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Life in the Spirit


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While reading an article on what the Apostle Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit, I was struck by the author’s reminder of something that we might regard as either too obvious to mention, or a wonderful re-discovery of what we already know.

The author pointed out that it’s important to remember that the fruit of the spirit are given to us in a verb form that is in the indicative rather than imperative mood. This means that the fruit is description of fact (indicative) rather than a command (imperative).

In other words, in Paul’s letter to the Galatians he is describing the fruit of the spirit rather than telling us to do them.

Since other Scriptures do urge us to do the same things (do love; do be joyful; do be patient; do be self-controlled; do be gentle; do seek peace; do be kind; do be good; do be faithful), it seems that Paul is telling us how to do them (not in the inclinations and results of the flesh but in the inclinations and result of the Spirit/spirit).

So now I’m wondering if you would compare notes with me about what you think may be either too obvious to mention, or a wonderful re-discovery of what we already know: What is your take on how we are to walk in the Spirit (imperative) to show that we live in the Spirit (descriptively)?

If you have time, here are some of the texts that caught my attention as I re-read Galatians again to think about how Paul gets to the fruit of the Spirit.

(Gal 1:3-4); (Gal 1:6); (Gal 1:13-14); (Gal 1:21-24); (Gal 2:16); (Gal 2:19-21); Gal 3:2-3); (Gal 3:13-14); (Gal 5:1); (Gal 5:5); (Gal 5:13-15); (Gal 5:16); (Gal 5:17-18); (Gal 5:19-21); (Gal 5:22-23); (Gal 5:25-26).

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67 Responses to “Life in the Spirit”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart, to be perfectly blunt, I personally have never understood the fruits of the Spirit to be anything other than a demonstration of having the Holy Spirit in us.

    Evidence that He is at work in us.

    Our coming of age as Christians.

    In using the reference of a tree, first the seed is planted, then watered and fed; to produce the best fruit it sometimes needs pruning, but when it becomes an adult tree it will produce fruit.

    And what kind of fruit does the Holy Spirit produce? (Galatians 5:22)

    If the kind of fruit you are producing are (Galatians 5:19, 20, 21)
    And the like
    Then your works are not of the Holy Spirit, but rather of the flesh or just like everyone else of the world.

    Fruit is the evidence of the spirit behind your attitude, your attitude is the first step in your actions.

    Not the other way around, as I understand it.


  2. Mart De Haan says:

    Thanks, Steve, good thoughts and perspective.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    How appropriate to consider the fruit of the Spirit in the season of harvest! Happy October!

    I am on my way already today. Time is limited. As I opened the Bible for a look at Galatians, I was struck once more by how brief the four letters between Corinthians and Thessalonians are. We Bible readers have certainly focused on these few words most intently over the millennia.

    Galatians 5:22 is precious in its affirming and encouraging tone particularly after the long laundry list of deeds of the flesh. Surely, Paul wishes to remind us, along with the Galatians, that it is in our spirit that we are created in the image of God.

    I notice you confine your look at the letter to chapters 1, 2, 3 and 5, Mart. This culminates in a discussion of life in the Spirit: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”

    Will copy off your list of references, Mart, and carry them with me today for further reading as I go.


  4. remarutho says:

    Should have referenced Gal 5:22-23 for a complete list! Maru

  5. joycemb says:

    Good morning. Steve you said: In using the reference of a tree, first the seed is planted, then watered and fed; to produce the best fruit it sometimes needs pruning, but when it becomes an adult tree it will produce fruit.

    Good analogy! This morning I witnessed a young couple’s frustration with their 5 year old who is much older than her age and who’s oppositional behavior is causing them actual physical pain. They were told by a professional its caused by negativity, yet they were relentless in their badgering and even emotionally abusing their child. The problem is the parents are still very immature and acting more like a peer than a parent. And until the parents get help to grow up, their child will continue to be their ‘problem’ child. The reason I thought of this in the context you mentioned Steve is that even as adults it can take a long time to grow/mature in our faith. Meanwhile we cause all the problems you mentioned and Paul mentions.

    I would appreciate prayers for this family I mentioned as they are very dear to me.

    Blessings, Joyce

  6. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Joyce I am of course referring to adult Christian behavior as a mature behavior, which actually has no relationship to the age of the individual.

    An example would be King David, who showed great maturity of faith even as a little boy.

    Forgiveness is guaranteed to all and any who ask of it. So even a person a hundred and fifteen years old who never lived any resemblance of Christian behavior can ask for forgiveness on their death bed and with their last breath and conscious thought receive it; however they never will have experienced “Life in the Spirit” while alive in their lifetime on earth up to that moment.

    Yet they will receive the same forgiveness as you and I.

    Many people ask “why me” in many circumstances; sometimes the answer to that question is that it is the pathway the Holy Spirit has them on in order to overcome one or more of those works of the flesh on their way to producing the fruit of being able to.

    A very foggy start to October, quite normal for us. It will be interesting to see when our first snow will come as I have seen it show up any time after October 1.

    Matthew (my son) taught me some time ago that when people ask for prayer, to stop what you are doing right then and there and do so; having said that I will sign off and respond to and respect your request for prayer for your friends.


  7. poohpity says:

    Thank you Mart!

    I know what it was like at one time years ago that after right believing that I went back to thinking I was more pleasing to God by the things I did, not in who I believed. The progression Paul seems to be speaking of, even way back then, still happens today being freed from the law to go back under trying to live the impossibility of it producing anything. Loving your neighbor as your self is not the gospel it is the result of believing in the gospel. Who and what Jesus did is the gospel that saves us. We having nothing to do with that, Jesus did it all.

    What and in who we believe in, like Abraham who lived by faith was counted as righteous. By his faith was willing to sacrifice his son. Right believing not right doing.

