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The Natural Fruit of Salvation

The Natural Fruit of Salvation vs. Forced Works
Change My Heart o God

How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Galatians 3:3 (NKJV)

One of the biggest lies that Satan will use against Christian believers is that they need to earn their way to a righteous standing with God.  Even after hearing the truth of the Gospel message about how Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary for all mankind, and that it is by our believing in Him that we are saved and made righteous, we can fall back into the deceiving lie that we must somehow earn our way.  

The Apostle Paul clearly attacks this lie in Galatians 3:3 as he says, "Hey you fools, you started in faith, are you now going to attain your goal by your own fleshly effort?" 

I guess this is just another pitfall or natural sequence or digression of our human flesh - to be more concerned in what we are doing in our works (lost in our own effort) instead of what we are in faith (saved by Christ's work on the Cross).  When we believe in this lie we have it totally backwards, because God doesn't care what works we do for Him - He cares who we are in Jesus.  This is the main point of the message that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees who had perfected their righteous outward actions, but neglected their hearts, which were far from being right.

 These people draw near to Me with their mouth,  And honor Me with their lips,  But their heart is far from Me. Matthew 15:8 (NKJV)

This is a very important lesson for us as followers of Jesus as we can be led down the road to working for God out of obligation.  I see this at churches as believers can be roped into helping or manipulated into service rather than allowing the Lord to lay it on their heart and let them come forward on their own.  This leads to burnout, and a poor attitude as you have committed to serve in ministry out of guilt.  This isn't genuine and it is not God's will.

Truth be told, God doesn't need any of us to help Him -  He allows us to be a part of the blessing.  God isn't going to guilt anyone into serving because He knows that if He has to do this then the heart isn't ready to serve and transformation needs to occur. If not, then we will eventually begin to complain and strive and lose all joy of participating in Kingdom work. If it is a forced effort, and it doesn't feel like it is genuinely coming from a loving heart, then this is simply a work of the flesh.

When helping is a byproduct of our natural heart's tendency, then we can know that this is a fruit of His Holy Spirit as we enjoy serving others in a way that glorifies God, and not us. As a Spiritually healthy Christian we should naturally desire to serve in a genuine spirit of giving and with a proper perspective of whom it is we are serving - and that should always be God (Col. 3:17, 23).

If it doesn't feel natural, or genuine, to serve or give, then don't.  But also be willing to ask God to change your heart in this area.  There will be times when you don't feel led to do something because God hasn't laid it on your heart.  There will be times when He has others in mind for a specific job, service or need, so always be willing to seek God and ask Him; then be prepared to do what is needed even if it isn't what you would normally have done. That's the way a healthy body works. God simply wants you to do what He has naturally built you to do, and this can only be done as we Abide in Jesus, and allow Him to work through us.

 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:8 (NKJV)

God has a plan for each of us if we are willing to yield our life to Him, and He will use us to do the work of the kingdom.  But this is a byproduct of a healthy relationship with Jesus, as our minds and hearts are transformed and we want to serve with a loving servant's heart - the giving of our selves wholeheartedly.  That's a big difference than punching in a time card and being forced to work for, and trying to earn our Salvation.  That's the natural fruit of Salvation instead of forced works.

STUDY QUESTION: What's the difference between natural fruit and fleshly works?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you found yourself being made to feel guilty for not helping?  Have you bought into the lie that you need to help so that God will Love you or accept you?

APPLICATION:  Rest in the LORD, and read the Word of God daily.  As you meditate upon His Word, you will find that you will be  naturally transformed to want to serve and to help, giving the glory to God for all that He has allowed you to participate in.

Father, thank You for allowing me to participate in Your ministry.  It is a blessing to be able to serve others, and to share what You have done for me in my life.  Use me today, and remind me that it is all about Jesus when others get weird and demanding about service.  May you convict them of their trespasses when they lay down the bondage upon others for things that You have not called them to do.  In Jesus' name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000