Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

Christian character:

      Christian character is more than mere moral or legal correctness, but possession of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, manifested in our lives. The nine fold expressions of the fruit of the Spirit can be divided into groups of three, each representing an aspect of our character. Love, joy and peace are inward qualities of the Christian. Longsuffering, gentleness and goodness express our fruit toward our fellow man. Faith, meekness and temperance as character qualities toward God, all representing the moral portrait of Christ. Taken together they present the explanation of Paul in (Gal 2:20)  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

      Exemplifying this nine-fold expression of fruit of the Spirit is possible only as Jesus outlined in Jn 15:1-8; and can be exhibited only when three criteria are followed.

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Hereby know

1 John 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

 

John’s word use:

     John uses the phrase “hereby know” eight times in his first epistle. The phrase means by this we understand, perceive or know and is the opposite of many belief systems that strand the follower in doubt and uncertainty. John emphasizes that we can know and do know by the way he uses this phrase in this epistle.

 

His eight uses of it:

      1 Jn 2:3 – John says we can know that we do actually know God by our lifestyle. To keep His commands is to attend to carefully; to under go something. The word “submit” relates to that; as part of the definition – to submit under. We live our daily life closely in subjection to God’s commands.

      1 Jn 2:5 – Here John equates attending to carefully; undergoing something to God’s entire word -- logos (portions of God’s word are recorded as rhemas), but logos means the entire word of God. David said that God’s entire word is a lamp unto his feet and

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Honoring God's word 2

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
 
Jots and tittles:
Paul taught that all Scripture is “God breathed” and reliable and profitable. Jesus taught that even the smallest Scripture (portions of letters, words and phrases) are also inspired. In numerous portions of Scripture the teaching rests on a seemingly insignificant component of the word or phrase.
For example: Paul used a differing tense of a verb to speak to the Galatians about their relationship with God Gal 4:9. Jesus used a past tense and present tense together to declare His deity Jn 8:58. Paul also used the singular to proclaim Christ Gal 3:16; Gen 22:17-18. Similarly, Jesus used present tense to correct the error of the Scribes concerning the state of those who die in the Lord Matt 22:32.
Jesus reprimanded two disciples after His resurrection because they did not believe all Scripture pertaining to Him Lu 24:25, 27. The Psalmist said (Psa 119:89)”For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” They are the words of God and they can never be broken or
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Easter is proof

(Rom 1:1-4)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, {2} (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) {3} Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

 

      People around the world will celebrate Easter is various ways. Some will color eggs and hide them for children; others will give candy to others (especially children) others will fast something during the days preceding Easter (Lent) and many will attend some type of religious service (for many it will be one of only two times they attend a church service). But in all these things will people really see or understand the significance of the resurrection.

      Jesus resurrected from the dead and He alone experienced a resurrection. There were others that experienced being raised to life by Jesus, but each one had to die again later. Jesus arose never to die again and has a glorified body and is seated at

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Honoring God's word - 1

Deuteronomy 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

It is truly God’s Word:

            Various Scriptures declare that the Bible is authored by God – Moses wrote what God told him to say and wrote to the people (Lev 1:1). Jeremiah spoke and wrote what God told him (Jer 1:4). John wrote what he was instructed to write as given to him from the resurrected Lord (Rev 1:1). Paul wrote that all Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Tim 3:16). Paul also told the Thessalonian believers that they were receiving and believing the very word of God (1 Thes 2:13). If we try to say that portions of the Bible are untrue or myths, then we have to say the whole is that way, because it is declared to be wholly given by inspiration – God-breathed.

 

            Warning about the Word of God:

                        God gives us four such warning about tampering with His word.

            Deut 4:2

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In God's gymnasium

 

 Hebrews 12:5-11  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

 

Sanctifying grace

      Jesus prayed for us to be sanctified – He said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth”. God uses His word to sanctify us and

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God who provides

Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

God’s provision for believers

          God provides for us far more than just our physical needs – although He does that also. These are seen in the seven titles given to Him in the NT.

 

The God of love

     We need love and so does the world just as the pop song said. One of the nine-fold products of the abiding Holy Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). We all need to be loved and that is the famous verse’s statement that God so loved. But more than that we need love within us in order to show God’s love to others who are also seeking to be loved (Ro 5:5). God’s love imparted to us by the Holy Spirit enables us to love the unlovely.

 

The God of all grace

      We are saved by grace thru faith; but we are also to grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18). God’s grace is freely given to us (Jn 1:16)

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God hardened hearts

Joshua 11:20  For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 

Complaints against God

          One of the most bitter complaints against God by critics opposed to the Bible is its portrayal of the severity of God, especially in His command to Moses to destroy all the Canaanites (Deut 7:2; 20:16-17). This seems even more severe upon reading of our text from Joshua 11:20 that God Himself hardened the hearts of the Canaanites against Israel so that they would come boldly to destroy Israel and Joshua would then destroy them.