    I think it is so hard for us to get this concept because humans want credit, want to be praised, want to be acknowledged and rewarded for the things we do. It is hard if not impossible to turn credit over to the unseen that because of His presence in our lives certain results just happen, His fruit. As a man believes so he will be.

    Envy, strife, hatred, jealousy, divisions, classifications were part of who we were not who we are now. If they still seem to be part of us now maybe it has to do with what and who we believe in, ourselves or the Lord.

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Living in the Spirit, being driven by the Spirit, transformed by the Spirit; herein lay the struggle, because our old nature is always at war with our new one.

    The simplicity of those old cartoons that showed a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other both trying to convince the character which way to decide is still a very good example of the struggle all Christians face.

    One of the things I have to remember is that we are only given a very small glimpse of most all characters in Scripture. Especially the rest of their story apart from those interacting moments with either the Savior of the NT or the God of the old.

    It seems that God used the base personality of each individual for His purpose and for most there was a struggle of some nature within them in the road to fulfilling God’s use of them.

    I have a little booklet here among my library that gives a little known story about how all of the Apostles ended up. It ain’t pretty.

    With the exception of John all of them died a violent death. This is not the life any of them wanted as they emerged on to the world, yet a transformation within their own spirits guided them as they lived as obedient a life as was any of them able.

    Their ability to accomplish God’s goals not from them, but rather from the Holy One that transformed them and lived within them.

    Did any of them stumble and fall along the way, I’ll bet they did, but they got back up and kept moving forward, driven by their own faith and empowered by the anointing of God.

    From those twelve men a world continues to be evangelized by countless un-named (to us) people who have been transformed by their agreement to accept Jesus into their lives.

    You and I today may be the only example of what a Christian sounds like, looks like or acts like to someone who has not made the choice as yet.

    What “fruits” are your personality demonstrating; the one on your left shoulder or on your right?


  9. street says:

    love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, goodness,
    faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

    for a couple of years now i have understood these fruits this way…..

    Love Joy peace with God…..

    Patience Kindness Goodness with others…

    Faithfulness Gentleness Self-Control with self…

    i have to admit i struggle more with the self part and glad God reminds me to be gentle with ourselves because we can be pretty hard and unforgiving with ourselves. i think it is a form of pride which God doesn’t allow for, like all forms of sin.

  10. street says:

    The author pointed out that it’s important to remember that the fruit of the spirit are given to us in a verb form that is in the indicative rather than imperative mood. This means that the fruit is description of fact (indicative) rather than a command (imperative).

    these verses come to mind,

    10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous [a]wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

    3 [a]You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [b]the Law, or by [c]hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun [d]by the Spirit, are you now [e]being perfected by the flesh?

    I dearly Love Christ revealed in His Servants.

  11. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, BTA Friends! :-) Hope all is well in your lives. Haven’t been able to share my thoughts/comment on your thoughts because I’ve been busy, distracted or both. Going through a transition in my life right now. I’ve been able to read your comments, but not on a consistent basis. Still, I’ve been blessed by many of your comments on numerous BTA blog topics. Thank you all so much for sharing your wisdom and revelation of God’s Word with all who visit this very special blog page.

    Love to all…

    Partly cloudy in Texas (central) today. N

  12. street says:

    Romans 8:22-24
    22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

    Hebrews 8:9-11

    9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
    On the day when I took them by the hand
    To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
    For they did not continue in My covenant,
    And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
    10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    After those days, says the Lord:
    [a]I will put My laws into their minds,
    And I will write them on their hearts.
    And I will be their God,
    And they shall be My people.
    11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
    And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    For all will know Me,
    From [b]the least to the greatest of them.

    continue in this New Covenant it is much better than the old one!

    2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [a]Him. In love

    31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts.

    And I show you a still more excellent way. LOVE
    1 Corinthians 12:31

  13. street says:

    my mind has been a lot of places on this and i will try to stick to the question at hand, “What is your take on how we are to walk in the Spirit (imperative) to show that we live in the Spirit (descriptively)?

    i believe the answer was in my previous post, LOVE, but i will try the practical descriptive approach i fail at every day requiring more Grace moment by moment. first off, i think the author and paul are right that these are all attributes given to believers at the new birth. they don’t come from the flesh.

    remember forgiveness? the forgiveness we are to extend to others because we have been forgiven a debt we could never pay back? are not all these gifts freely given to us by God and so extended by the Spirit to the lives of others , including ourselves and enemies?

    on the imperative note are we trying to live it out in the flesh again by law or spiritual math and not in the presents of the One, Romans 8:29-30. moses glowed from being in the presents of God and it faded over time.

    2 Corinthians 3:10-12

    10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if that which fades away was [a]with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

    sure the law fads away in the presents of the Glory that remains which “is” Christ. spend your life in the presents of Jesus. hopefully we will never be seduced or deceived into sin which presses our minds and lives out of shape, temporarily. Romans 12:2

    faith hope and love in Christ.

    dear children keep yourselves from idols.

  14. poohpity says:

    street, that was a beautiful representation of a heart that has experienced what Jesus did for us. We grow away from self obsession to Christ obsession. The more we learn about how much we are truly loved and an expression of that love was the Cross. Growing in grace seems to mean we grow in our knowledge of Jesus.

    Some look at the law as something to do but forget the sacrifices that the high priest offered on behalf of those who broke those laws which shows a temporary solution for forgiveness. They the high priest never sat down while he was on duty because they had so many sacrifices going on but Jesus sat down next to the Father because that final substitution, appropriation, propitiation was finished by Jesus. We look to Jesus and not how good we think we can be. If God thought we could ever be sinless there would have been no sacrificial system put in place.

    So it seems the progression Paul was describing getting to the characteristics of the fruit of Spirit grows the more we allow Jesus to influence our lives through His Spirit. Paul lived following all the Jewish laws but look what he turned into from meeting Jesus.

