THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Galatians 5v22&23
Some general thoughts Are we content with who we are? If we are honest we have good days and bad days. In fact, we feel different every day and this is because events happening around us have an effect on us, both good and bad. Paradoxically, when things are running smoothly we can become apathetic about our Christian life, but when we hit difficulties we call out to God for his help. And it’s in those times that our faith develops. But God wants the best for us at all times. He wants us to depend on his Holy Spirit so that we will have his resources inside us. We were born to grow, to be fruitful and productive. That is our purpose in life, both in the flesh and in the Spirit. Fruit and obedience In the Old Testament there is an association between fruit and obedience. “If you do this ... I will bless you” (e.g. Deut 28 v1-‐14). And Paul is saying that the fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of being led by or being obedient to the Holy Spirit, in other words: walking in his ways. The fruit of the Spirit is not like the Gifts of the Spirit (as listed in 1 Corinthians 12) – it is not a gift, but something that grows over time as we walk in obedience. Philippians 1v9-‐11 says that the fruit comes from Jesus and is not for our glory but for the glory of God. A fruitful person will promote Jesus and not themselves. First Fruits The Bible instructs us to give our first and best to God in every aspect of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit should help us to fulfil that aim. Literally speaking it should lead us to give of our time in prayer and meeting together; it should lead us to give of our money for God’s work; and it should lead us to put God first in every event of our lives. The Fruit of our lips A fruitful character will not only walk righteously but the fruit will also be seen in what we say. It should cause us to be encouraging and build people up. It should cause us to be inspiring others to faith. The absence of fruit in our lives will be seen by criticism or discord. Impure fruit In the natural realm we get impure fruit: maggots, wasps, scabby fruit, mould, greenfly etc. This happens when the fruit is not quite as healthy as it should be and succumbs to outside influences. And then remedial work is needed – spraying, cutting out the bad bits and pruning back. Maybe we let impurities taint us (TV programmes, bad attitudes, gossip etc) and we don’t realise our fruit isn’t quite up to scratch. Sometimes, when we feel as though we have been ‘sprayed and cut down’ it is because God is wanting to grow better fruit in our lives. He, the loving Gardener, is there all the time tending us and mending us in order to make us more fruitful for him. Plants (most of them) naturally turn to the sun because the sun is vital for growth. We have noticed on our walking holidays that trees and plants growing on cold, windy, north facing hillsides are usually very tiny and not fruitful – they are stunted without much sunlight. We may still survive as Christians, but unless we turn our faces to the Son of God and be led by his Spirit, then we will remain stunted and unfruitful. The Fruit of the Spirit We will go on to look at these one by one, but notice, these are referred to in the singular – the fruit. They come as a bountiful package, sent by the Spirit, to grow in our lives. We all have the seeds of the fruit. All we are asked to do is to be led by the Spirit and watch it grow. A fruitful tree is witness to good weather and good care. A fruitful life is a witness of God’s love and care. 1
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Love Q1. An apple comes from an apple tree. Where does the fruit of love come from? Q2. How would you define the fruit of Love? The answer is in John 15v1-‐9. Jesus says we are branches and a branch cannot bear fruit of itself. It must be a part of the tree or vine. To have the fruit of love is to be able to love with the same love as Jesus loves – Agape love, God’s love. The fruit of love is nothing to do with ‘cosy feelings’ or sexual passion. It is love born of sacrifice. It is not just a feeling but an action. It has been said that the way to spell love is ‘d,o’ – do. Q3. Why must love be an action? The whole purpose of fruit is that it can be eaten and enjoyed – and by anyone who would like it. Sometimes we might be selective in who we give love to. But God’s love (through us) is for everyone. Sometimes, for various reasons, it is harder than others to show love. Perhaps it is because we feel someone doesn’t like us; maybe they look down on us; or they may take us for granted; or perhaps they criticise us or ignore us; or even worse they might abuse us in some way. Q. How can we show love practically, even when it is difficult? If it is from the Holy Spirit, Love is something that can flow through us even when we may not be feeling it. We can show acceptance, patience, friendliness and encouragement without looking for reward. It helps if we remember that Jesus loved them so much that he died for them. When Jesus did miracles of healing we read that it was because of his compassion (love) and because he wanted to glorify God. The purpose of God’s love is to bring salvation; and the purpose of salvation is to bring God’s love. Q. How is the goodness of the fruit of love released? It has to be tasted and shared and enjoyed. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT -‐ Joy It is very important to our well-‐being to know joy and gladness. A study in Yale University (over 28 years) in America concluded that people who go to church are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who don’t. The University concluded that the reason for this was that they had hope and purpose in their lives, which brought them joy and contentment. The university boffins could have read the Bible. It would have saved them a lot of hard work! Read Psalm 1v1-‐4 and Nehemiah 8v10. Paul lists JOY as a fruit of the Spirit, directly after LOVE; and joy should come as a result of knowing God’s love and saving grace in our lives. When Jesus was seen by his disciples after the resurrection they were amazed and full of joy. (Luke 24v41) So the joy that Paul is referring to is a deep delight in God, a gladness in our spirit. It’s not about superficial happiness and it’s not something we can generate ourselves. Q. So what is the source of the fruit of joy? Paul tells us it is a fruit of the spirit – something that grows in us as we mature as Christians. It relates to our knowledge of God’s saving grace but it should deepen over time. But Jesus has already said that our joy can be complete if we remain a part of the vine.
