For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
— GALATIANS 5:5 —
Nehemiah Kanzanthu: Central African Preaching Academy | Malawi
No amount of work, discipline, or moral behavior can save us. If a person intends to find favor or be right with God by following some of the law, such as by being circumcised, he would have to obey the rest of God’s law, as well. This only leads to failure. Trying to save ourselves by keeping all God’s laws, therefore, only separates us from God. Do this, warns Paul, and “Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Gal. 5:2). The fruit which the Spirit produces in us now, by faith, provides hope that we will one day be like Christ in perfect righteousness. In contrast to those who would work in order to be justified, Paul says that we (Christians) are eagerly waiting for the hope of righteousness. We have this hope by faith in Christ Jesus, not by works. We do not need to work for salvation; we who believe in Christ already possess a right standing before God. We may therefore rightly anticipate the day in which we are to be perfected in righteousness. It is natural for children to trust their parents even though parents sometimes fail to keep their promises. Our heavenly Father, however, never makes promises He will not keep. Though His plan may go as we expect, we should place our confidence and faith in God’s goodness and wisdom. Just as the first pieces of fruit to appear on a tree provide hope of a future harvest, the fruit which the Spirit produces in us now, by faith, provides hope that we will one day be like Christ in perfect righteousness.