  15. poohpity says:

    3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Cor 10:3-6 MSG

    It seems when one lives by the flesh all kinds of destruction happen to our relationship with God, others and ourselves. Christ shapes our lives and we can listen to Him and allow Him to work in our lives or we can still be lead by our own fleshy inclinations. Like Steve was saying which do we listen to.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Most all of us have heard it said as a warning not to pray for “patience” as God will teach us through adversity and tribulation. I can testify to all that in being the 100% care giver to my son Matthew every day I “learn” a new level of “patience”.

    “Longsuffering” or patience is just one fruit of the Spirit as identified by Scripture and can be explained within the boundaries of this subject as both occurring automatically as well as being practiced.

    Living up to the standards Jesus applied to us on the Sermon on the Mount and trying to live up to the fruits of the Spirit are almost impossible.

    Think about it for a moment; “love” is number one on the list, yet look at how hard it is to actually “love” someone you can’t stand. Jesus tells us it is His commandment to love even our enemies; whereas I can believe we all want to, I don’t believe that all of us actually *can* by our own power.

    If you can really love someone who in truth you did not nor even have a reason to, it is as a result of the Holy Spirit not only blossoming in you, but being fertilized by your desires and prayers and produced into your spirit fully developed.

    Something of a combination of desires between you and God, the result being success.

    In fact if you look at the fruits of the Spirit they all help contribute to the other.

    These fruits can only be developed or accomplished by us when their seed is planted in us. That seed is God in the form of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is made available to us by Jesus so that with His help we can grow to a fully developed Christian; the fruit being the evidence of His being in us as well as enabling us to accomplish His desires through us for others.

    It is never about us, but what we can do for others that pleases God.

    On a side note I pray that Joyce reads this and realizes she is wanted here and needed here. Please don’t let the failings of others to have victory over you. Come back and if you need strength to do so, God will provide. This also pertains to so many that have left the table because of the actions of others. Please don’t let them steal your joy.


  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… in the “fruit of the spirit” extended by Steve this morning, by asking that those who have left for whatever reason, return, and not let that spirit that caused you leave, also keep you away.
    I have not yet read the rest of the comments so my contribution may smack of redundancy.
    Don’t we all who believe in Jesus Christ have the seed planted in us, the seed being represented here as that deposit of Holy Spirit given to all believers?
    I have this one thought to share, the fruit that remains attached to the vine is surely alive, still growing, and productive.
    That scriptural premise of remaining in the vine is a commandment, not a suggestion.
    To me, Once the fruit “falls away” from the vine and is on its own, although it could still serve the purposes of God, like feeding others or used for the seeding for future fruit, can it also become reattached on its own?
    Knowing that a lot of fruit that falls on its own, or when shaken by other forces and falls only rot away and becomes useless.
    So, there is great purpose in making sure we remain in the vine, Jesus Christ.
    Be Blessed

  18. poohpity says:

    Several warnings about allowing the flesh to creep into our lives seems to result in distancing us from the Lord. Gal 5:13-15; Hebrews 12:14-15

  19. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    It seems to me this brief letter answers the challenges of some in the congregations who want to pull formerly pagan people toward keeping the Old Testament Law rather than moving forward into the freedom that is given by Christ’s blood, the New Covenant.

    The descriptions of freedom vs. slavery remind me of the old argument given by the Judeans when Jesus told them, “If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32) They claimed their freedom through being Abraham’s descendants, which is no freedom at all. Some similar dynamic must be occurring in Galatia.

    Life in the Spirit will result in the fruit of the Spirit. That is a very obvious and simple conclusion to be drawn from Paul’s exhortations in this letter. Jesus told the disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

    Perhaps the congregations in Galatia are struggling with disunity on account of teaching that leads to legalism, not to life in the Spirit. Paul has some of the harshest words he ever spoke for those who are still teaching “circumcision,” (Gal 5:8, 9, 10, 11, 12) after they have heard the Good News of freedom in Jesus.


  20. SFDBWV says:

    So very pleased to see you’re still with us oneg2bdlu. Of course you are correct in that we can do nothing apart from Jesus.

    Except maybe get ourselves in trouble.

    Just the way I see the matter is like this, we are not the fruit, the fruit is evidence of the Holy Spirit alive and working in us.

    I believe there is a connection with this matter and the fig tree Jesus cursed for not producing its fruit when He had need of it to.

    It appears that when Jesus has need of us we had best be ready and waiting for the call or like the virgins who waited until it was too late to get oil be left out of the process.

    These virgins bore no fruit, because they had not filled up on the Holy Spirit (oil).

    Maru as usual you are plugged in and on top of things, I didn’t get to congratulate you on becoming a grandmother, but will use this opportunity to. Glenna’s sister just called and her son’s wife just delivered a 3 pound 13 ounce premature baby boy. The pregnancy was a big surprise to the couple as they have been married nearly 20 years without any children. Looks like a rough road ahead for the little fellow and his mom and dad.

    Blessing to all.


  21. street says:

    i was looking over steve’s laundry list of fruits of the flesh, or sin and wondering how many are present on this blog….scratching my head and still wondering. how many are present in me. anger, jealousy, and greed seem to be the big ones to watch out for. there’s only one place to take these things and it is not out on other people. i blog this with regret over the hurt that is out there, but i know Jesus will never fail his loved ones and will jealously shield and protect them. let us not be pressured or persuaded by arguments, but fully convinced of God’s Great Love for us. this Love is in a verb form. active present and powerful.

    children keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 1:21

  22. cbrown says:

    Gary, it was good to read your post. You have been in our thoughts and prayers. Joyce,I am sure that you will be blessed in whatever you do but I feel that I am being robbed by not having your posts on this blog. They are refreshing and many times you have encouraged me.I hope that you will reconsider your decision. One of the things about this blog is you do not have to respond to every post but only as the Spirit leads. Love in Christ, Chris

  23. remarutho says:

    Appreciate your well-wishes, Steve & all! Will pray for the tiny premature grand-nephew born over your way. New life is so precious. May the Lord strengthen this little fellow as the days pass.

