When The Spirit Comes (2)

May 19, 1997
by Grant Muir

Galatians 5:22-25 – The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives.

Two things attracted people to Jesus; what he did and who he was. His teaching, healing and miraculous works amazed them beyond measure. At the same time his self-sacrificing love and compassion drew them to himself and held them as none other had ever done. As his followers, we must become like him if we are to be effective for him in our life journey. And so we pray, "Come Holy Spirit."

When the Spirit comes, he does two things. He puts to death our sinful human nature with all its passions and desires and creates in us a new nature. Fortunately this death and new life part takes the knowledge and skill of the Spirit, not ours. It is like going to the dentist with rotten teeth. All we do is climb into the chair and hang on. The dentist does the rest. He pulls the teeth, arranges for the new denture and sees that it fits properly.

This is what we can expect when the Spirit comes to do the spiritual surgery of putting to death our old sinful nature and replacing it with a new one like Jesus. As this procedure occurs what can we expect?

We will notice sooner or later that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control are beginning to dominate our inner self. Earlier in this book of Galatians, Paul describes this radical change as "Christ being formed in you." He feels pain like a mother in childbirth. After all, a new life is being created. There will be pain as well as joy, trials as well as many happy and peaceful times.

The point is that just as the Spirit provides spiritual gifts to enable us to do the works that Christ gives us to do, he also gives us the nature of Christ to attract and bless folk with his life and nature through our human bodies. These nine spiritual gifts are often referred to as the "fruit of the Spirit." When the Spirit comes, the "fruit" is produced. We just do our thing each day and the Spirit will do his. Christ is being formed in us. Thanks be to God!

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, you move in mysterious ways to be sure. We marvel at your precise timing and perfect ways of changing us into your real daughters and sons. Please give us a full measure of love, joy, peace and patience, as the fruits of your spirit take control of us. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for coming even to us. In the name of Jesus Christ we offer these prayers. Amen.

About the author:

Grant Muir

(deceased)

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