Our Pastor Eric Nelson recently wrote about living in the Spirit. In that message he stated:
The Christian life without the Spirit of God is just another religion, just another man-made project. Just another way of clawing our way to the heavenlies, just another attempt at controlling the living God, just another attempt to prove our worth and righteousness is on par with God’s.
In conjunction with these thoughts, I have been reading in Matthew chapters 5-7(The Sermon on the mount). It dawned on me that in these chapters Jesus is describing what living in the Spirit looks like. In Matthew 5:21-48, Jesus addresses many moral issues and how we should respond. He is presenting to us God’s loving, forgiving nature in response to these moral issues. I love and am challenged by the way verse 48 reads in The Message, “In a word, what I’m saying is, grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out you’re God created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
This then is how God wants us to live, but as Pastor Eric declares in his above quote, “without God’s Spirit it’s just another religion…. just another attempt to prove our worth and righteousness is on par with God’s.” Jesus tells us what living in the Spirit looks like. In order to live like this we need closeness to God. I’m reminded that in John 15:5 Jesus affirms, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
To me it’s quite obvious that Christians are being called to put aside the things of this world and draw closer to God so that we might bear much fruit. It’s time to recognize that we are subjects in God’s eternal Kingdom, and start living like it.