 

False concepts of God

     The notion that God is merely a kindly grandfather figure is a self-serving figment of man’s sinful imagination. The attributes of God are innumerable but man tries to focus upon the kindness and mercy of God above all others so that man too often is emboldened in their sinful ways. If we take one attribute and place it above all others we get out of balance with proper

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Fruit of love -- the test

1 John 3:11-18 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.   Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

 

Love and hate

     The old song says, “Everybody loves somebody sometime.” And if that is true and the meaning of love in that context

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Fruitless trees and fruitless lives

Mark 11:12-14  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

 

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

      Mark tells us clearly that the time of figs was not yet – it was not the season of figs. Many look at this as a fit of petty anger on Jesus’ part even after He has instructed His disciples concerning quarreling and so on. Jesus has just entered Jerusalem the day before and allowed the people to proclaim Him as Son of David (Lu 19:39-40), He goes to the temple and looks around. After this He goes to Bethany and resides there for the night (probably with Lazarus, Mary and Martha). The next day He goes back into Jerusalem and upon this occasion sees the fig tree with leaves but finds no figs

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The fruit of love

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

What is love?

      The word used in the NT is agapao and means “to love dearly, fond of, to welcome”. The Hebrew word is ‘ahab and carries the whole swing of love, affections and desires. (Deut 6:5). It carries all these meaning because the command is love God with all our being – even our emotions and feelings.

      The Bible gives more what love does than the emotional side of love. When it speaks of individuals loving another then the emotions and feelings are also involved. When God speaks of loving our enemy it speaks of our treatment of them – feed, give water, help them in a bad situation.

      The “Love chapter” is originally translated charity because that word carries the idea of action over feeling. In this chapter Paul tells us what love is and what it is not by telling what it does and what it does not.

      Love suffers long – long spirited; doesn’t lose heart; perseveres patiently, bravely, enduring misfortunes and troubles; patient in

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Four cosmos

2 Peter 3:13   Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

The cosmos 

 The word cosmos is most often translated world, but not every time that the word world appears does it come from the word cosmos. Many times the word used for world is aion and carries the idea of period of time. However cosmos means: 1 an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government. 2 ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1 Pet. 3:3. 3 the world, the universe. 4 the circle of the earth, the earth. 5 the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race. 6 the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ. 7 world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly.

      Our word cosmology and other related words come from this word, which always carries the idea of outward adorning and not true substance. Now, when we talk about cosmos in the context of our study, we are meaning all things – every system, every structure, every organism, every

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Four "Bs" of Christian awareness

 2 Peter 3:1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

 

BE mindful:

     Peter tells the Christians he is writing to that they should stir up their pure minds by way of remembering. One thing they are to remember is what God has said through the prophets of the Old Testament as well as the Apostles of the New Testament (2 Pet 3:1-2). God's word is of utmost importance for us today. In the days when Peter wrote they only had the Old Testament Scriptures and the spoken words of the Apostles and their letters to the Christians. Today, we have both recorded for us in the Bible. It is very important and we need to remember and take heed to it. Solomon tells about those who despise God' word (Prov. 13:13). A person's attitude toward the word determines God's attitude toward that person. When Adam and Eve despised God's commandment they brought sin and death into the world. The Hebrew word despise is from a root meaning "not to respect" and is very similar to the word meaning

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Forty days

Ten different forty days:
There are ten forty day periods mentioned in Scripture. Looking at them, we sense that forty days is a time of testing or sorrow. One period is not necessarily a time of testing or sorrow but of joy accompanied by instruction and testing. Those forty day periods are: length of flood (Gen 7:17); sending forth of birds from ark (Gen. 8:6); Israel’s (Jacob) embalming and mourning (Gen 50:2,3): Moses on the Mount (Ex 24:18); spies in Canaan (Num 13:25); defiance of the Philistines (1 Sam 17:16); Elijah’s journey to Horeb (1 Ki 19:18);; Jonah’s preaching (Jonah 3:4); Christ’s temptation (Lu 4:1,2); Christ’s post resurrection ministry (Acts 1:3). Moses was in the mount two times to receive the law so you could say there are eleven forty day times of testing.
 
