What follows next are 21 letters written to Christians, many penned by the Apostle Paul, describing what it means for us to live a life led by God’s Spirit.

The New Testament is organized in the following way: There are four gospels at the beginning of the New Testament that tell of how Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind and to reconcile each person to God by offering His Spirit (i.e., the Holy Spirit) to those who would believe in Jesus. The book of Acts is a book of church history that shows the Holy Spirit arriving and being received by Christ followers. What follows next are 21 letters written to Christians, many penned by the Apostle Paul, describing what it means for us to live a life led by God’s Spirit. The final book of the Bible, Revelation, is both a book of history and a book detailing the fulfillment of our transformation into Spirit-filled children of God.From a biblical worldview, anyone who has chosen to follow Christ is a disciple—or a student. As students, Christ followers are seeking to be led by God’s Spirit…so as to reach maturity in Christ. This desire is often challenged by many aspects of our world and culture that would have us put our own needs and desires ahead of our relationship with God’s Spirit. Given this aspect of our human nature, the New Testament is filled with many references that suggest a role for assessment in our lives.Just as the primary role of assessment in the elementary classroom is to assist in learning and in the identification of strengths and areas for personal growth, so is the role of assessment in the New Testament. The apostle Paul instructed an entire church to examine their hearts when participating in communion. Eugene Peterson’s The Message (Bible) interprets I Corinthians 11:27-28(new tab) as follows:Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.Examine your motives…test your heart…why? So that each one of us has an awareness of how well we are mastering the standards God has set forth for our life.Jesus was very interested in affective and psychomotor domains of learning, not just in the cognitive aspects. In the gospel of John, Jesus constantly opposed the religious leaders of His day who were focused on the cognitive aspects of knowing about God, while overlooking the affective and psychomotor aspects of living out a Spirit-filled life. Jesus offers a very simple formative assessment for everyone:By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35(new tab)The New Testament also offers us both formative and summative criteria to assess the extent to which we live Spirit-filled lives. In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul offers the following criteria:But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23(new tab)God calls each of us into a relationship with Him in order to give us the best gift possible—His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us access to God by adopting us into God’s family as children, but unless there is evidence of God’s Spirit, the scriptures make it clear that we are making a false claim if we state that we possess His Spirit and yet produce no fruit as evidence.Thankfully, we have God’s Word that helps us to know God cognitively, effectively, and through the psychomotor domain. Moreover, we have in His Word specific assessment criteria and a challenge to regularly assess our relationship with Him.As educators, may we always understand the value of assessment FOR learning (formative); rather than only administering assessments OF learning (summative). God wants us to know Him and make Him known, but He wants us to do this through our spiritual growth and maturity in Him.Read the devotional in the Background Information.In 200 to 250 words, using APA Style(new tab) formatting and including at least one citation, consider and respond to the following prompts:Discuss how the assessment criteria the apostle Paul offered in Galatians 5:22-23(new tab) (often referred to as the fruit of the Spirit) help us to examine ourselves and to determine whether or not we are living a Spirit-filled life. If you are unfamiliar with the Fruits of the Spirit, what is your initial reaction to this reading?How can the criteria provided in this passage help you become a more effective special educator?