Our past was consumed by the negative effects of sin; our present should be based upon how God sees us and the faith and emotion this produces in us.
When we walk out of our problems, our moods, our desires, and walk into the Father’s presence and begin to sort things out in a personal trusting relationship with Him, the Spirit of God supplies the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. He supplies the positive, basic virtues of the Christian life: spiritual agape love, joy and peace, faith and emotion. He does this as he sees us relating properly to God the Father and living the life God intended.
We are going to look closely at the Spirit of God’s place in this process of Christian living, the life God intended. The process that the Spirit of God introduces is called Walking by the Spirit. In Romans 6:4 it says,
. . . that as Christ was raised out from among the corpses through the glory of God the Father, thus also we ourselves should walk in a new kind of life.
The phrase “in a new kind of life” refers to a life built on how God sees us, as opposed to a life built on what we feel. Our past was consumed by the negative effects of sin; our present should be based upon how God sees us and the faith and emotion this produces in us.
Go over to Romans, chapter 8, and we find that the phrase, “we should walk” occurs again. Notice in Romans 8:4-6, we are told that this walking is done by means of the Spirit:
. . . the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us who are not walking fleshly, but spiritually. For the ones who are fleshly have their perspective set on the things of the flesh, and the ones being spiritual have their perspective set on the things of the Spirit. For the perspective of the flesh is a state of relational death, but the perspective of the Spirit is life and peace.
What are the things of the Spirit? They are our identity found in Christ and the new relationship with our Father. They are the things described in chapters 3-6 of Romans.
How do these three things work together? God the Father sees me in Christ. That’s the positive picture. That’s how He sees me. I turn to Him, and I begin to reckon myself, assume myself, to be alive to Him as Christ is alive to Him; I begin living the life God intended. I begin to share my thoughts, my feeling, my fears and my anxieties in a trusting relationship. As I do that, I can then take a positive step into life. As I take that step, the Spirit of God will empower me. Out of a positive relationship with God the Father, I can take that step by the Spirit, and not by the moods and the lusts of the flesh but by the faith and emotion that comes from God’s acceptance and His spiritual agape love.