Different types of testing:
Each period had its own particular type of testing – either for the individual or for others associated with that person.
The flood brought destruction and judgment upon the earth and its wickedness. The testing would have been for Noah and
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Forgiveness

Hebrews 10:16-17 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; {17} And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
 
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the release of debt or penalty of the debt; release from bondage; letting go as if never committed. When we are forgiven, God releases us from the penalty of the sin that has brought us into criminal status with Him. The sentence of death upon us is placed upon Christ Who died for us in our place (Gal 3:13; Col 1:14; Matt 26:28).
When we forgive another we do basically the same as God did for us. We release them from bondage to us and in most cases letting go of our part of the consequences. In cases involving extensive offense of the law of society, we only release our part. We are not able to pardon their guilty standing before the law. We send their offense away (Jn 20:23).
Forgiveness on our part is really something that is beneficial to and for us more
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Feeding on truth or wind

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
God will feed us:
Jesus taught that those who seek God’s kingdom and righteousness shall be fed (Matt 6:32-33). He fed Israel in the wilderness with manna and quail and He has promised to feed us as well (Psa 33:18-19; 34:9-10). We are more important than sparrows and lilies, so we may depend upon God’s care of us.
However, in this verse the Psalmist is not speaking of physical food but spiritual. The Hebrew word verily means “truth”, so that the verse can be read, “. . . on truth thou shalt be fed.” The spiritual life of the one who trusts in Christ will be fed and sustained by truth.
Some feed on wind:
The unbeliever feeds on that which is not true (Isa 44:10, 20); even foolishness (Prov 15:14). Those who trust in human deliverance will be like Israel depending upon Egypt and Assyria (Hos 12:1). God will feed false prophets accordingly -- Jeremiah 23:15 “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink
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God knows the way

(Job 23:10) But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
As we enter another year of life we wonder “what does it hold for us?” We make plans and try to prepare for upcoming events and also to allow for the “unexpected”. But as we have found this last year and years prior to that one, things do not always go the way we want and the “unexpected” can knock us completely off coarse for a little while or even change our life radically.
Job experienced the epitome of the “unexpected” and suffering. No one has suffered the way Job did during his days of trial. Oh, some may say they have, but I seriously doubt any have. In one day Job lost all his wealth and all his children, yet he retained his integrity and faith in God. Later he lost his health and sat upon an ash heap (probably a place for the diseased outside the city) and in his loneliness he scrapped his sores with a broken piece of pottery. He was probably forced to live outside the home because of his diseased body and his
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S star, a cross and an crown

Star – The star that led the wise men to where Jesus was has been the source of some people’s discussion and investigation. Was it a real star? Was it an angel? On and on some discussions go, but sometimes we focus so much on portions of the event we miss the true importance. Jesus is the focus and not the star. The wise men knew this and that is why when they arrived where Jesus was, they forgot about the star and worshipped Him and presented gifts to Him. Jesus is the reason for the season

Cross – We rejoice at the birth of family members and we speak of new life and the plans and purposes of this new person. But if you think about it we all begin to die the moment we are born. We grow, mature and go on through life heading toward that ultimate and unavoidable time of death. Jesus was born particularly to die – for the sin of mankind. He lived His life in the shadow of the cross. Even in His birth we see it. He was wrapped in “swaddling clothes””. These were strips of cloth used for wrapping the bodies

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Faith and works

James 2:22-24 {Jas 22}  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? {23}  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. {24}  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 

One passage, two apostles:

      Paul and James both used Gen 15:6 for their defense of faith without works and faith with works. Both deal with justification and both are in agreement with each other, but on the surface they appear to be opposite. James appeals to Abraham’s willingness and actions in offering his son, Isaac, to God. Although the one passage is removed from each other by several chapters and a number of years, yet they go together in showing works and faith.

      Paul uses Gen 15:6 in Gal 3:6 and Ro4:22 to show that we are not justified by works. Paul says that it is only through faith that we are justified before God (Ro 5:1). Were James and Paul at odds in their teachings?

 

Scripture fulfilled:

      James speaks

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Exhorting one another

Hebrews 3:13   But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

 

Exhorting:

      The Greek word in our text is para-kaleo and means: “comfort, beseech, call to one’s side, admonish, console, encourage, strengthen”, etc and literally “come along side”. Two examples of the word used by Paul are: 2 Cor 1:4; Phil 10.

      In the noun form, Jesus used it in Jn 15:26 of the Holy Spirit that He would send to us after His departure back to heaven. It has a variety of use and applications for us. The emphasis in this passage is that we are to exhort one another. In Heb 10:25 the writer tells us that this encouraging is to be accomplished by us when we join together in fellowship, worship or Bible study. Elsewhere when the word is used in Scripture, it is in relation to remaining true to the Lord or holding unto our faith (Acts 11:23; 1 Thes 2:11-12).

      It is the duty of all believers to exhort, but it is especially the duty of ministers to exhort (2 Tim 4:2).

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