We are in a “purple passage” this Sunday - one that many are familiar with: it’s Galatians 5 and the fruits of the Spirit. It contains the most wonderful promise and the most terrifying challenge all at the same time. Paul promises us, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh...” In other words - if we are trusting in Christ and the gift of his Spirit to make us holy, HE WILL DO IT! The Spirit is so powerful, if He is in us, we will not keep on sinning the way we used to.
I love this promise - it means my holiness does not ultimately depend on me - but on God working in me. And God does not get tired, or fed up, or give up. And I do. Often.
But then comes the challenge: “ I warn you that those who practice the works of the sinful nature will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here’s the thing - if the Holy Spirit always makes someone holy when he lives in them - if we are not becoming holy, then we do not have the Spirit. That's the shock. No good fruit means no Spirit. And if the Spirit is not in us, we are not yet Christians - we are kidding ourselves. So there will be a big reality check this Sunday. Look at your life. Is there good fruit?