    Prayers for those coming and going in this online fellowship. No judgment implied — the more the merrier of those willing to wade in and post a thought or opinion. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…a great cloud of witnesses!


  24. lovely says:

    Sorry I’ve missed a few post. Fruit of the spirit. We’re taught to memorized those fruits in Sunday school. But never thought you can actually experience the fruits when you’re an adult. I believe God still want us here on earth to be His light. We are here to bear fruits. Romans 7:4 Since we have the Holy Spirit , we have those fruits in us, I agree. Adding to that God wants these fruits to keep growing as long as we’re on this earth. As Steve mention, , in times of difficulties is when we can bear fruits. During storms, we’re either going to fall away or look to God. During storms is when you really see what fruits you truly have or how much fruit have you grown. How so we grow answer is found in Colossians 1:9-10 , You feed on the word, more than that.. seek for the understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit.. ..I’ve asked God this question as to why does we need pruning since its painful at times.. just to get fruits. His answer is simple so others can eat of the fruit of joy,peace, faith, kindness, gentleness, love, patience, goodness, self -control

  25. SFDBWV says:

    Street you are right, both the “fruits” and the “flesh” are presented here in the community.
    Chris yes we are all robbed of something when someone leaves our group because of another.
    Maru thank you for prayers for Glenna’s little grandnephew. Lovely I agree with your assessment of this subject totally.

    This is what life is like when people gather together for whatever purpose, even within the confines of our homes. Our attitude in how we interact with others is evidence of what *spirit* is behind it.

    As a people who confess to be Christian our attitude and actions should stand out in contrast to the attitude and actions of the world, but because we are human, many times we fail.

    That doesn’t completely mean that we aren’t sincere in our struggle to be Christ- like, it may mean we are still in the infant stage or some step along the way of the metamorphosis of changing into the new creature we are becoming for Christ.

    As most of you know I am fond of using old sayings and one many of us stumble over is this simple; “Think before you act”.

    I am not so fond of “church sayings”, but one that comes to mind is “What Would Jesus Do?”

    If we just take a minute sometimes to reflect on what the consequences of our actions may produce, all the while aligning it with being an earthly representative for Jesus, perhaps as we go forward with whatever action we take it will reflect the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” and as a result benefit the recipient of our actions.

    We have already had frost here, but they are predicting a dip into the 20’s this weekend for a good freeze.

    I hope all of the fruit we produce today is sweet and nourishing and bless all we come into contact with.


  26. poohpity says:

    lovely I so agree it is when we are in a situation or a circumstance that tests everything we say we believe and how we react to it or to people who test of our last nerve that the fruit of God’s Spirit either shines or shows we are living in our own strength/flesh. Jesus put it this way; Matt 5:46-47; Luke 6:32-33; Luke 18:11-12, the flesh, living religion and not a relationship which seems to be what Paul is contrasting in Galatians.

    Living by God’s Spirit we realize that everything we are given to live a life that is submissive to Him (Eph 2:8-10; 2 John 1:3 NLT; 2 Peter 1:3 NLT) comes out in the tough situations, tough circumstances, when no body is looking, our thought life, how we react to people, it is part of the very fabric of who we believe in and from hanging out with Him we begin to emulate Him. (Matt 5:44-45; Luke 6:27-28, 31)

    If we have the attitude in Luke 18:13-14 NLT that seems to allow God to work in our lives. We place our hope and roots in Him to transform us and His characteristics start to be seen in our lives. Our characteristics are the flesh. When one hangs out with a pack of wolves they will start to behave like a pack of wolves but time spent with the Lord we will begin to look like the Lord. It is His fruit that is produced in a life submissive to Him.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve, I thought our being human makes us all fruit, fruit of the womb if you will, being that most of us came from one. PUN
    But, if you would rather be thought of as a virgin instead…that’s okay with me.

    I only used the term fruit to make a point just as you chose to use the term virgin.

    So my point is to make sure we remain in the vine, and yours make sure your lamp is filled.

    To me as long as we all still carry the seed of faith planted with in us, even if it is as small as a mustard seed, we could all move mountains.

    Yes, we are to be the branches, the bride, the sheep, the light and salt, children of God, even the remnant,
    and a thousand other things as we are called to be throughout the word of God.
    So, I’ll just leave you with this one and call you a Brother.

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    Also, I relish this maturing we speak of, this ever growing process not yet fully achieved.
    That is to me our truly being as disciples, a lifelong learners, always following, always receptive, and ever teachable.
    Asking, seeking, knocking, are all verbs, requiring a form of action from us to be realized, or fully matured or fruitful.
    Be Blessed

  29. street says:

    had an interesting thought on discipleship. we are more blessed than the apostles. they spent 3 years with Jesus and did not get it. then 50 days of no Jesus. then Pentecost. we get Pentecost up front and a discipleship that last a little longer than three years….
    just thinking.

  30. foreverblessed says:

    Living in the Spirit is a promise, if we surrender to God then He WILL perform in us what He promised.
    I just so agree: It is a disciple ship, stepping in the ship with Jesus. I saw a christian film about Jesus calling Peter. Jesus asked Peter to help Him get into Peter’s boat. Peter helping Jesus, imagine. But God so wants us to co-operate with Him. Him AND us together. To God it is all about us! He is so in love with us, He did sooo much to get us freed from the bonds we were/are living in. To give His own Son as a ransom to give us freedom.
    Sooo much did God have us on His mind, He is fond about us, and He will do everything to help us, strengthen us, heal us, give us Peace. And above all, His love, His Spirit is a Spirit of love, the fire is His love that burns away all that is negative and evil around us and in us.
    Joy, I sooo did appreciate your comments! And I am also Soo happy that Gary is alive and well. God bless you.
    Maru, happy grandmothering!

