by Mike Ratliff
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26 ESV)
As we have seen over the last several days, this walk in the Spirit, this genuine Christian walk is one of humility and self-denial. It is not marked by an insistence on having one’s fleshly desires met. Nor is it one of self-righteousness, antinomianism, or legalism. The ones who do walk in the Spirit are discerning and penitent. They walk in repentance and God will grow them in holiness. The Holy Spirit manifests the fruit of the spirit in them as they have crucified the flesh. Their focus in their walk is to do all for the glory of God with no desire for self-recognition or self-aggrandizement.
I pray that that opening paragraph did not discourage you, but instead encourage you to learn to walk in the Spirit this way. I pray that all reading this will draw near unto God, seek His face, and do some heavy praying, repenting of what He reveals, and dedicate themselves to walking in repentance for the rest of their lives.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”-Galatians 5:25
The two most important things in our holy religion are the life of faith and the walk of faith. He who shall rightly understand these is not far from being a master in experimental theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ. Woe unto those who seek after the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness; and there are others who have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said, they were “whitewashed sepulchres.”
We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure. Of what service is the mere foundation of a building to a man in the day of tempest? Can he hide himself therein? He wants a house to cover him, as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we would have comfort in the day of doubt. But seek not a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house which can afford no permanent shelter, because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and, like the two abutments of an arch, they will make our piety enduring. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are alike full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace; two lamps lit with holy fire; two olive trees watered by heavenly care. O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to Thy glory. – C.H. Spurgeon
My brethren, seek not to be ‘be right’ in anyone else’s eyes except Christ’s. Our pride is insidious. It causes us to take what is good and misuse it to feed our pride. Much of the conflict within the visible church in our time is marked by this. Yes, we must contend for the faith and stand firm in God’s truth never giving way to the forces that seek to subvert the truth and darken the light. However, we must never use the tactics of the world to make our points. Don’t we serve a large God who is Sovereign? Stand and fight the good fight, but do so as a humble soldier of the Lord who never seeks anything more than God’s glory. We do this by using God’s Word as the foundation of our arguments. We rightly divide the Word of Truth relying totally on the Holy Spirit to shatter the arguments of the enemy. We walk before the face of God by faith and serve Him for His glory alone.
Soli Deo Gloria!