Fruit of the Spirit (Part 3)
Gal. 5: 22-23
This is the last part of our lesson. The “Fruit of the Spirit” is not produced by the efforts of the flesh and they have nothing to do with the abilities of the natural man. The natural man can do nothing to please God. All the flesh can produce is wickedness.
This fruit however, is the outworking of the indwelling Holy Spirit as He reigns in the believer’s life. Fruit is an outward manifestation of inward life.
I. Faith –
A. The word here may be used in the sense of fidelity, and may denote that the Christian will be a faithful man–a man faithful to his word and promises; a man who can be trusted or confided in. It is probable that the word is used in this sense because the object of the apostle is not to speak of the feelings which we have towards God, so much as to illustrate the influences of the Spirit in directing and controlling our feelings towards men. True religion makes a man faithful. The Christian is faithful as a man; faithful as a neighbour, friend, father, husband, son. He is faithful to his contracts; faithful to his promises. No man can be a Christian who is not thus faithful; and all pretensions to being under the influences of the Spirit, when such fidelity does not exist, are deceitful and vain. (Barnes)
B. Faith is the virtue that takes God at His Word. It is a God said it and that settles it faith. Faith does not question God. There are no other grounds upon which to approach God. There is no other avenue by which to live the Christian life. It is all of faith and nothing else. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him. (Heb. 11:6) God never requires that we understand His plan and purposes, just that we obey him. We need no explanations. For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7) The Bible declares, The just shall live by faith. (Gal. 3:11)
This is another word that requires action. It is faith that produces faithfulness. Faith is often tried, but true faith endures regardless of the circumstances. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (Jas. 1:3) The trials and tribulations of this world do not stop the faithful. So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure. (2 Thess. 1:4) The Thessalonian believers had suffered a great deal of persecution for their faith. However, they had faithfully endured the persecution and remained true to God. Jesus said, be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Rev. 2:10) Faith asks no questions, requires no explanations, and fears no consequences—it simply believes and obeys. Faith is not only believing
regardless of evidence; it is obeying regardless of consequences. (Expository Pulpit Series – Galatians: Liberated for Living.)
Illustration 1: Stalled Engine
There is no situation I can get into that God cannot get me out. Some years ago, when I was learning to fly, my instructor told me to put the plane into a steep and extended dive. I was totally unprepared for what was about to happen. After a brief time, the engine stalled, and the plane began to plunge out-of-control. It soon became evident that the instructor was not going to help me at all. After a few seconds, which seemed like eternity, my mind began to function again. I quickly
corrected the situation. Immediately I turned to the instructor and began to vent my fearful frustrations on him. He very calmly said to me, “There is no position you can get this airplane into that I cannot get you out of. If you want to learn to fly, go up there and do it again.” At that moment God seemed to be saying to me, “Remember this. As you serve Me, there is no situation you can get yourself into that I cannot get you out of. If you trust me, you will be all right.” That lesson has been proven true in my ministry many times over the years.
James Brown, Evangeline Baptist Church, Wildsville, LA, in Discoveries, Fall, 1991, Vol. 2, No. 4.
A. Meekness is a word that basically means “mild, gentle, or softness of temper.” Meekness is not weakness or a lack of power. Rather, it is power under control. An ox has tremendous power, but in the yoke is under control and able to be turned in any direction by the will of its master. Jesus is the perfect example of meekness. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29) Meekness is also a requirement for reaching people. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25) It is a requirement for restoring the fallen. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1) Meekness results in the character to control and discipline our self.
Illustration 2: The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
Men cannot understand how meekness is going to inherit the earth. Men believe in physical strength. They believe in arms and armies. They believe in craft and cunning. They believe in energy, will, and perseverance. They believe in things. They believe in matter. They believe in influencing their fellowmen, working upon them by threats, by pain, by fear. There are few men who believe that a humble man is being used in the strongest possible manner. They cannot credit that his humility shows that he is governed by his highest nature. They cannot conceive that an attitude of meekness is in perfect accord with the divine nature, which is dwelling in that meek one as a result of his new birth in Christ. In saying that the meek shall inherit the earth, our Lord declares this is the potential accomplishment of the man who is indwelt by Christ, by the Spirit of God within man.
Bible Illustrations – Illustrations of Bible Truths.
A. Temperance. The Greek word used here is engkrateia which means, properly, self-control, continence. It is derived from Greek word which means, strength; and has reference to the power or ascendancy which we have over exciting and evil passions of all kinds. It denotes the self-rule which a man has over the evil tendencies of his nature.
B. The word temperance we use now is in a much more limited sense, as referring mainly to abstinence from intoxicating drinks. But the word here used includes the dominion over all evil inclinations; and may denote continence, chastity, self-government, moderation in regard to everything, as well as abstinence from intoxicating drinks. The logic here is, that the influences of the Holy Spirit on the heart make a man moderate in all; teach him to restrain his passions, and to
govern himself; to control his evil propensities, and to subdue all inordinate affection. The Christian will not only abstain from intoxicating drinks, but from all exciting passions; he will be temperate in his manner of living, and in the government of his . This may be applied to temperance properly so called with us; but it should not be limited to that. A Christian must be a temperate man;
Illustration 3: Charrington Gave Up Six Million Dollars
There died at the age of eighty-five a man who was well-known in London and throughout Great Britain as an apostle of temperance, partly because he gave up a fortune of six million dollars for conscience’ sake and for the sake of his fellow man. Frederick N. Charrington was out one evening making a night of it with a group of friends. Strolling down one of London’s most notorious streets, a woman, ragged and pale, reeled out, her frail frame convulsed with sobs. She was clinging to a ruffian who was trying to shake her loose. “For God’s sake,” she cried, “give me a copper. I’m hungry, and the children are starving.” But the man clenched his fist and struck her to the ground. Young Charrington and his friends rushed in to intervene and protect the woman. After the police had taken the couple away, he happened to glance up at the illuminated sign over the saloon door,
and there he read in letters of gold his own name—”Drink Charrington beer.” “The message,” afterward wrote this young man, “came to me then as it had come to the Apostle Paul. Here was the source of my family wealth. Then and there I raised my hands to heaven, that not another penny of that tainted money should come to me, and that henceforth I would devote my life to fighting the drink traffic.” C. E. Macartney
The “Fruit of the Spirit” which we have just finished studying is holy, just, good and spiritual. If we practice or live it out, as the scriptures have said, “against such there is no law.” It is my prayer that we all will be able to manifest in our lives the Fruit of the Spirit