Holy Spirit Created
Kindness is delivered to our hearts and lives by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit creates kindness within us (4:31-32).
- Read verse 32: “Be kind.” Notice it doesn’t say, “Do kind things.” It literally says, “Become kind.” Kindness is a state of being. How does that state of being arrive in us?
- Read verse 31: “Let…be put away from you.” The idea is not, “Put these things away from you.” Rather, the idea is submission to the one who puts these things away from you! There is a sense of cooperation against the sins listed, but the primary action belongs to the Holy Spirit. I owe this insight to John Piper, without whose point on this phrase I would have merely stammered over these words. “The answer is hinted at in the form of the verb in verse 31. Literally it says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be taken away from you.” The verb is passive. This is a hint that the instrument of our kindness is not simply ourselves. If left to ourselves, we will no more be able to get the bitterness and malice out of our heart than we can lift ourselves by our own bootstraps. It doesn’t lie within us. They must BE TAKEN from us. “Let all bitterness . . . BE taken away from you.” Someone else is at work here besides us. It is the same thing we saw in verse 23: “BE renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Another passive verb!) There must be a renewing power or person. There must be a power that takes bitterness and malice from my heart and makes me tenderhearted and kind.
- The Holy Spirit creates kindness within us as a fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience and kindness. Kindness comes as a result of the Spirit’s work within our hearts. But the worry we all have is how we cooperate with this process and it comes to us clearly in one word:
- Faith. The Holy Spirit creates kindness within us not by works of the law, but by faith: Galatians 3:2-3.