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Devotional - week of April 27, 2014


OUR OTHER HELPER (4)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a

As we continue our study of the Holy Spirit, we must give attention to the passage above. When we were first saved, we had a sovereign filling of the Holy Spirit for a season and experienced the blessings listed above.

In time, almost all of us began again to live out of our flesh— our self-effort—and were no longer filled with the Spirit. Many have said, “I would give anything to feel like I did when I was first saved.” The truth is that you can have that same feeling and even in an intensified way.

Most of the 9 words in the listing the fruit of the Spirit are self-explanatory. Only 3 of them need some attention. The word translated “faithfulness” is translated in the King James Version “faith.” While the word “faithfulness” would fit into this group of words, it would be better to think of the word “faith.” The word “self-control” needs attention. The word “self” seems to make this virtue something we do rather that what the Holy Spirit does in us. The word “restraint” is better. Finally, the word “love” is the translation of the same Greek word that describes the love of God. We can be filled with the God-kind of love.

You might want to read again the verses given above. Any person who loves God and wants his life to be a testimony for God would want to be fulfilled with all of these outstanding qualities.

The beauty of this verse is that it shows that we do not have to work up these virtues in our own wisdom and strength. They are works of God’s grace. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with these characteristics. These are virtues of character. We do not have to make ourselves into persons of character. We permit God to give us character just by being filled with the Holy Spirit as we were immediately following our conversion experience.

In order for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the virtues, we need to receive the filling of the Spirit continually. We do that by continually living out the 5 statements listed below.