Today​’s Scrip-Bit 24 April 2019 Romans 8:5.

Romans 8:5.   ​For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
 
And then it was Wednesday…and everybody breathes a small sigh of relief, for Monday and Tuesday are now past, and it’s just Thursday to get through before the big day of Friday! 

Ah friends, so many of us waste our time looking towards the weekend that we don’t get to enjoy the weekdays! The Lord gave us seven days in a week, why only enjoy two or three eh? That way we’re wasting the majority of them and not realizing our full potential of joy and joyfulness that the Lord has made available to us. 

By now, most of us should be mature enough, both in age and faith to realize that work is inevitable, and if so, we should just get with the programme! Furthermore, if we truly have Jesus in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, then we ought to be glad to have the chance to go out everyday and share Him and His Good News with others. Remember, that’s our earthly bounden duty. 

The long and short of the story is that the day of the week should not really matter, we ought to just get up and do what we have to do with a warm and LOVING spirit, even though the body might feel otherwise. Yes, the spirit is usually willing but the flesh is often weak!

Remember too that we’re no longer carnal, living just to glorify our fleshly needs and wants, but spiritual beings, living now to glorify spiritual desires. That means we’re to live life in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. 

And this is how Bruh Paul describes living life in the Spirit to the church at Rome. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:1) Glory be my people! If we’re walking in the Spirit, then the law of sin, the law of fleshly matters no longer condemns us! 

Why? ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ (Rom.8:3) Yes friends, that ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,’ is basically ‘the influence of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life to obedience and good works.’ 

Yes, it’s all about the Holy Spirit of Christ moving and working successfully in our everyday lives, our everyday walk of faith! ‘For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for (on account of) sin, condemned sin in the flesh.’ (Rom.8:3) 

And the scholars explain that thus: ‘8:3. Law…was weak: There is nothing inherently wrong with the law. The presence of sin renders the believer powerless to do what the law demands. The likeness of sinful flesh: Christ was truly human but not a sinner. (2 Cor.5:21).’ 

And all of that happened ‘That the righteousness (righteous requirement) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind (set their minds on) the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.’ (Rom.8:4-5) 

Yes friends, it’s as simple as that…note I didn’t say easy! (smile) But if the things and problems and anxieties of the world are what drive our engines, then we will obviously be more concerned about them.

However, if the things of the Spirit, the things of God, are our driving force then we will walk more appropriately in the Spirit and not fulfill the carnal lusts of the flesh. ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom.8:6) 

Ah my faithful brethren, it could not be put any plainer and more straightforwardly than that! Why? ‘Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.’ (Rom.8:7)

More simple logic friends! Carnality, or death, is not, nor can it be of God, because it involves sin, and God does not deal in Sin. Thus this conclusion: ‘So they that are in the flesh cannot please God.’ (Rom.8:8) 

Neither is trying to sit on the fence, having one foot in both worlds the answer, for as Jesus so rightly said: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon (at the same time).’ (Matt.6:24) You can’t serve both the world and God at the same time. Plus we ought to be in the world, but not of the world, and wherever our treasure is stored, there will our hearts be. 

Meaning that if we’re seeking the things of the world, then our hearts will be in the world, but if we’re seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then our hearts will be looking heavenward.

And the last word on the subject is: ‘For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.’ (Rom.8:13) 

So for those of us who are truly trying to look towards heaven, to live in the Spirit and not in the flesh, let’s go home now defiantly and sincerely declaring (Steups! wrong again!) our Wednesday Wail letting all and sundry know our esteemed position in Christ, so that they too can work towards it. 

All together in strong voice: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And what an amazing and glorious future it will surely be! Much LOVE!

…LOVE for the things of the world…brings death and eternal damnation…LOVE for the things of God…assures us of heaven and eternal life…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 November 2018 Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23.  But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.
 

Another wet morning, without even a hopeful ray of sunshine! Steups! But thankfully, there’s no precipitation currently descending from on high! (smile) Ah friends, the gloom persists, but as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have all we need to handle it. And to boot, we can also truthfully declare: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Ps.118:24) 

And we would indeed be foolish if we did not enjoy this extra day the Lord has granted us on His great earth. And yes, every day we’re here is an extra day, so be wise and enjoy it and live obediently for Christ, do the work God has entrusted to you!

For we each have a purpose and a plan of God for this earthly life. Our God doesn’t move vie-ke-vie; in a careless, unplanned manner, so each day we’re down here means we still have work to do under His awesome, gracious, merciful and LOVING plan. So let’s get to it nuh! 

And it being Saturday, we will take a look at some of the quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. And the first quote says: ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’

And that’s oh so true! But unfortunately very few of us ever get to truly live the life of our dreams, because life is such a series of ups and downs, and none of us ever experience any downs in our dream life. (smile) 

The fact is that most of us have unreasonable dreams, and even with the reasonable ones, we’re not willing to work towards them. Now dreams are important in this life, but until we’re willing to action them, they will always remain dreams. 

 And the next quote tells us: ‘Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.’ Now that ought to be motto of the Christian believer! Christ said: ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ (John 10:10b) What’s the point of having abundant life and not enjoying it to the fullest eh? It would only make Christ’s sacrifice a waste down. 

But to enjoy our lives, we also have to focus on the positive aspects, especially of Christ’s teaching, because the negative aspects of the world only beat and break us down. 

And the last quote says: ‘Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.’ Now that is gospel truth my brethren! In fact, death is not a loss of life at all, for believers it’s only a journey from one realm to the other, and even more importantly it’s from a short, finite and rough earthly life, to a long and glorious infinite eternal life. So we don’t suffer a loss of life at all, but move up to a higher, spiritual one. 

The problem is the stuff that dies inside of us while we’re living this earthly life. We’re talking about stuff like, hope, faith, joy, LOVE, mercy, forgiveness, empathy, self-control and self-discipline; the attributes of God we need to live a faithful and fruitful life; things we call the fruit of the Spirit.

Thus our Bit: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law.’ 

Yes my believing brethren, those are the things we want alive and well in all of us, so that we can live the life Jesus died for us to have, and to do His work. Unless those things are reigning in our lives we’ll be unable to live good, Christian, fruitful lives like Jesus desires of us.

The Holy Spirit of God dwells in each believer, and is there for the express purpose of leading and guiding us in God-filled lives. That means we have to follow the Spirit’s direction if we want to live successful Christian lives. 

As Bruh Paul so astutely continues: ‘And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (its passions). If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal.5:24-25) 

Now here are a few explanations from the scholars: ‘5:22-23. The word fruit is significant for three reasons (1) It means the result, product, outcome or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have all nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular). (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight. 

LOVE is the willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury.

Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration in one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

And there you have it friends, ‘the Fruit of the Spirit Lecture 101!’ (smile) Yes, I know it’s not easy to cultivate all those wonderful attributes, especially with the world on our back to do differently, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can certainly work towards them and be fairly successful if we set our minds to it. 

Remember, as believers in Christ, we are done with carnal fleshly matters, and are supposed to live by the Spirit of Christ imbued in us. So let’s do that nuh, and consequently fulfill Bruh Paul’s desire: ‘Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal.5:26). Much LOVE!

…to grow good fruit…we have to sow good seed…