We live in a culture that places great importance on reaching goals, so we often create task lists that will help us reach our goals. The more we check off on our to-do list, the better we feel. There is a sense of freedom in reaching the goal of finishing college, paying off our debt, or reaching retirement; therefore, we feel good about all we accomplish.
Unfortunately, too many adults approach their relationship with God in the same way. If they pray, read their Bible, put money in the offering plate, or perform some other “religious task,” they think they can check that off their list and feel that God is pleased with them. We need a reminder that the Christian life is not a list of tasks to be completed; it is a relationship based on grace.
We begin to live as if we work hard enough, we will get more of the Spirit than what we previously had.
There are two degrees of being filled with the Holy Spirit – all or nothing. We don’t gain more of the Spirit over time.
The Galatians had come to faith in Christ, but resorted to keeping the law as the path to maturity (Gal. 3:1-3).
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Paul reminded them that their receiving of the Spirit had nothing to do with keeping the law.
- Believers must be careful to avoid the trap of legalism.
- Believers can know that they received the Holy Spirit when they believed in Christ.
- Believers need to recognize that the Christian life is not lived by human effort alone but is dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit in them.
It’s all about grace. And more grace.