Read John 15v10-‐12. The fruit belongs to the healthy branches of the vine and it goes hand in hand with love and obedience. Just as the vine produces grapes which make wine to make us glad, so the Holy Spirit gives us his fruit to make us joyful. Q. So, what things can take away our joy? Worry, tiredness and ill-‐health; stress in our family or job; temptation in its different guises – all these things can rob us of our joy. But only if we let them!! If we stay in close contact with God (remain in the vine) our joy can never be taken away. We will still have that underlying contentment which arises from knowing that we are loved by God and covered by his grace. If our joy comes from earthly things then it can soon disappear, but if it comes from the work of the spirit it will always be with us. Q. Why do we need joy? Does it have a purpose? Read Luke 24v45 It was while the disciples were filled with joy that Jesus was able to open up the Scriptures to them. This is one reason why we begin our services with songs which lift our spirits. It prepares our hearts to hear the word of God in the sermon. If we merely came into church with all the stress and problems from the world we would not focus too well on what God wanted to say to us. But the songs remind us of the reason for our joy, and joy enables us to focus on the Lord. Q. How can we enjoy the fruit of joy? As we enjoy any fruit – by eating it! The onus is on us. We can remind ourselves daily of the joy of our salvation. We can feed ourselves with things that make us rejoice – Christian CDs, songs, passages from The Bible. And joy is like love. We can enjoy it by sharing it with others, but the supply never diminishes. Q. If love is related to sacrifice, what is joy related to? Read Isaiah 12v3 and 35v2,&10 Sacrifice was made complete by resurrection and new life. The early disciples were “bursting” with joy. Like the squirting cucumber plant in my garden their joy spurted forth to bear more seed. When we recapture the joy of our new birth in Christ it will surely bear fruit in others but will continue to give us wholeness and fullness in Him. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Peace Q. How do you define peace, what does peace mean to you? Q. What would you say is the opposite of peace; what things can take away our peace? There are three types of peace: o Personal peace o Interpersonal peace o International peace Personal Peace Peace in the Bible is related to the concept of Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, which denotes wholeness and well-‐being. Galatians 5v22 reminds us that peace is something which is given to us and which grows in us (as we stay part of the vine – already referred to in John chapter 15). So, personal peace is brought to us by the Holy Spirit as we stay connected to the Vine. But where did Peace originate? Read Genesis 14v18-‐20 Melchizedek was a type of Christ. His name, King of Salem meant King of Peace (Salem = Shalom = Peace). Jeru/salem means City of Peace. This passage in Genesis is prophetic, mentioning Jerusalem and the King of Peace (who is Jesus) before there was any concept of either. 3
King David also writes about this prophetically in the Psalms. Read Psalm 110v4 (This Psalm is all about Jesus) And then the writer to the Hebrews explains the prophetic meaning and reveals Jesus Christ as being the origin and Prince of Peace. Read Hebrews 7v1-‐3 So our peace originates in Jesus and depends on Jesus; and is given to us by the Holy Spirit. It is very hard to be at rest amidst the storms and turmoils of life if we only have our own resources to draw on. But Jesus is waiting and willing to give us HIS peace. Read John 14v27 Peace is dependent on faith in Christ (who is the Prince of Peace) and not on circumstances. Q. Like bottled fruit, which can be preserved and enjoyed over a long period, how can we preserve our peace? The answer is in Isaiah 26v3 Interpersonal Peace As Christians we are one body with responsibility towards each other and with the injunction to live at peace with one another. Read Ephesians 4v3. It is our responsibility to keep peace within our fellowship – it doesn’t just happen or grow as a fruit like personal peace. It should happen as a result of our personal peace (fruit) being shared, but we have a responsibility to do that. Fruit that stays on the tree gets over-‐ripe and goes rotten. It is there to be eaten and shared and enjoyed. Read 1 Peter 3v10-‐12 Peace within oneself is a by-‐product of being at peace with God and being at peace with those around us. Furthermore, the peace of God is not linked to our mental understanding because it does not come from ourselves. Read Philippians 4v7 International Peace Q. How can we, as Christians, have any impact on world peace and affairs? Read 1 Timothy 2v1-‐4. We can make a difference in the way that we support people in other counties. Instead of fighting we can provide and introduce peace-‐keeping troops. But, prayer is the main vehicle for change. In the second half of the twentieth century thousands of Christians were praying for Russia and China. There were no missionaries and there was hardly any written material available, but sustained, loving prayer broke down the barriers to such an extent that the world domination of communism was brought to nought – and without war. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers – they are God’s children!” (Matthew 5v9) “Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3v16) THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Patience/Forbearance Q. What is the meaning of forbearance? The Greek word is ‘makrothumia’. Some versions of the Bible translate this as patience, some as forbearance and some as longsuffering. The original meaning encapsulates all three, and it means a bit more than just simple patience. It is patience in the face of suffering and difficulty. It’s the kind of patience that helps us to tolerate the intolerable. The dictionary defines this word as a calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain and delay; a calm self-‐possessed waiting. And Biblical patience is linked to forgiveness. Read Matthew 18v21&22 4
We need patience when people constantly ‘bug’ us. Jesus teaches we should forgive and keep on forgiving. Forgiving others makes it easier for us to be patient with them. And forgiveness comes from a heart of love. Most parents continue to love their children even when their behaviour becomes intolerable (terrible twos, rebellious teenagers etc.) and this enables them to have patience. Q. Where does the fruit of patience/forbearance come from? Read Numbers 14v18a and Psalm 86v15 Patience and forbearance are a part of God’s nature. God’s love and compassion are the reason for his great patience with us and with all men and women. God always sees the ultimate goal – which is our salvation. Read 2 Peter 3v9. Our patience grows as we stay connected to the Vine, to the source of patience, and is given to us by the Holy Spirit. It should grow more in us the nearer we get to God. And patience is required in both the large and small issues of life. Can you think of a time when you needed supernatural patience to get through difficulties or problems? Patience is linked to Forgiveness. Read Job 42v10 Read Matthew 18v23-‐27 The servant owed the equivalent of millions of pounds – an absolutely unrepayable, unforgiveable amount. There was nothing he could do to put things right. But the master cancelled his debt. WHY? Q. How does this scenario illustrate God’s patience with us? Read Matthew 18v28-‐34 The second man only owed the first man about three months wages. It was a fair bit of money, but in time he could have repaid it. But the first man showed no patience, no concern for his family and certainly no compassion or forgiveness – even though the second man pleaded for patience (v 26). He was thrown into prison to be tortured. Q. What important lesson should we learn from this parable? (Read verse 35) If we have a deep appreciation of God’s love and patience towards us it should help us when we are dealing with other people. Like the first master in the parable we need to have empathy and understanding and forgiveness in our heart. Showing patience, bearing difficulties and enduring suffering are not easy things to do, but God’s Word says we should do it anyway. And to make it possible for us he is willing and waiting to give us the Fruit of Patience to help us. Q. How does the fruit of patience/longsuffering grow in us? The Bible has the answer: Proverbs 19v11 Ecclesiastes 7v8&9 Colossians 3v12-‐14 Romans 5v3 James 5v7-‐11 Everything that happens to us is part of God’s plan for our lives and God uses it to shape us and grow us to maturity, for his glory. 5
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT -‐ Kindness
(Older versions of the Bible may have the word “gentleness”, and it is in the sense of being a kind gentleman or gentlewoman. The meaning has changed over the years.) Q. What is your definition of kindness? We may think a kind person is someone who is friendly or amenable and easy to get on with, someone who naturally has a pleasing or gentle nature. But the Bible meaning is so much more than this. The Greek word for kindness means usefulness – the action of being kind and compassionate. Read 1 Corinthians 13v13 We only have one word for love. But it has lots of meanings and sometimes no meaning at all. In this verse in Corinthians love used to be translated as ‘charity’ – until that word had negative connotations in the minds of some. But charity