  31. poohpity says:

    street, the apostles spent three years with Jesus and did not get it? They saw the life of Jesus and the things He did, they saw Him crucified and resurrected. They saw and believed. They believed because they witnessed Jesus. Jesus spent time with them over the 40 days after His resurrection. He taught them how the OT pointed to Him. Then they saw Him to go to heaven on a cloud all before the day of Pentecost.

    We are given faith by God to know what they saw, experienced and passed to us through their testimony is true and real. Everyone is blessed no matter how they spend time with Jesus whether in person or through His Spirit.

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes pooh, they lived with Christ in the flesh and saw it all as you say, very true, but they still didn’t get it… they had to wait for the deposit of the HS to come upon them, to indwell them on Pentecost, because they had not yet received it.

    We get it at the moment of God’s gift of saving faith, as we repent and believe, we also receive.

    Yes, we are all blessed, all those who truly repent and believe, and those who don’t, will be judged accordingly.

    Those are not my opinions or rules, they are God’s.

    John 3:36 NIV Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

    Also, Romans 1:18, 19, 20. There are no just excuses for mankind to ignore the truth of God, for God has placed eternity in the heats of all.

    I know I’m preaching to the blessed here and to some in the church today, but the world does not get it either.

    So, we get to share it with each other here and with the world.

  33. jeff1 says:

    I had an argument with my brother-in-law because I believed he was being judgemental about people who had confessed to me that they did not feel they needed to go to church to be near God and that they felt nearer God when they went fishing then in Church. Their comments were that they found Church people i.e. learned people to be critical of their faults. In my reasoning that is not why I go to Church it is for me not for others. However, my brother-in-law is what I call a pillar of our Church but the speed in which he criticised them and decided that they were just finding excuses shocked me. I concluded that my brother-in-law does not know what is in these men’s hearts and is wrong to judge them. He is not on his own for I find that Church goer’s in my Community are very quick to say you must go to your Church while I am just glad that they feel near to God whether in Church or not. If the world does not get it then part of the problem is religions and Church’s who are to show an example and are not doing that. If they don’t then they are hindering the work of the Church in the World. To be honest I think God is probably more concerned about our progress as believers and keeping our hearts right then Church attendance.

  34. street says:

    dear beloved poo, i agree with you. the apostles were witnesses to what Jesus did and saw the things you mentioned.

    John 5:42-45

    John 7:16-18

    John 8:25-29

    John 13:19-20

    Matthew 21:25

    don’t miss the forest because of the trees.

    personal note – now i know why there are red letter Bibles.

    God Bless your time in His presents and when you get back to the valley.

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Have not located the commentator you quote, Mart, but the difference between Gal 5:16 and Gal 5:22-23 is the battle between the flesh and the spirit. You quoted:

    “…it’s important to remember that the fruit of the spirit are given to us in a verb form that is in the indicative rather than imperative mood. This means that the fruit is description of fact (indicative) rather than a command (imperative).”

    At verse 16, Paul says “you (must) walk by the Spirit;” while at verses 22-23 he simply says “the fruit of the Spirit is.” The difference is huge, since we can do something about conforming to Jesus’ commands, especially “Love the Lord, love yourself and love fellow human beings.” (Matt 22:37, 38, 39, 40)

    We cannot do anything about how God the Holy Spirit puts our willing obedience to work in the world. The fruit that grows and appears among human beings is the outworking of God’s grace in us, not any determination nor especially any judgment on our part. We do not accomplish anything other than “belonging to Christ Jesus and crucifying the flesh with it passions and desires.” (Gal 5:24)

    Blessings all day,

  36. poohpity says:

    street, I think you may find it was the religious leaders that Jesus was speaking to that were supposed to be guiding people to God but were so consumed with their piety they did not even recognize God as he stood in their midst. Those verses seem to be talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees rather than to the disciples although the disciples were in ears reach. It seems so in today’s times also the religious folks are so consumed with rules and regulations they miss the grace of God.

  37. poohpity says:

    jeff, the Bible does say do not forsake meeting together and I know within my heart it is wonderful to sing songs with 2,3 or more that are gathered in His name. The Pastor teaches so we can learn more about the God who gave us so much, we pray for each other, hold each other accountable, share the Lord’s table and then have a meal together. All with other forgiven sinners like me and some who have yet to find that forgiveness. It does not seem like a have to but rather a want to. People seem to get hurt by church people when they look to them for something rather than to God who is able to provide.

  38. cbrown says:

    John 7:37-39New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “[a]If anyone is thirsty, [b]let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From [c]his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

  39. cbrown says:

    Luke7:28 I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is [u]least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    I agree that any time we look for love, a fishing hole, another man or even the church instead of God for provision, we will many times open ourselves to unfulfilled expectations and disappointment and find we are in lack or want of a perfect resolve which only God can provide.

    Man’s greatest need is for Salvation which only comes through Jesus Christ.

    Although there is nothing wrong with going fishing, I’d rather be found casting crowns!

  41. bubbles says:

    Frost was on the cars and roofs this morning and the heat has been turned on. Fall has arrived. The trees were lovely juxtaposed against a clear blue sky today. I’m thankful for eyesight and to live in four seasons country.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Bubbles, you are right, it is best to look at the good things of fall, I tend to get a bit down: summer gone the cold coming, but always looking at the good in things is much better.

