Galatians 5:22-25 (NASB)
The Bible calls on Christians to live godly lives. But what does it mean to live a godly life? Is it keeping the Ten Commandments? Is it keeping a set of precepts or guidelines handed down by whatever church one happens to attend? Is it living by one's own understanding of Biblical morality? Or is it just being charitable to others?
As Christians, we are saved solely by the grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ. As a result of acceptance of this grace by faith, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantor of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Living according to the grace of God means loving and serving one another (Galatians 5:13). It is a call to walk in the Spirit, allowing the Spirit to transform us into the kind of people God wants us to be. Accordingly, being led by the Spirit bears fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Following the Spirit's lead fulfills the purpose for which Jesus died, to redeem us from sin and enable us to truly love and serve each other as He commanded us in John 13:34-35.
A godly life is lived by continually looking to Christ, who is the Spirit, and not to ourselves. For in beholding the glory of Christ we become changed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18) and do naturally what is pleasing to Him.
So the things that we do in life and whatever motives we have for doing them, falling within the commandment of Jesus Christ to us to love one another as he loves us, constitute godly living. Not following a set of rules and regulations which cannot change the heart or our motives, but following the lead of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to transform our lives so that we can be truly altruistic in dealings with our fellow human beings. No set of rules or laws can make us truly love one another. Change comes from within, and it is brought about only by Christ working in us. The change that enables us to truly love one another (1 Corinthians 13), to love and pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45), to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), to see to the needs of our fellow human beings (1 John 3:17), to show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), to be faithful in our marriages (Hebrews 13:4), to be of comfort to those in sadness or grief (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), to encourage one another in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:23-25), and to turn away from anything that would hinder our relationship with Christ (Matthew 5:29-30; 2 Timothy 2:19). All these are part of a living, Christian life. Performance of good works as a result of true faith and the inner working of the Holy Spirit, in accordance with the Gospel of Christ and for His glory.
And by faith as we behold Christ, as we follow the Spirit's lead, we can experience the transformation of our lives into His likeness. We can experience the joy of living a godly life, and from the light that shines from such a life so others may be drawn to Jesus.
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