is a more correct translation, because it is love in action -‐ it is the fruit of the Spirit called kindness. Q. Do you need to know and love someone before you can be kind to them? Being kind isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. There are many people suffering around the world from natural disasters or through war. We do not have to know or love them in order to have compassion and show kindness to them by giving. This links in to what Jesus said. Read Matthew 25v35-‐40 Q. Where does kindness as a fruit of the Spirit come from? Read Ephesians 4v32 Kindness should grow in us as we stay a part of the Vine. It is in the nature of God and he will grow it in us to make us more like him. In the Old Testament there are 22 references to the loving-‐kindness of the Lord. Psalm 63v3 says: Your loving-‐kindness is better than life. We can tap in this source because we are connected to the Vine. Read Luke 10v25-‐37 This story that Jesus told is perhaps the best and most well-‐known example of loving kindness in action – all the more so because the man who showed kindness was a despised Samaritan. Q. What motivated the Samaritan to act (v33)? Q. How did he show kindness to the injured man? How does this enlarge on our description of kindness? Kindness is having compassion; ministering to a person’s need; giving practical help; sometimes working hard or endangering ourselves; giving up something we may need; respecting the person we are helping; taking a responsibility; and sometimes, making a sacrifice. Read Matthew 5v38-‐42 Q. Plenty of people don’t bother. Why should we be kind? Read the following: Ephesians 4v32 Hebrews 13v2 Proverbs 25v21&22 Galatians 6v2 Jesus set us an example to follow: Read Matthew 20v34 & Luke 7v13 6
We can choose to be kind, and sometimes by doing nothing we are being unkind. To be like the Good Samaritan is very hard. But God gives us the grace as we need it and as we stay close to him. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Goodness Verse from “There is a Green Hill far Away”: He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good. He died that we might go to Heaven, saved by His precious blood.” Q. What is your definition of goodness? The fruit of goodness is something that incorporates the thought of being good and doing good; that is, both moral uprightness and making life better for others. Read Luke 6v27 What is surprising about this verse? Read Luke 6v28-‐42: These are the good things we are expected to do: v28&29 – pray for our enemies and give to them! v30&38 – give to all and in good measure v31 – do as you would be done by v35 – lend without thought of return v36&37 – be merciful and forgiving v41&42 – don’t be critical Read Luke 6v43-‐45 We are recognized by our fruit. What we say or do is an indication of what is in our heart. Can we really say we have love if we are not doing those things in verses 28-‐42? Can we really say we are good? Q. How do we separate out or distinguish our natural inclination to goodness and the fruit of goodness in our lives? When doing good is of ourselves it is often for our own benefit, that is, it makes us feel proud, it makes us feel better about ourselves. Consequently we might be referred to as “do-‐gooders” or “goodie goodies”. But when our goodness comes from the Holy Spirit it should glorify God and help to build his kingdom. Q. So, how can we be good? Even the apostle Paul had difficulty with this. Read Romans 7v18-‐20 But Paul provides an answer in Romans 12v9&21 One good person in a room can make a difference to the behavior of all. We have a choice. We can choose to do and say the right things and be the right example. At home we can choose to watch or not watch TV programmes etc. Read Philippians 4v8&9 We can feed from the excellent roots of the Vine we are growing on, or we can feed ourselves with unwholesome food which will not produce good fruit. Q. Why should we be good? Do we need to be good to get to Heaven? No – we are saved solely by trusting in the blood-‐bought sacrifice of Jesus. But Jesus said that goodness in us glorifies his Father in Heaven, and this should be our aim. Read Matthew 5v16 We are not saved by good works but our reward in Heaven will be proportionate to our good works. Read Proverbs 14v14 and 1 Corinthians 3v11-‐15 7