    Life in the Spirit, the verses that Cbrown gave, I was going to ask Chris to tell some more why he gave these verses but then I thought: well lets have these verses sink in for a while: the Spirit will be like water flowing out of our hearts. It flows through us, a flow of water, a flow of real Life, everlasting Life. It sounds very esoteric, but it is what it says! And there is another verse: Look to Me and be saved: Look to Jesus, and when we look up to Him in faith, the flow of Living Waters starts flowing through us. That is a fact the bible states, and that flow is not visible, but it flow through us and cleanses us bit by bit, very slowly it goes to hidden parts in our deeper inner being, deeper and deeper. It sound so, well, psychic, but That is exactly what the Spirit does. And it changes our hearts.
    With the disciples I believe the change in their hearts was massive, and extreme, and in an instant, but with me, and with most christians I knos, it is a slow process. There is still a lot of the old man in us, and we should have patience with each other, as there is none of us, who does not have the old man in them anymore. We should grow and grow more close to Jesus.

    Now when that flow of the Spirit streams like a river through us, it means, it must come from God, and that is the flow of what others have written here: love joy peace, patience….Gal 5:22
    So when someone in mistreating you, go to God, immediately, Look to Jesus in faith, and ask for the flow of love, patience, peace, and whatever else you need in the situation. So that you remain totally calm and peaceful in the Lord. And then, maybe then, when the Spirit tells you to do so, you may have a critical note on the behavior of the other.
    That is the narrow way of the Spirit. In my case, I am a very slow learner, my old man will come up in me, and say: who do you think you are to tell me this, ….
    and there is no flow of love coming from God through me.

    That is the life in the Spirit, that I am looking for, and it is such a vast difference in the way I used to live as a christian: keeping the 10 commandments, as a rule that is expected(imperative).
    I now know that when I look up to Jesus in faith: I WILL keep these commandments, (indicative) because my heart is being changed step by step, every time I look up to Jesus, instead of the circumstances, or difficult people…
    (I had to keep looking at the words: imperative and indicative, what does he mean to say?)

    Then there is some more in adding to that constant flow of God’s Spirit through us: it is a Spirit of fire, fire meaning the burning love of God, that burns away all that is evil.
    It is love that changes! When we have difficulty with each other as christians, remember that all of us are dearly loved by God, also the one that is hindering me. A great and burning love for the other, from God, in us and then making it our own, and we loving the other that is sooo nasty. Yes it is possible!
    Over come evil with LOVE “do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good”

    Sorry for being so long, but that verse in John 7:37-38 really hit me as appropriate to the theme of Life in the Spirit.

    And adding some more: I used to keep that day of the Feast with my parents from when I was a little kid.
    Now when I do not keep these things anymore as a commandment, I get to get the real meaning of what Jesus said much better, it is a spiritual journey we walk with Jesus!
    The Last Great Day that is directly after the Feast of Tabernacles, Lev 23:36,33-35 on that day Jesus stoop up and said in a loud voice:
    Whoever believes in Me, streams of living water will flow from within him

  43. bubbles says:

    forever~yes, the waning daylight will also affect me in a few weeks. Five months from today we will be coming out of the darkness of winter and into March.

  44. refump says:

    What does that mean to be “casting crowns”?

  45. poohpity says:

    Mart, I have a feeling that it may not be either; “too obvious to mention, or a wonderful re-discovery of what we already know” to be walking or lead by the Spirit. It seems like the religious leaders in the time Jesus walked the earth were so busy with self exaltation, self importance, self righteousness and hanging around in the company and listening to the counsel of the godless that an awaking of the Spirit world is completely over looked or maybe not even thought possible. An understanding of being born again seems to have no place when one is consumed with self. Nicodemus sought an understanding and who did he go to but the One through whom it was possible.

    This morning in DTW it seems even David knew what happens when the company we keep leads us down a wrong path when he penned Psalm 1. Being in the company of the Lord and allowing Him access to our minds and hearts can change anyone to living a “Life in the Spirit”. You are what you eat has new meaning when we feed on the Bread of Life.

  46. street says:

    foreverblessed yes you are right. in all the psalms the writer starts with self and ends with God. and that changes everything!!!it about perspective. faith changes our persective from self to God. makes all the difference in the world.

    in i j packerd’s classic in the forward of the book “knowing God” he talks about two different kinds of people those sitting on the porch and those that are on the road. both can be keenly interested in the things of God, but their perspectives and goals are different. beware of being a “balconeer.” love the term, but would not like to become one.

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    refump… casting crowns to meis to walk the talk, the same as going fishing for men, going into all the world sharing the good news, or making disciples, or challenging other believers, Praising God, sharing the word, using your gifts, time, and talents for the things of the Kingdom.
    Kingdom thinking when shared instead of hidden in your life, is casting crowns.
    It may mean having to get your hands involved, dirty, and even breaking a sweat if that is what it takes to continue sharing with others what God has provided for you.

    Our witness, when shared is casting crowns.

    This casting crowns recently came to mind for me when my sister asked me yesterday to look at my ex’s website which was truly amazing as it displayed some of her artist talents, her casting of jewelry for one, her writing of children’s books, her well earned degrees and achievements and many other enticing worldly forms of marketing, but it was empty of any Kingdom related things.

    I told my sister it is so currently acceptable and commonplace that we in the living of our lives, or in the presenting of our bio, also may tend to hide our kingdom related stuff so as to not make others feel challenged or uncomfortable.

    Knowing that in the absence of any witness in our lives, it makes us also worldly, or hiding in plain sight, afraid of casting crowns or sharing our witness, how that must comfort the evil one as we silence ourselves to be constantly more politically correct.

    My sister who also writes children’s books has silenced her mention of such things, until I cast a crown before her showing her the lost opportunity to present kingdom related things into her own work, and her next book became titled, “Love letters to God.”

    Not yet finished…

    That is the casting crowns in my book.

    Do I know if my ex wife is saved?

    I only know this, “There seems to be from all outward appearances no witness in her worldly bio.”

