In my previous post, we looked at “Three Proofs of Life” that show we are alive spiritually.
- We are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
- We have the indwelling Spirit, working and transforming our lives.
- The fruit of the Spirit is evident in our thoughts, words, and behavior.
But, if you want to get real focused and simple, both Jesus and Paul tell us one trait that is the most important proof of our status as God’s children.
In Galatians, Paul puts it this way:
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love (Galatians 5:6).
Paul is saying, it’s not your religious rituals that prove your spiritual standing—it’s love.
He goes on …
But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13).
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).
It makes me think of Jesus’ response to the religious law expert in Matthew 22, when He answered the question, “What is the greatest commandment?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
It’s the power of God in the gospel that is destined to produce love for God and love for our neighbors! If we look in the mirror and are not seeing love, we need to ask ourselves “Why?”
The new birth will produce love—it’s what the Holy Spirit does. Our role is to join the Holy Spirit in His work.
As you read these words, what thoughts or feelings come to your heart and mind?
In what relationships would you desire to see more love? Pray for God’s Spirit to do it.
Are there ways you are learning to partner with the Holy Spirit in growing in love?