Q. Is goodness always nice? Take the example of an orange and an apple. Both are citrus fruits, both are good for you as they are packed with vitamin C. But it’s the one that is not so nice to taste that has double the amount of sugar, taste and vitamins. Goodness doesn’t always equate with niceness. It’s an action, not a feeling. God is inherently good, but he is also just. In the words of the hymn: “He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good.” God’s justice required payment for our sin ... and God made the payment himself. That is the definition of goodness. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Faithfulness Q. What does faithfulness mean to you? Faith is complete trust or confidence. Being faithful is being full of faith in someone. Faithfulness is the quality that demonstrates faith. Both faith and faithfulness are actions. So, when this fruit of faithfulness grows in our lives our trust in God will be deepened and it should influence the way we act toward others. Some commentators translate the Greek word for faithfulness as fidelity, which means being true to the original. For example a husband and wife can show fidelity in their marriage by being true to each other. And so we should be faithful to God in the same way that He is faithful to us. Therefore we need to look at God’s faithfulness to see its true meaning. Psalm 89 talks about God’s faithfulness 8 times. In this Psalm we see that God shows his faithfulness in different ways: • By showing his love forever (v1&2) • By establishing a Covenant with his people (v2-‐4) • By his constance in the heavens (v5-‐8) • By showing righteousness and justice (v14) • By giving us strength as we need it (v21-‐23) • By his eternal promise. Even if we sin he will not take his love and faithfulness from us (v32&33) Read Deuteronomy 7v9 and Isaiah 25v1 Both these verses describe God’s perfect faithfulness. This is the faithfulness he wants to grow in us, so that we might be more true to him and also more true to our friends and neighbours. Examples from the Bible: A perfect example of faithfulness in the Old Testament is Ruth. Read Ruth 1v11-‐18 Little did she know, but God had already chosen Ruth to become the great-‐grandmother of King David and he chose her because he saw in her the quality of faithfulness and devotion to Himself. The story of Ruth shows us that faithfulness means sticking with a person or a situation through thick and thin. And ultimately Ruth’s faithfulness was rewarded. Read Acts 11v22-‐26 Here we have a New Testament example of faithfulness. Barnabas was faithful without being foremost. He encouraged others to remain true to the Lord. He showed commitment to Paul and to God’s work and was the perfect example of how faithfulness is a fruit that must impact upon the lives of others. Paul commended many people in the Bible for their faithfulness: 8
Tychicus (Eph 6v21); Epaphras (Col 1v7); Onesimus (Col 4v9); Sylvanus (1 Peter 5v12); and Timothy (1 Cor 4v17). Why is faithfulness so important? Because God has given it to us and He wants us to do something with it, as Jesus explains in Matthew chapter 25. Read Matthew 25v14-‐18 God puts his faith in us, his servants (entrusts us, v14) to use what he has given us in order to multiply his kingdom. He gives differently to each person according to their ability. Read Matthew 25v19-‐25 Q. What were the first two servants praised for (see v21&23)? Jesus expects us to be productive and this is why Jesus called them faithful. They had believed in the master and invested in the future, knowing that he would return – just as, one day Jesus will return. Read Matthew 25v26-‐30 This harsh response comes as a surprise! The third servant’s sin of inactivity was equated with unfaithfulness – he didn’t even maintain the value of the gift he had, albeit small. Instead he dissociated himself from it by burying it. We should actively use that which God gives us or suffer the consequences. The point is – faithfulness must be an active thing. If we have faith we must use it or lose it! THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Gentleness Q. How is gentleness different from kindness and goodness? Gentleness is a character that is not easily provoked, does not desire revenge and is willing to submit to God’s will. It requires a humble, soft spirit. The dictionary tells me it is not rough, severe or drastic. Gentleness is most closely related to meekness. Again it is a characteristic of Jesus. Read Matthew 11v29 It is another of the fruits of his character that he wants to grow in us. Q. Why should gentleness be a fruit of the Spirit? Three examples of how the original Greek word for gentleness (praotes) was used (from W. Barclay): Matthew 21v5: Jesus showed both humility and power simultaneously James 1v21: Have a soft heart which can receive God’s truths 2 Cor 10v1: A gentle heart can help us be considerate even when we need to be tough. Q. How many people can you think of, in the Bible and amongst your acquaintances, who you would consider to be ‘gentle/meek’? Read Numbers 12v3; Matthew 11v29; 2 Corinthians 10v1; Ruth There are a lot of people in the Bible commended for their faith, but not so many for their meekness or gentleness! Q. What do you think gets in the way of us having this characteristic or fruit? The purpose of this fruit is to promote smooth fellowship amongst believers, and true love and support for one another. There may not be too many examples of the meek but there are many promises for those who seek this fruit. (N.B. meekness/gentleness may be translated as humility/humble in the N.I.V version) 9