    We need only to look at any of the writings of Paul, and the presence of the kingdom is everywhere revealed.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  48. remarutho says:

    Revelation 4:9, 10 — falling down before the Almighty, yes?
    This surely is life in the Spirit! Maru

  49. remarutho says:

    The twenty-four elders say:

    “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created,”

  50. SFDBWV says:

    With the thought of being repetitive and after some reflection upon what others have said as well as my own take on the subject I have to answer Mart’s challenge of “What is your take on how we are to walk in the Spirit, to show that we live in the Spirit?” in this way.

    I do not believe that this is a conscionable action, but rather the actions of the Holy Spirit living through us.

    There is a word picture most of us understand used in this way “The milk of human kindness”.

    We recognize it when we see people come together to help neighbors when tragedy occurs, or when someone risks their own life or limb to save another. We often see it interwoven with compassion for a long list of suffering we see in the world.

    Is such compassionate kindness the exclusive behavior of Christian people?

    I think not.

    But is it the exclusive behavior of the Holy Spirit?

    I think so.

    God will use people of all sorts to exact His blessings upon another, and when we see it in action, what we see is God in action.

    In my opinion what Paul is saying is that once we have become the temple of the Holy Spirit His presence should be showing forth from us as we decrease so that He may increase.

    October morning thoughts.


  51. poohpity says:

    I think when people read the characteristics of a life given over to living in the flesh they see things like sexual immorality, drunkenness, sorcery and the like saying I do not do those things. It seems though things like gossip, anger, rage, causing strife or divisions, name calling are in the description of the flesh as well but are over looked in some Christian circles especially by those that practice such things. How easy it is to get caught up in them, trying to put new wine into old wine skins.

    Being lead by the Spirit seems to be saying we have the ability to walk away from such things because are given new wine to put into new wine skins(fruit of the Spirit). When we accept Jesus and what He has done for us our spiritual eyes are open to a new way of life and the power to live it through the Holy Spirit. (Eph 5:7-11) It seems if we do not admit to those things we just continue in them and there may lie the reason why the understanding of grace can be so lacking.

  52. poohpity says:

    Walking by the Spirit seems to imply we listen more to that than our humanness. Not to say we still do not struggle against our human tendencies but we do not have to give into flesh we can take all that to God and be honest with Him about everything. With God’s Spirit we can make a choice which we will follow.

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all…
    I happen to hear part of the Creflo Dollar teaching on Grace yesterday, but could not allow it to be my truth,
    because the words of Christ still resonate well within me, and living lawless never computes well with me.
    I’m still stuck on this foolish Obedience thing. Sorry…
    Now, If I have read the last comment properly about old wine, being more fit for the old wine skin, isn’t it really because both have lived or matured together well, and new wine is never fit the for old wine shin, for as it matures it will burst the old skin and be wasted.

    Then I wonder when we who were found to be living in the old wine with our old skin or filled with our sinful flesh choices, but now through Grace we are containers or vessels or tents to receive the new Spirit filled wine, the Holy Spirit, then should we not also, through our right choices, change the outer container accordingly?

    I wonder why this new lawlessness teaching we hear today, or the new grace only living style, fits so many of the unchanged old skins so well?

    What do we do with the words of Christ that say He did not come to abolish the law?

    Matthew 5:17

    Oh yeah, we need to keep the context of “good deeds” found in verse 16 and the words in verse 18 as well, but are they part of the new lawless teachings?

    Matthew 5:16,17,18

    Some popular grace teaching today does not consider these other elements, I wonder why.

    Perhaps good deeds get in the way and oppose their form of lawlessness they now call grace.

    Just a thought…

  54. poohpity says:

    Sounds like you may have one foot in Judaism. In reading Galatians it will explain the difference in living under the law and living under grace but it seems one can not do both. No where does grace preach lawlessness. Gal 2:16 NIV; Gal 3:24 NLT

  55. street says:

    this verse new wine with new skin with born again has really stopped me in my tracks. what really happen so long ago that i still remember it? the Bible says that the Holy Spirit takes up residence in a new believer. come to think of it, it could not without new skin or it would be a real mess and the wine ruined?
    2 Corinthians 5:17

    i think this is a warning not to live the way i use to live.

    been thinking about the Incarnation too and in the same way, Jesus is fully human and fully God, He can’t be just a part of God. He IS or he is not. James talks good wells and bad wells and fruit trees bearing in kind.

    this old man needs to take up his cross.

    hope you all are well with springs of living water.

  56. hera says:

    Hi…I know that we should stay to the topic, so pls apologize, but I wonder..
    – if we pray for patience and adversity is the answer, so would it be better then not to pray…? (seems like asking for problems?)
    – if compassion is the exclusive behavior of the Holy Spirit yet compassion is evident on non-Christians, that means Holy spirit do dwell within non-Christians, so you can have the Holy Spirit within you even if you don’t belief in Christ Jesus ?….I thought there is a verse saying that Holy Spirit is given after being born again, or am I mistaken in understanding the ‘procedure’ of it all…?
    Just my wandering thoughts…hope it does not cause any inconvenience, am sorry if it does.
    Hope the Holy Spirit works dilligently in all people – including, maybe, the ISIS etc, so the world will be a better place.

  57. poohpity says:

    Praying to be submissive to the Holy Spirit’s leading seems to result in praying for ISIL and all other enemies. Compassion seems to be a result of having experienced something that another has gone through which results in an understanding and rather than becoming bitter and hardhearted one reaches out to give comfort, yes anyone can do that. Even doing good lots of people do good things it is not necessarily just because one is a Christian.

    One of the points of being a Christian is we are forgiven for the wrongs we have done, we get daily do overs. We experience a love that is way above any human type of love actually we learn what real love is. We get to have a relationship with the God who created everything.

