom from the limits of what we can accomplish on our own.
Father God, thank you so much for freeing me from self-effort by sending your Spirit to live in me so that I can both desire to do your will and do it, in your strength (Philippians 2.13). Thank you that the Christian life is not about following rules, but about following you, trusting in you, and obeying you by faith, moment by moment, and experiencing your perfect forgiveness whenever I fall. Thank you that I can do in the Spirit what I could never do on my own. What a glorious freedom this is: the freedom to become all you have created me to be in Christ. Amen.
Today's Challenge: Why not take the time this week to reflect on the Spirit's role in your life by reviewing the fruit of the Spirit in the Galatians verse?
Additional Resource: This article may help you reflect on the Spirit’s role as well: How To Access God’s Power?
Photo Credit: Vladimir Vujeva on Unsplash