The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 1)
We have just finished the “Works of the Flesh”. This is in opposite of what we are going to discuss today. The “Fruit of the Spirit” is the outcome of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and our total surrender to Him. Though there are nine of them it is written as singular which signifies the oneness of the fruit. It is not complete until all nine are present. The believer or the Christian is not complete until he shows all of them on how he lives. Let’s take a look at it one by one.
A. The Greek N.T. uses three words for love.
1. The Greek word most frequently translated love is “Agapao”, referring particularly to a giving, sacrificial love, as God’s love for man (Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:10). It “indicates a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in anything” (Zodhiates). This is the kind of love Christians are to have toward God (Mt . 22:37), toward other Christians (Jn. 13:34), and toward all men (Gal. 5:14).
2. Another common word for love is ”Phileo” , referring more to an affection and friendship. It is translated “kiss” in Mt. 26:48; Mk. 14:44; and Lk. 22:47. Phileo is used to describe Jesus’ love for Lazarus (Jn. 11:3) and John (Jn. 20:2). Phileo is from the same Greek root as the word translated “friendship” (Jn. 15:13-15). Agapao and never phileo is used of love toward our enemies (Mt. 5:44) (Zodhiates). In Jn. 21:15-17 the Lord Jesus uses both agapao and phileo when
He inquires about Peter’s love for Him. The first two times, He asks Peter, “lovest [agapao] thou me?” (v. 15-16), and Peter replies, “I love [phileo] thee.” The third time Christ uses phileo and Peter replies with phileo (v. 17).
3. The Greek word: Thelo”, referring particularly to the will and desire, is translated love in Mk. 12:38.
B. Seven Bible Facts about Love:
1. Love is God’s nature (1 Jn. 4:8,16).
2. Godly love is giving, sacrificial love (Jn. 3:16; 1Jn. 4:9; 3:16-17).
3. Love is the greatest thing (1 Cor. 13:13).
4. Love is an evidence of being Christ’s disciple (Jn. 13:35).
5. Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
6. Love is the first thing the Apostle mentioned concerning Christian living (Eph. 4:1-6).
7. True Christian love cannot be separated from truth and holiness and obedience (Phil. 1:9; 1 Jn. 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:1-13; 3 Jn. 1:1-4).
Illustration 1: The Importance of Love
God’s benevolent concern for humankind. All religions have some idea of the importance of love. Christian theology stresses the importance of love because God has revealed that he is love (1 John 4:8, 16). Love is both what God is and what he has done; God always acts in love.
Love is a transitive reality—that is, it requires an object. In the Bible, love is described as personal (between persons) and selfless (desiring the best for others). Christians see God’s love in sending his Son to die on the cross to save sinners (Rom. 5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10). Christians are to be known by the fact that they love God and others (John (13:34-35). Their love is not to be like the love the world has (Lk. 6:32, 35). Love is best seen in actions and in most cases is to be identified with what we do—in our compassion and commitment to those around us, regardless of the object’s virtue (1 Jn. 4:19). Our loving attitudes and behavior are to reflect God’s love. Jesus said that only two commands are needed to govern our lives: love of God and love of neighbor. If such love is demonstrated, all the law and prophets are fulfilled.
The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, Walter A. Elwell, Editor, (Harold Shaw Publ., Wheaton , IL; 1984), p. 353
A. In Greek is “chara” which means cheerfulness, gladness, calm delight.
B. Joy is an inner contentment produced by God that is not dependent upon external circumstances. Joy and happiness are not necessarily one and the same.
1. Joy in Jesus: — Three hundred years ago, a martyr was burned for his religion in the city of Rome. He must have felt the truth of the words just quoted; for the last letter that he wrote to his friends, just before his death, he dated, not from prison, but “from the most delightful pleasure-garden.” In that letter he wrote thus: “Who will believe that which I now state? In a dark hole, I have found cheerfulness; in a place of bitterness and death, I have found rest, and the hope of salvation. Where others weep, I have found laughter; where others fear, I have found strength. Who will believe that in a state of misery I have had great pleasure; that in a lonely corner I have had glorious company, and in the hardest bonds, perfect repose? All these things Jesus, my Saviour, has granted me. He is with me; He comforts me; He fills me with joy; He drives bitterness from me, and gives me strength and consolation.” (Dr. Newton.)
