Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fruits of the Spirit Part III

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law…  Galatians 5:22-23

This week we are going to be studying the Fruit of the Spirit.  When we are living in the Spirit, the fruit that comes out of our lives will reflect the Holy Spirit, but when we are living in our sinful nature, the fruit in our lives will reflect our sinful nature.  This week as we look at the different attributes of the fruit of the Spirit, open yourself up to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to produce good fruit in your life and to help you overcome your opposing sinful nature.

Faithfulness can be described as loyalty, allegiance, steadfastness, constancy, and carefulness in what we are entrusted with.  When we talk about faithfulness in terms of the Christian, we may think about faithfully attending church, being faithful to God and our family members, or believing in God and that even though we can’t see Him, we believe that He exists and that His promises are true.  Faithfulness is trusting God even when we cannot hear Him, when He is silent and we see no solutions.  We know that God is reliable and trustworthy.  Faithfulness is ultimately believing that God is who He says He is no matter what.  This is living by faith and not by sight and when others see us have faith in God in spite of our world crumbling around us, they notice the difference.    

Gentleness does not mean weakness.  Gentleness is humility and thankfulness to God as well as a self-controlled approach in behavior towards others.  We all have the ability to build up or tear down.  Being a Christian doesn’t automatically make our sinful nature go away.  We have the ability to speak words that encourage others and act in ways that help and not hurt.  With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can be gentle with our words and actions.  The strength and power of the Holy Spirit is the greatest power on earth.  He helps us to be far more meek and gentle than we could ever be in our own strength.  God is all powerful but does not misuse His power.  He is gentle with us, His wayward children, and He never overreacts.  Having an attitude of meekness will help produce gentleness in our actions.  

Self-Control should not be called self-control at all because if we are controlling ourselves, we will probably not be acting like we are living in the power of the Holy Spirit.  It should be called Spirit Control instead.  It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can be in control at all.  It is true that we are our own worst enemy.  For the Christian, self-control means that your whole person, your whole being comes under the control of Christ.   You become an individual governed by God, physically, spiritual, and morally.  Being Self Controlled to a Christian means total submission to the Holy Spirit.  A lack of self-control can lead us to sin and Satan knows that and uses that weakness in our life.  We actually have to remove the self from self-control in order to have self-control.  We have to allow the Holy Spirit to make us Christ like.  We have to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and not give in to our own emotions and desires when they don’t line up with God’s.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we do this very hard thing!

Scripture to Claim:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:5-7

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