Galatians 5:22-23 – Verse of the Week 5/8/14
The idea that only God can save us is one of the most important ideas in the Bible. We can’t save ourselves by our good works, because our sinful hearts affect everything we do. Because we are sinful we can’t follow God’s law perfectly, and so we are guilty as lawbreakers and deserve God’s judgment.
But the beautiful story of the Gospel is that Jesus obeyed the law in our place, died on the cross to receive the judgment that should have been ours, and clothes us in the righteousness of his perfect obedience. So we are saved from the law, but we are also saved for the law. Paul encourages us in this verse to remember that those who have been forgiven will bear the fruits of forgiveness. We can’t earn our salvation by obeying the law, but now that we have been saved there is certainly no law against striving for these good fruits.
Spend some time praying through each of the characteristics listed in this verse. As you pray, allow each word to make you aware of your sin and how you fall short in this area. As you do so, remember that Jesus’ life and death on the cross have set us free from our sins. As you rejoice in that reality, pray that God would help you to grow in each of these areas by the power of His Holy Spirit.