Promises He guides the humble Psalm 25v9 He gives them a peaceful inheritance Psalm 37v11 Matthew 5v5 He makes them joyful Isaiah 29v19 He makes them wise James 3v17 Q. Is gentleness a passive characteristic or an active one? The Bible makes it quite clear that humility/gentleness is an action that is required of us, and that we should pursue it! Zephaniah 2v3: Seek the lord Ephesians 4v2&3: Make every effort! Colossians 3v12: Put on gentleness 1 Timothy 6v11: Fight – with gentleness. Titus 3v2: Be gentle towards everyone... 2 Tim 2v24,25: ... even your opponents! The ultimate act of meekness/gentleness was when our Lord Jesus Christ humbly submitted himself to the Cross, even though he had the power to escape. Gentleness comes from submission and is shown in submission and has power in submission. The gentleness of Jesus is the fruit that the Holy Spirit wants to grow in our lives. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: Self-‐Control Definitions: mastering desire; self-‐restraint; moderation; temperance. In the Old Testament, under the Law, there are few references (if any) to self-‐control. This is because your actions were controlled by the Law rather than by yourself. As Christians our actions should be guided by love, not by law. The onus is not on us to blindly obey the law, but to show temperance and moderation and self-‐control – because we want to be more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us achieve this. In living spirit led moderate lives we are keeping the spirit of the Law if not keeping to the letter of the Law. But it isn’t easy, because it requires self– discipline and self-‐control. Read: 2 Peter 1v5-‐9; 1 Corinthians 9v25-‐27; Titus 1v7,8 Notice the word used is temperance (or self-‐control) and not abstinence. Temperance or moderation is actually a lot harder than abstinence – it requires self-‐discipline. Consequently this is why some people opt for abstinence. Q. Who is the stronger person: the one who abstains, for example, from drink and luxury or the one who partakes occasionally? Q. So, what is it that prevents us from moderation? Paul said it’s the weaker Christian who abstains and the strong person who is able to take everything in moderation. Temptation is the thing which stops us from being temperate or self-‐controlled! It’s all about us regulating our actions. Read Romans 14v1-‐4; 1 Corinthians 10v12-‐13
In many ways the Law is our enemy. If we follow the Law to the letter and are proud of the fact, then we are guilty of the sin of pride. That was part of the Pharisees’ problem. The Law of Christ requires us to be motivated by His love as the Holy Spirit grows the fruit in our lives. Self-‐control is very difficult to cultivate in our lives because it targets our weak spot which could be any number of things, and different for each individual (e.g. food, alcohol, sex, greed, covetousness, laziness, our temper, our pride, etc.). In the natural world, to grow fruit trees successfully it is necessary to provide the right climate – not too hot and dry, not to cold and wet. The vast majority of fruit is grown in temperate (moderate) climates. If we can control the climate the fruit will grow. Q. So, how can we live a self-‐controlled lifestyle? What factors affect the climate we are in? TO SUMMARIZE: Read Galatians 5v22-‐26 We are reminded that when we trusted in Christ for salvation we “crucified the flesh”. In other words we said goodbye to our old nature including its passions and desires. And our new nature began a walk which is in tune with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit grows Christ’s nature in us – this is known as the fruit of the Spirit. Verse 23 says, “against such there is no law”. What does this mean? We can obey the law but still not experience the fruit of the Spirit. Conversely, if we have the fruit of the Spirit, we will obey the law anyway; but we won’t be bound by the law. Paul encourages us to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit; and that way we will keep to the spirit of the Law of Christ (Gal 6v2) rather than being bound by the letter of the Law of Moses. In other words, we can walk in liberty! So, the nine-‐fold fruit of the spirit • Grows Christ’s character in us • Frees us from the Law of Moses • Helps us to live in unity with each other • Helps us to bring glory to God
Published on Jan 27, 2014
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