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Jul 2, 2019, 3:37 PM
SERMON# SEVENTEEN JULY 2019 On the fruit of the Spirit Readings: Galatians 5: 1 and 13 – 25 and Luke 9: 51 – 62 ‘Eternal Spirit, open our hearts so that we may know you more fully. Amen.’ There are many things that can go wrong in our lives and in our communities. Perhaps one of the things that can go wrong for us as God’s people is that we try to live according to the Ten Commandments but without grace as well. This is to say that we can fall into the trap of basing our relationship with God only on how good we are with regards to keeping the Ten Commandments. Basically we know that even if we should keep all of the commandments all the time it is still no guarantee for a good life. We can, for instance, never steal or murder anyone and yet still live miserable lives. Something more is needed; perhaps a different focus in our relationship with God. We also know that we are prone to live ‘according to the flesh’ and so we come up with all kinds of laws to limit our wrongdoings or the effect of such on others. This is what the Ten Commandments and any other commandments we live by are. So, trying to live only by the Ten Commandments when it comes to placing ourselves before God, we may discover that we are actually focussing on ‘life in the flesh’ and how to overcome our ‘fleshly’ desires. However, we can choose to live by the Spirit which is a better basis to place our relationship with God on. Following Jesus more closely we learn to live ‘in the Spirit.’ This moves us from living according to ‘what we should not do’ in order to curb as much of the fleshly desires to ‘what we should.’ To put it very simply: Our lives can be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. The difference between this and life in the flesh is that by living in the Spirit we live not just for ourselves but for others as well. If we live by the Spirit or the fruit of the Spirit, our lives matter to others, because we bring life to our relationships. This is grace: The life that is given to us through the Spirit for life itself is filled with grace. For example, as parents we may make mistakes but we also get second changes and in the end things may just work out OK. Why then, when it comes to God do we forget about grace and base our relationship with God on the Ten Commandments? Why then do we want to live according to the Ten Commandments only, knowing that we can never keep it up all the time under all circumstances? And then use them to judge others by? Yes, we must adhere to the Commandments when they are applicable and relevant and we may not always get it right but when we live according to the Spirit there is grace as we grow in the fruit of the Spirit. It is not about what we ought not to do but rather about who we are or have become in Jesus. This is the something more that is needed. It is then that our spirit cries with God’s Spirit that we are children of God. ‘O gracious God, help us to live in the Spirit so that our lives may be filled with grace. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.’
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