Living to the Spirit
A disciple of Jesus Christ, after baptism, is to live to the Spirit in order to please God. How is this done?
Before you became a disciple of Jesus Christ, you were by nature living to the flesh. That means that you were thinking your own thoughts and saying your own words. You were directing your own steps and living the way you thought was best.
Now you have agreed to live your life to please God, like our example Jesus Christ did. Living to the Spirit is living to please the Father, who gives His Spirit to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). What does the Father want us to do in order to live to the Spirit? He wants us to glorify Him by doing good works (Eph. 2:10; Matt. 5:16).
Why is doing good works so important? Doing good works is how we produce good fruits on our spiritual trees, and how we build godly character (Matt. 3:10). The Father does good works, and we are to imitate Him (Eph. 5:1; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 John 2:6; 3 John 11; 1 Peter 2:21). Doing good works allows a disciple of Christ to be blessed (Mal. 3:10). Good works was the main ingredient in the process by which Jesus overcame, and Jesus said many of those who followed Him would do greater good works than He did (John 14:12). Doing good works is how we overcome evil and how we learn to be servants of others for the glory of God. Doing good works is how we discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness (1 Tim. 4:7). Doing the works that Jesus Christ did is how we overcome and how we receive a new heart (Rev. 2:26).
When we overcome our old nature, we enter the kingdom of God or God’s rest (Heb. 4:10; Rev. 3:21). Then our joy is made full and we have an abundant life (John 10:10). When all we sow is righteousness, like Christ our example, then all we reap is blessings. Then we are truly living to the Spirit.
Many people believe we live this way naturally after accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Scripture shows clearly that this is a false conception. Look at the world. It is a mess! Many people who claim to be Christians are practicing a faith without good works. As a result, they remain spiritually dead in their faith (James 2:14-26). They are becoming religious, but not holy; and without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Heb. 12:14, King James Version). We cannot possibly be holy without obeying and practicing the words of Jesus Christ each day (John 8:51; Luke 6:46). This takes godly discipline, but just remember, it is easy and pleasant (Matt. 11:30). It is wonderful. Try it! You will love it and the Lord will love you too.