April 30, 2017 – Fruit and Flesh Part 2

Works of Flesh vs. Fruit of Spirit – Week 2

Galatians 5:1, 16-26

Introduction

: Last week: Works of the Flesh

Romans 7:14-25

Only one side of the coin!

But…….The Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit – Visible Growth in Jesus Christ


“Fruit of the Spirit” is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life. Using the King James Version of 

Galatians 5:22-23

, these attributes are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We learn from scripture that these are not individual “fruits” from which we pick and choose. Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one nine-fold “fruit” that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ.

Fruit of the Spirit – The Nine Biblical Attributes


The fruit of the Spirit is a physical manifestation of a Christian’s transformed life. In order to mature as believers, we should study and understand the attributes of the nine-fold fruit:


1. Love


 –

agape

= love, good-will, affection, benevolence

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him”

(

1 John 4:16

).

Through Jesus Christ, our greatest goal is to do all things in love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”

(

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

).


2.




Joy


 –

chara

(khar-ah) joy, gladness.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”

(

Nehemiah 8:10

).

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”

(

Hebrews 12:2

).


3.




Peace


 –

Eirene

{i-ray-nay} exemption from rage and havoc. Harmony, security, safety, felicity and prosperity.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

(

Romans 5:1

).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

(

Romans 15:13

).


4.




Longsuffering


 /


Patience


)

makrothumia

{mak-roth-oo-mee-ah} = endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance.

“We are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”

(

Colossians 1:11

).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”

(

Ephesians 4:2

).


5.




Gentleness


 /


kindness



chrestotes

{khray-stot-ace}- kindness, moral goodness, integrity

We should live “in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left”

(

2 Corinthians 6:6-7

).


6.




Goodness


 –


agathosune


{ag-ath-o-soo-nay} – uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power”

(

2 Thessalonians 1:11

).

“For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth”

(

Ephesians 5:9

).


7.




Faith



 


/

Faithfulness


– conviction of truth, fidelity, character that can be counted on.

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth”

(

Isaiah 25:1

).

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”

(

Ephesians 3:16-17

).


8.




Meekness


 –


praotes


{pra-ot’-ace}gentleness, mildness, meekness

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted”

(

Galatians 6:1

).

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”

(

Ephesians 4:2

).

9.



Temperance


 /


Self-control



egkrateia


{eng-krat-i-ah}

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love”

(

2 Peter 1:5-7

).

—————————————————————-

Producing Fruit

John 15:1-8

How, then, does the Holy Spirit work in our lives to produce the fruit of a Christ-life character? Allow me to highlight at least five ways.

For example, I knew a woman who was a faithful reader of the Word, and her life evidenced it by the fruit she was bearing. But for some reason she neglected her study of the Word for three or four days, and she began to be irritable and impatient. Her little 4-year-old daughter observed her mother’s reactions for a day and then said to her, “Mother, why don’t you get into the Word?” That 4-year-old understood this principle of abiding in the Word better than most of us. As we learn to abide in the true Vine, His life flows into us, producing the fruit of the Spirit to the Father’s glory and to the blessing of others.

As we read and meditate on the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit can convince us of sin that needs to be purged and can direct us to God’s standard of holiness and righteousness for our lives. Apart from applying the Word of God, there can be no lasting spiritual growth and no fruit-bearing in our lives.

The secret to abiding in Christ is to believe in our spirits, obey in our souls and yield our flesh to the power of the Holy Spirit. This abiding obedience involves every aspect of our person. Obedience brings maturity and develops the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

Leaves and foliage can be very beautiful. In the spring I can look out in the yard and the trees are verdant, luscious and lively. However, it is only by pruning that such foliage continues to flourish. The primary purpose of pruning a branch is to remove the wood that produced fruit in the last season in order to force the vine to grow new wood that will produce new fruit in this new season. God does not perpetuate the old; He prunes to force new growth.

If we have experienced some pruning in our lives, it is not because God is mad at us or that there is necessarily sin in our lives. It is that the Father is pleased we are bearing fruit, and He knows that to increase the quality and quantity of that fruit, we need to be pruned.




Abiding in the Vine

If abiding is the primary condition God sets before us to bear the fruit of the Spirit, then why do we seek to be fruitful in other ways? Why is it that the simplicity of God’s way is always the way that seems so difficult for the flesh? It is, according to the Scriptures, because our spirits and our flesh are at war. Our flesh opposes the desire of the Holy Spirit to make us holy because it does not want to die.

Yet as we cultivate a fruitful relationship in Christ by spending time reading and meditating on God’s Word and in prayer, the Holy Spirit continually reveals truth to us. Then, as we walk in obedience to that truth instead of obeying our fleshly desires, the Holy Spirit transforms us and we begin to bring forth His fruit by the power of the Spirit.

Every believer must have an unbroken relationship with Christ sustained by obedience. In unwavering faith in what Christ has done, we must acknowledge Him as the Vine and His Father as the “Husbandman,” the divine Pruner.

God has preordained, foreordained and predestined us to bear fruit. As we consciously and continuously fellowship—abide—with our Lord, we will become fruit-bearing trees. Let us therefore be diligent to yield to the Holy Spirit, obey His commands and walk in His will so we may be fruitful.

Conclusion

:

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