Useful Bible Studies > Galatians Commentary > chapter 5

Why Christians need the *Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:16-26

Why people do bad things

If a person thinks too much about himself, he will do many wrong things. That person tries to do whatever things will make him happy. He is thinking about his body, not his *spirit. So he does things that are against Godís rules.

But a Christian has the *Holy Spirit to help him. The *Holy Spirit teaches the Christianís own *spirit. So the Christian does things that are right and good. The Christian knows that his *spirit really is important.

That is how the *spirit and the body can be opposites. One person may only do those things that his body likes. That person may do every kind of bad thing. Godís rules say that these things are wrong. People like that are not Christians. They are against God. They are against every good thing. They let their bodies rule their lives. When they die, they will not go to heaven (Godís home). God is against them.

The *Holy Spirit has authority in a Christianís life

Another person believes that his *spirit is important. So he lets the *Holy Spirit help him. That person is careful about the things that his body wants. So he does not let those things rule his life. Also, the rules do not have authority over his life. Instead, Godís *Holy Spirit has authority. So that person is a Christian.

That Christian does not have to do the right things because of any rules. But the *Holy Spirit is in his life. And so he does things that are good and right.

Good things that happen because of the *Holy Spiritís work

Paulís list (verses 22-23) shows the good things that happen because of the *Holy Spiritís work. Paul describes these things as Ďfruití. Good fruit grows on good trees. And good things happen in Christiansí lives.

For example, a Christian loves other people. He does not do it because of rules. He does it because the *Holy Spirit has taught his *spirit to do it. In other words, he does it because God is in his life. He does very many other good things too. And good things are never against Godís rules.

This person did not always do this. Before he became a Christian, he was like any other person. He tried to do the things that he wanted. His body wanted wrong things, and those things ruled his life. But then he saw what Jesus had done by his death. That person asked God to come into his life. And God changed his life. He became a Christian. Now that Christian does not really want to do those things that make him happy. He tries to do the things that God wants. And God helps him to do these things by his *Holy Spirit.

Sometimes that Christian still does wrong things. Or he thinks wrong thoughts. But fruit (verse 22) needs time to grow. And that Christian needs time to learn from the *Holy Spirit. Every day, he is learning. Every day, the *Holy Spirit shows him new things. Every day, he can know God better. Every day, his love for God can become stronger.

And while this is happening, he is becoming a better Christian.

Next part: Proper thoughts about ourselves and other people

See the word list for explanation of words with a *


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© 2015, Keith Simons.