What’s with the Lists?
Posted By: Nate Magloughlin - 3/24/2020 1:00:00 PM

What’s with the Lists?

 

For the last couple of months as I have read and meditated on God’s word (Bible reading plan) and worked on memorizing Galatians 5:16-26, I have been confronted with lists.

 

Paul writes in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are evident:  sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, orgies, and things like these.”  I don’t need to go very far down the list before the Holy Spirit convicts me of my need to repent and change my attitude and behavior.

 

We’ve just about finished reading through the  Book of Romans now in our Bible reading plan, but we’ve seen lists there too. Paul writes in Romans 1:29-30, “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.  They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”  Busted again!

 

Why the lists?  It is as simple as answering the question, “God just tell me what you want me to do” (or in this case, “what not to do”).  Or, do the lists serve a greater purpose?

 

I believe that the lists serve to reveal my total depravity before the holy and just God.  They illumine my sin and the sinful condition of my heart.  They point me to God’s unmerited grace and my need for a Savior to make me right with God … “For our sake He made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).  For my sake, Jesus went to the cross with all my dreadful sins (see lists) and paid my debt.

 

Through this great sacrifice and by the grace of God, I have now been made righteous before the holy and just God. As I called out to Jesus for salvation, placing my faith in Him, my sins were washed away, and I’ve been indwelled by Spirit of God who empowers me to live a life that glorifies God.

 

There is another list – a positive one – that Paul includes in the last section of our memory verses.  Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

 

May those of us who call Trinity Baptist our church home, keep in step with the Spirit and live fruitful lives for God’s glory!

 

Brad Jones

Church Council Member