Fruit follows filling

Fruit

Fruit follows filling

The New Testament commands believers to be filled with the Spirit.  That means we should live under the positive controlling influence of God’s Spirit. 

The legalist’s way of being filled is earning the filling by obeying.  They say, in order to enjoy the positive influence of the Holy Spirit you have to read your Bible, pray, fast, go to Church, put money in the offering, or any number of other religious activities.  Legalists believe that God’s blessings FOLLOW our obedience.  First we obey and then God blesses us.

The grace way of being filled with the Spirit is opposite the legalist’s way.  Under grace reading our Bible, going to church, praying, giving, or any number of other religious activities are the result NOT the cause of being filled with the Spirit.  The fruit of the Spirit follows filling.  It doesn’t precede it.  Legalists have the cart before the horse.

Obeying is the result of being filled not the cause.  In other words, we do not earn or deserve the positive influence of the Spirit by obeying.  We obey because we are filled.

Believer let me encourage you to welcome the controlling influence of the Spirit into your life by faith.  Then, and only then, can you live the way God wants you to live.  Anything else is a fraud.  Can you think of some things people say you have to do in order to be filled with the Spirit?

Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell 

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8 Comments on “Fruit follows filling”

  1. Kevin Snyder Says:

    Pastor Dan,

    Wow, is all I can say! I grew up in a church that was about tradition, in that, as a baby you were sprinkled, as a teen you were confirmed and that was it. Then I got married and moved to another church that I thought was different, but not. You spoke of the hypocrisy and confusion, that was me. At our last church the feeling or rule was that your value was based on attendance. We were told that if we didn’t tithe, or read our bible we would not receive blessings. You spoke of how some would give in and take on a false facade. I did just the opposite, I began to buck the system and question everything that just didn’t seem right. I fear that there are several friends that we left that have become followers. Thank you Jesus for clearing the fog and giving me clarity.

    Thanks Pastor

  2. Dan Rockwell Says:

    Kevin, thanks for the good word. Sounds like you are being embraced by grace… I love it.

    I’ve been realizing that there is hypocrisy in all of us… what I mean is.. we hold to standards of holiness that we don’t meet. We keep falling short. So in that sense we’re all hypocrites.

    Thanks God for grace!!

    Thanks Kevin… sorry I didn’t get to chat with you today at church

    • Kevin Snyder Says:

      Well trying to get more than a second to talk around all of those people is difficult. We should get our wives together and have dinner?

  3. Dan Rockwell Says:

    Kevin… love to .. give us a couple weeks we have the grandkids all this week plus I’m getting over pneumonia… supposed to take it easy.

  4. Adam Groff Says:

    Dan, You are indeed the man. I completely agree with all of this. It doesn’t make sense to me that God, being the great and awesome man that he is, would make us folks have to earn his Grace through works. I think that legalists are assuming that God works the same way as our society. They are way too influenced by our societies thoughts on how one earns something. Grace is a gift so why would we have to work for it.

    Thanks for this Dan. I look foreward to reading more of your thoughts =). Stay classy man.

  5. Zach Wagner Says:

    I as well completely agree with you Dan. In fact this is actually something that has been playing out in my life this week. I went to my first church service here in Northern VA. The topic of tithing came up and the point was made about doing our best to give at least 10% of whatever we earn. The more I look at the legalism life(which I too once led) I look back that the Pharisees. Before I knew what legalism was I always felt that I had to play the part. Follow the Ten Commandments, give to others, always be cheerful, ect. It was a way for me to fell like I belonged and sometimes I felt it made up for the sins that I had done. I see the Pharisees in the same way. They did a lot to make an image for themselves. Now that things in my life have changed I feel free and more fulfilled. Instead of an obligation that I had to fill it is a privilege that I do out of respect and love.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:

      Hey Zack,

      I’m delighted that you can see legalism coming down the road and can escape it. You encourage me and Grace Freak readers. Being a Christian is wonderful! Thanks for jumping into the discussion.

      Dan


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