Earlier in this chapter Paul writes that we who believe fully in Christ are to live by the Spirit, and I might add, by the Spirit of Christ. Paul wrote this as he was involved in the teaching of ‘new’ Christians. In v. 16 he wrote, “Live by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desire of the flesh.” He goes on to spell out the “desires of the flesh” which we do not need to repeat here because we have all experienced them in the living of our days.
Certainly in the living out our lives, we have been tempted to fall back into the more human way of life rather than stick to the Way of the Spirit? If we have experienced the temptation to fall back, then no doubt the teaching of Paul comes to the fore. None of us are perfect; not before we have accepted Christ as our Savior, nor after we have invited Him into our lives.
This is where the Joy Paul speaks of comes to us with greater comfort and assurance. Living in the Spirit of Christ, we know that we are always forgiven, even as we slip back into temptations of the flesh! What a joyful experience it is to know that God’s love does make all things well.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your eternal love which comes to us, especially through Christ our Savior. To know this is to know healing Joy. In Christ we pray. Amen.