“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” ~ Luke 11:13 NASB
God, the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, is three in one. He is Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons, but one God (Matt. 28:19).
Although Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born into this world as a baby from a human mother, he always existed. He was with God in the beginning, and he is God. He is our creator (See: John 1).
Yet, he left his throne in heaven to come to the earth, to take on human form, so that he could experience what we experience on this earth, but without sin, and so that he could become our sacrifice for our sins, so that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin (See: Phil. 2:1-11; 1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 4:14-16).
Before Jesus Christ, the Son of God (God the Son) went to the cross to die for our sins, so that we might be free from them, he promised his followers that he would send them the Holy Spirit to indwell them. When Jesus Christ lived on this earth, they had God with them in person. But, when he sent them the Holy Spirit, now they had God living inside them, empowering, strengthening, encouraging and comforting them, as well as leading and guiding them into all truth (See: Jn. 14:26; Jn. 16:13; Ac. 1:8).
Indwelt with the Spirit
Now, when we place our trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and we die with him to sin, so that we might live with him to righteousness, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. God, by his Spirit, is now living within us, in our hearts and lives (See: Rom. 5:1-5; Rom. 8:1-27; 1 Co. 2:12-14; 1 Co. 3:16; 1 Co. 6:19; etc.).
So, what should this look like? When we have been born anew (this time spiritually) of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of God transforms our hearts and minds away from living for sin and self to living for Christ and for his righteousness (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
For, “our old self was crucified with Him” (Christ), “in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” ~ Rom. 6:6-7 NASB
It also means that we now walk (conduct our lives, in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with and empowered by) the Spirit of God and no longer according to our sinful flesh. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but it does mean that our lives will no longer be controlled by our sinful flesh but that we will now be bond-servants of Christ’s righteousness.
It means, too, that our minds and our hearts are now set on pleasing God, and on following our Lord in obedience. Daily, by the Spirit, we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we are walking by the Spirit, listening to our Lord, and doing what he says. If we fail, we repent, and we pick ourselves back up and we keep pressing forward. But, we no longer make sin our practice, to where we live to fulfill the desires of our flesh.
Filled with the Spirit
Although the Holy Spirit lives in the lives of all those who have been born of the Spirit of God, by faith in Jesus Christ, yet there are times when we need a special empowering of the Spirit to do the work of God and to have the courage and boldness to keep on speaking in his name (See: Ac. 4:8-12, 29-31; Ac. 6:3; Ac. 7:54-60; Ac. 13:9-12).
“And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” ~ Ac. 4:31 NASB
But, if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, in order to receive a special empowering of God in our lives in any given situation where we need God’s strength and courage and power, then we need to also be putting off the fruitless deeds of darkness and laying aside all which hinders our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. For, we can’t be filled up in our lives with his Spirit if we are filled up with what is of the flesh (See: Eph. 4:17-32; Eph. 5:1-21).
The way that we should have been taught in Christ Jesus is that, in reference to our former way of life, we are to lay aside the old self, “which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,” and we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (See: Eph. 4:20-24).
Therefore, we stop telling lies, and we tell the truth. We don’t give way to anger so that we end up committing sin in our anger. We stop stealing, and we work with our hands, so that we can be generous and give to others. We cease saying things which are corrupt, deceitful, and harmful to others, and instead we say to others what will be for their benefit and what will draw them to Christ Jesus and will build them up in their walks of faith.
When we allow bitterness, hatred, violence, slander and malice, etc., to be part of our lives, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God, so we should cease these things, and instead be kind to one another, being tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also has forgiven us (See: Eph. 4:17-32).
All immorality and impurity should not have any place in any of our lives, nor should there be any filthy speech or course jesting, which are not fitting for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ. For, we must know this, that if we practice such things, we will not inherit eternal life with God (See: Eph. 5:1-5; Gal. 5:19-21).
We are not to participate in the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather we are to expose them. Instead of living lives out of control, under the control of our flesh, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (See: Eph. 5:6-21).
The Fruit of the Spirit
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” ~ Gal. 5:19-23 NASB
Fruit is outgrowth, results, produce, and/or a byproduct. The Bible says that what we sow, that we will also reap. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption (or destruction). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).
If we sow to the flesh, the deeds (fruit) of the flesh will be evident in our lives – such fruit as immorality, impurity, idolatry, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envying, drunkenness, etc. If we make these our practice, we will not inherit eternal life.
But, if we sow to the Spirit, the fruit (the outgrowth) of the Spirit will be more and more evident in our lives, the longer we walk with the Lord and follow him with our lives. This, again, is not saying we will be perfect, or that we will never fail, but that if we are walking according to the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives.
We will love others, not hate. We will have the joy and peace of Christ in our lives. We will be kind to others, in the same way Jesus showed kindness to us. We will be faithful to the Lord Jesus and to our spouses. And, we won’t lie to people or deceive them or betray them, and then claim we are being kind or polite.
Lastly, and this is very important here, the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. We need to understand this, for many people are claiming that they are filled with the Spirit when they do crazy (unbiblical and ungodly) things and then claim that they were under the power of the Spirit and that they had no control over their own actions. That just is not biblical.
Also, many people will claim that, in a worship service, that they were filled with the Spirit, because they danced or raised their hands or did something odd or unusual, but then they will leave the meeting and live like hell the rest of the week. Please know, then, that is NOT the fruit of the Holy Spirit, but another kind of spirit.
If we are filled with the Spirit, we will exemplify the fruit of the Spirit, and not just at that moment in time, but regularly, consistently, throughout our lives, day in and day out. We may not always model the fruit of the Spirit, because we still live in flesh bodies, and we have a propensity to give in to the flesh. But, the fruit of the Spirit should be consistently revealed in our lives if the Spirit is living within us and if we are filled with the Spirit.
An Original Work / May 30, 2011
“Fill me with Your Spirit;
help me to love others;
Let me know Your power;
be an overcomer.
Show me how to follow
Jesus Christ, my Savior;
Be His faithful servant
to obey Him always.
“Lead me with Your presence;
help me know the right way;
Teach me love and kindness,
Give me grace and courage
to be Jesus’ witness,
Teaching His salvation
to a world who needs Him.”
Won’t you come and follow
Jesus Christ, your Savior?
He died so you’d be
free of control of your sin;
Free to follow His ways
in complete surrender;
Living sacrifices –
let His grace transform you.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – Lord, help us always to yield to you and to the working of your Spirit in our lives, so that the fruit of our lives is of you and not of our flesh. Amen!