17TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY, SUNDAY OF 23rd SEPTEMBER 2018
St Paul States, “… and they that are Christ’s have Crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory provoking one another, envying one another” (Gal 5:24-26).
On this 17th Sunday after trinity, I would like to welcome each and everyone in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday we concluded the Diocesan Gospel Convention on the theme “Growing together” (Acts 2:46). We learnt that all Christ’s followers need to be equipped for God’s service; they need to be constantly strengthened in salvation and always united in the service of our Lord. The convention helped us to achieve the above objectives.
Today, our topic is “Live by the Spirit” (Gals 5:25). In order for us Christian believers to overcome the works of the flesh, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk by the very power that the spirit gives.
In the scripture quoted above, living by the spirit implies the following:
- Firstly, there must be a total submission to the will of the Holy Spirit. Since the spirit is God, He must reign in us as Lord and King.
- Secondly, our will and desires must be totally aligned with that of the spirit. Every human being has plans and intentions to live in certain ways. It is in trying to pursue these plans and intentions that we find ourselves in conflict with what God wants.
- Thirdly, our future needs to be entrusted to the Spirit. If we are honest with ourselves, we would realize that many of us want to control our destiny. The very reason why we run for prophecies and divinations is due to the fact that we would like to know what future holds for us! God will always remain God – He alone must know and control the future. So whoever has surrendered their life to him, will live in perfect peace(Isaiah 26:12)
- Finally, there can never be another way of life apart from life by the Holy Spirit.
Living by the spirit means being filled at all times with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)) and the fruit of the Holy Spirit manifesting in such a life (Gal 5:22, 23). Therefore, let the life we live be always led by the Holy Spirit. Reject all evil and commit ourselves to Jesus Christ. Blessings in Christ Jesus.
Udongo Albert Festus (Rev. Canon)
Questions for personal reflection and home cell discussion
Read Galatians 5:22-26, Ephesians 5:18, John 14:15-31
- According to John 14:26, who is the comforter?
- Why do you think Jesus connects love for God with obedience (John 14:15) and keeping the commandments of God?
- How can the Christian attain God’s Peace? (John 14:26)
- Discuss the challenges faced by today’s Church because of neglecting the Holy Spirit’s Counsels. How can things change for the better?