Breakdown Within Christian Family and Community: Galatians 5:15; 25-26
“15) But if you bite and devour one another, take heed lest you be consumed by one another. 25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26) Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Galatians‬ ‭5:15; 25-26‬
Notice I have put verse 15 with verses 25-26 for this discussion. It seems that the Christians in the early church had more than a small amount of contention between them. They were biting and devouring one another. Some were boastful while others challenging each other or filled with jealousy. Why do I point this out?
Most people think about the walk in the Spirit in the context of power or anointing for spiritual service, but the backdrop of this text is interpersonal relationships. No place is the fruit of the Spirit more important than in our relationships with other people.
When you think about it, formal ministry is a very small part of our lives. Even the busiest preachers and teachings spend a relatively short period of time each week in front of people, but interpersonal relationships happen constantly. From marriage and family living to work and community involvement, we are constantly rubbing shoulders with people.
I maintain we often think about the fruit of the Spirit in wrong terms. The fruit of the Spirit is not a special occasion wardrobe, the fruit of the Spirit is all occasion attire. Soon after becoming a Christian, the fruit of the Spirit should flow constantly from our lives. These qualities should become entwined with our personality.
Take another look at the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. If Christians constantly displayed love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control the divorce rate would be zero. There would be no need for family counseling. Church conflict would be non-existent. Christians would never be fired from jobs and Christian employers would be sought after in the market place.
Another phenomenon would also take place, groves of people would be drawn to Christ as Christians become the intended salt and light in the world. It is this ministry of the Holy Spirit that is intended to define Christians. According to John 13:34-35 we are to be identified in the world by our love.
This discussion is of paramount importance. There is a huge breakdown within Christian family and community when it comes to the fruit of the Spirit. Something has gone tragically wrong! This is part of the reason why revival tarries.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global