Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 2, 2018

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” – “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 23:15.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte;  and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”   Matthew 23:15.

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These scribes and Pharisees had zeal as shown by their “travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte”.  But, zeal is not sufficient.  “For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.”  Romans 10:2-3.

These scribes and Pharisees also had the Law.  But, the Law was also not sufficient.  “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse;  for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”  Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident;  for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”  However, the Law is not of faith;  on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.”  Galatians 3:10-12.

“Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”  John 3:5.

“It is the Spirit who gives life;  the flesh profits nothing;  the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  John 6:63.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”  Galatians 5:16-18.

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”  Romans 8:5-10.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”  John 16:13-14.

Yet, there is the continual temptation to go back to the Law.

“You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?  This is the only thing I want to find out from you:  did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?  Are you so foolish?  Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”  Galatians 3:1-5.

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  …

You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law;  you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”  Galatians 5:1 and 4-5.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23.


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