Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of October 13, 2013


CHARACTER THROUGH GRACE

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

If a man had such qualities as listed in these verses, we would call him a man of character. The truth is that all believers have the potential for being a person of such character. The qualities mentioned are the result of one being filled with the Holy Spirit.

When a believer receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters his life (Romans 8:9) and becomes one with the new believer’s spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). So we could ask the question, “If our spirit is one with God’s Spirit, why are not all Christians revealing a life of such character?” The answer is that we are not receiving the filling of the Holy Spirit:

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

We are not commanded to fill ourselves. We are to receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. How can one receive the filling of the Spirit? The answer is “by experiencing his spiritual crucifixion.” Galatians 5:17 tells us that it is our flesh that stands in opposition to our being filled with the Spirit. Galatians 5:24 says that our flesh has been crucified. One continues to experience that crucifixion by living out his oneness with Christ.  

If the Holy Spirit works in us the qualities of character, why should we say that grace gives us character? In Scripture, living by grace and walking in the Spirit produce the same quality of life.

Chapters 5 and 6 of Romans express that grace gives us this high quality of life while the Holy Spirit is never mentioned. Romans chapter 8 describes the same high quality of life as being the result of walking in the Spirit without mention of the word grace.

Surely you would love to be a person of character. You would love to be known as a person of character. Quit trying! Begin receiving!