2. Christians a joyful people: — There is a room in Rome that is filled with the busts of the emperors. I have looked at their heads; they look like a collection of prizefighters and murderers. Brutal passions and cruel thoughts deprived the lords of Rome of all chance of joy. Turn now to the poor hunted Christians, and read the inscriptions left by them in the catacombs; they are so calm and peaceful that they say instinctively, “A joyous people were went to gather here.” (C.H. Spurgeon.)
3. Benefits of joy: — “Why should Christians be such a happy people? Why, it is good in all ways. It is good for our God; it gives Him honour among the sons of men when we are glad. It is good for us; it makes us strong. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” It is good for the ungodly; for when they see Christians glad, they long to be believers themselves. It is good for our fellow Christians; it comforts them and tends to cheer them. Whereas, if we look gloomy we shall spread the disease, and others will be wretched and gloomy too. For all these reasons, and for many more that can be given, it is a good and pleasant thing that a believer should delight himself in God. (C.H. Spurgeon.)
Illustration 2: Pursuit for Joy
Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
1. Not in Unbelief — Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
2. Not in Pleasure — Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”
3. Not in Money — Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
4. Not in Position and Fame — Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”
5. Not in Military Glory — Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”
6. Where then is real joy found? — the answer is simple, in Christ alone.
The Bible Friend, Turning Point, May, 1993
A. Webster define peace as:
1. In a general sense, a state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; applicable to society, to individuals, or to the temper of the mind.
2. Freedom from war with a foreign nation; public quiet.
3. Freedom from internal commotion or civil war.
4. Freedom from private quarrels, suits or disturbance.
5. Freedom from agitation or disturbance by the passions, as from fear, terror, anger, anxiety or the like; quietness of mind; tranquillity; calmness; quiet of conscience.
6. Peace in Hebrew language is “Shalom”
B. There are two kinds of peace in salvation-peace with God and the peace of God.
1. Peace with God is received through faith in Christ’s blood. It is a product of justification (Rom. 5:1). The Bible teaches that all men are self-willed rebels by nature since the fall of Adam. Men are at war with God because of their refusal to love and serve Him only (Lk. 19:14). Jesus Christ came to earth and made peace by His blood (Col. 1:20) so men could be brought near to God. This is the message of peace now to be preached to every person and nation in the world (Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:15; Eph. 2:17). Men do not make peace with God concerning their sin. God has made peace through His Son, Jesus Christ, and it is up to men to receive, ignore, or reject the peace God is offering. Those who receive Jesus Christ enjoy peace with God.
2. The peace of God is that comfort and encouragement and tranquillity of mind heart which He gives obedient saints (Col. 3:15). Jesus gives peace and comfort to His followers as they faithfully serve Him (Jn. 14:27; 16:33). The believer enjoys this peace only as he casts his care upon God in prayer (Ph. 4:6- 7). Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and is enjoyed by believers who allow the Spirit of God to rule their lives (Col. 3:15). Peace comes to a person’s
heart when he meditates upon God’s love and protection (Isa. 26:12).
Illustration 3: Statistics
A former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India have come up with some startling information: Since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed would pay for a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick.
Since 650 B.C. there have also been 1656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved.
In 1555, Nicholas Ridley was burned at the stake because of his witness for Christ. On the night before Ridley’s execution, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to be of
assistance and comfort. Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he meant to go to bed and sleep as quietly as ever he did in his life. Because he knew the peace of God, he could rest in the strength
of the everlasting arms of his Lord to meet his need. So can we!
The Fruit of the Spirit is clearly the characteristics of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is simply the life lived out by the Christian. We will continue this next week.