  58. poohpity says:

    street, I believe what Jesus was teaching about the new and old wine skins was comparing the old wine skins seems to be referring to the old covenant(law) and the new skins the new covenant(grace). They do not work together. Matt 9:17 NIV; Mark 2:22 NIV; Luke 5:37-38 NIV

  59. jeff1 says:

    I agree hera non-believers may have the Holy Spirit and not be aware and that is why they act more Christian than those who call themselves Christian sometimes. God works through people and we see in the Bible how some were not always with God but did the work of Satan at times in their lives. It was the Holy Spirit that brought them back to their senses. I find that struggle in my own life while others I know have what I think is a stronger faith. There is a few people I know that I would say lives out their lifes in the faith they proclaim but there is more I know like myself. I do find that the people who keep the laws are the most judgemental and for people who have more struggles they can put you off going to Church because their comments cause hurt and discouragement. I know they don’t mean too but words of condemnation do hurt when you know you have failed. This does not lift you up it reminds you that you are still the struggling sinner. I am 60 years of age and I only know of one Cannon who had the ability to make me feel loved and not condemned. This man passed away some years ago and he seen me through a very difficult time in my life. He was what I call old school clergy very biblical preacher, led by example,and all denominations loved him. He could understand by pain and I don’t know too many today that I would say that about. He was very modest and very sincere and I wish we had more like him today.

  60. street says:

    well we do know the Holy Spirit did come on people in the Old Testament to do things required by God to accomplish His purposes. i think we need to remember that all people are made in the image of God and can at times show compassion whether born again or not. James and Paul call on us to live up to our birth right in Christ Jesus to produce fruit onto life and not fruit onto death.
    i think John the Baptist requested the same from the religious establishment.

    Luke 3:6-8

    Matthew 12:33-35

  61. poohpity says:

    jeff, I think the longer you hang around you might find Mart is a good example. I know he would point us to Jesus but after being here for over 7 years when he used to post daily and the things he would write displayed kindness, humility and patience even after being attacked and challenged. I greatly respect him and others on RBC ministries.

  62. SFDBWV says:

    As I understand it God exists in the Trilogy of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    In Genesis we get a glimpse of the Trilogy when it is written “And God said let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26).

    After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and all of this fallen state of the world began, we still are made in the image of God.

    After a time mankind forgot the truth of who God is, so God bred a special people from Abraham to reintroduce God and to give structure and purpose to their lives, and in order to produce and introduce the Son to the whole of the world; to every nation and every people.

    Jesus gave the example of the “Good Samaritan” to show that proper care of others has no nationality, but is doing the will of God.

    The purpose of being Christian is to introduce the Son to the whole of the world as its Savior. To state that through the Son God has made a way for reconciliation between He and mankind. The Gospel or “good news”.

    In Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirt was already at work in the world.

    The essence of God is in all of His creation; it is said that God can make children of Abraham from stones (Matthew 3:9) and when the elders of Israel ask Jesus to rebuke His disciples for their apparent blasphemy He said that if they did not the very stones would cry out. (Luke 19:40)

    If seeming lifeless stones can be used of God for His purpose certainly Christian and non-Christian alike can and will be used for God’s purposes.

    However because we are a “peculiar people “(1 Peter 2:9) we should be demonstrating why we are special in both action and attitude the result being demonstrated by the “fruit” we produce.

    If we are not producing the fruit of the Holy Spirt, the question to ask is what kind of fruit are we producing and why are we not demonstrating the presence of God in our attitudes and actions and what are we to about it.


  63. SFDBWV says:

    Of course I meant to write “Trinity” instead of triogly…Doh!


  64. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… enjoyed your last postings, it is right on.
    We are all created in the image of God.
    But we do not all “walk in the Holy Spirit,” and those who do, will produce fruit, good fruit, and much fruit, according to the word.
    That is why we can probably be pretty certain that the spirit that lives in those who behead others for not following their faith is a dark evil spirit allowed by God but not displaying any good fruit.
    Bad root, bad fruit…
    Christ when walking here as a man saw a tree and seeing it He knew what type it was and knew what it should have produced, but rather found it to be unproductive,and we all know the rest of the that story.
    But do we also recognize the lesson it contained

  65. jeff1 says:

    Poohpity, I hope to hang around as I enjoy reading not only this blog but others here. I wish I was better at saying what I think but in reality I find it easier on a blog like this to express myself. I know what Steve is saying that we should be demonstrating it in our lives but I fail miserably. When I see someone who is calling themselves a Christian but not behaving like one I end up in an argument instead of getting it across in the right attitude. Also I find that the people I know would probably listen to someone like Mart but if you do not have status then they dismiss you very quickly. I do not find people easy to communicate with mainly because I am quiet, people say to me all the time they have never met anyone as quiet and I know I am a much better listener. A lot of people might think its good to be a good listener but I wish I had more of a balance. Anyway its good to talk here freely as well as read all your comments.

  66. poohpity says:

    jeff, doesn’t it seem like human nature is to want something other than what we have, to be something other than what we are. God shows us so much patience, love, gentleness, kindness and it seems when we understand that we can show those same characteristics to others. He has said to love others the way we love ourselves, so if we do not show ourselves the same patience more than likely we will not show it to others. When we expect perfection in our lives(wanting the impossible) are we really understanding what grace is all about? It doesn’t seem like we can give away something we do not have. I so respect a quiet person since I am so outspoken but again that is wanting to be something I am not, it seems God can use whoever we are with all the masks off, being real. God seems to embrace the person we are but changes our behaviors, feelings and thoughts about God, others and ourselves.

  67. street says:

    been thinking about the Spirit, new birth, let me see if i got this right. the same God who was in Jesus and is Jesus is in Christians by the Holy Spirit by the power of the cross, resurrection and Pentecost. making a new man or new wine skin. is this like saying Jesus, God and man, and say, Christian man and God? i guess it still comes down to who rules the heart? i think the practical stuff will take care of itself when we know and understand God and He is our delight over all other things.
    the pilgrimage continues.

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