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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 11, 2018

Bearing Godly fruit

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Pentecost reminds us that the power of the holy spirit is the greatest power on earth. God's church was born on the day of Pentecost via the outpouring of the holy spirit. It is this Spirit – God's Spirit – that enables us to imitate God's character, which we would be utterly unable to do without this spirit.

The apostle Paul knew that some early Christians were backsliding into hostile attitudes and personal conflicts. His letter to the churches in Galatia bears evidence of this. He wrote that some were "biting and devouring each other" (Galatians 5:15, NIV). He urged them to "through love serve one another" (Galatians 5:13), reminding them, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Galatians 5:14).

What the Galatians needed was to "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16), and we should do the same. And what is the result of following the lead of God's holy spirit? Paul went on to write of how that Spirit would transform our lives: "But the fruit [product, effect] of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

Our high priest wants us to bear much fruit: "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:8). How do we accomplish that? Via the holy spirit! What a great solution! God doesn't leave us on our own to work up the virtues of Godly character. By putting our faith in God, repenting of our sins and being baptized, we can "receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). And that gift includes wonderful fruit!

Then, to continue bearing spiritual fruit, we need to think of ourselves as a branch. The key is to stay attached to the trunk of the true vine, Jesus Christ: "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4). And if we abide in Christ, He dwells in us via the holy spirit (John 14:23). And if Christ remains in us via the holy spirit, our entry into eternal life is assured: " But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you" (Romans 8:11).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath and a meaningful Pentecost next week!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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