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July 15, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Walking In the Spirit.” Today’s scripture passage is Galatians 5:22-23.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled walking in the spirit which is a study of Galatians chapter 5. Let's listen to today's message were Steve will begin teaching about the fruit of the spirit from Galatians chapter 5 Alaska take your Bibles this morning a turn with me please to the book of Galatians chapter 5 this morning we are going to look at verses 22 and 23. As we enter this morning into the beautiful garden of God. As we look at this this morning a beginning today on the theme of the fruit of the spirit. We read in verse 22 of Galatians 5. These words but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no law, may we pray together. Father, thank you this morning for the wonderful things that we have been learning from your word and how you have been making light, making life and making out of life. Things that makes sense. Lord, we pray for your blessing today speak to our hearts or bring necessary conviction where it's needed, give instruction and direction for our lives. In Jesus name, amen. Siliceous begin this morning by some general observations. The first thing is this that it is very clear that the apostle Paul is making a distinct contrast between the fruit of the spirit and the works of the flesh.
Now, in many ways he's already done that. Because, as we began back in verse 16 of walking in the spirit.
Paul stated dogmatically and emphatically that if you walk in the spirit you're not can fulfill the lust of the flesh, he can't be doing one and the other the same time. In verse 17 he enunciated the reality of this mutual antagonism between the two natures we could say there's a civil war going on in your soul the pole of the flash and then the pull of the spirit number years ago I was out preaching in the Rocky Mountains at a camp called the wilds of the Rockies. I was spending some time with the camp director and we were actually standing in his kitchen, which is one of the favorite places in the house for me and there on the refrigerator there was sitting Barrow are being held by a magnet, a bookshelf with two little books of it. One of the books had painted on it.
The little word God in the other book had painted on it below the word self and underneath was a little coy.
Mom never forgotten that goes like this.
There are two choices on the shelf. Pleasing God, or pleasing self really Paul is making this a black-and-white issue either your living for yourself and this can show up in the works of the flesh or your living to please God is good to show up in the fruit of the spirit. So first of all, he makes his clear distinction in this second observation is this that these qualities are based upon the believer's union with Christ through the indwelling spirit that is in the moment that you get saved. God unites you, or God connects you to the person of Christ by his indwelling spirit. Literally we are, as Paul says many many times we are in Christ and there are different biblical images that describe this union.
For example, in John 15 Jesus said I am the vine and you are the what branches Paul speaks about Jesus being the head and the church being the body and the Paul also says that Christ in the church are like a man and a woman who are connected are united in marriage and what is interesting is that with these three images. There are actually things that happen because of that connection. For example, when the vine and the branch are connected. What is it, do it produces fruit when the head is connected to the body. What is it produce. It produces actions when a man and a woman are connected in marriage. What is it, do it gives birth to children and likewise the effect of one who is connected to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit is a lie that is developing the character qualities that are failed in Christ.
The qualities we see the fruit of the spirit, so these qualities are based upon the fact bit of a believer is united to Jesus Christ and then there's 1/3 observation and that is that these qualities are not developed by self effort on demand. They are not developed through the observance of a strict legal code.
In other words, you can't will or you cannot create these qualities any more than a branch can produce fruit on it, so we could you imagine a branch of the tree going. Come on, fruit, popout mean you can't do that fruit is a byproduct of the life of the vine flowing through the branch. Jesus has come to dwell inside of us and he said that you have to abide in me, you have to dwell in the vine.
It is the life of Christ that is being manifested through our lives in this only comes when we yield ourselves to the control of the spirit of God, and walk with Christ. In a moment, might by moment dependence and obedience and that you are in harmony. We rely on the spirit that's dependence and we respond to the spirit that is obedience. So the fruit of the spirit is not going to come because you sweated out because of self effort on demand. It's not good to come because we put strict legal codes on you and suddenly outcomes love, joy, and peace. It doesn't work that way it's always organic. It's always inside out.
And then there's 1/4 observation I think is very interesting and that is the fruit is singular. There are nine different qualities, but they all harmonize together to make up a perfect balance of character is like a diamond with nine stunning brilliant facets is like an orange that is worn on orange as a whole. But when you take the PO all it has different sections that make up the whole.
So what is the Christian life. It is a balance of these qualities that make us a whole or a complete or a full person. So there's love.
This piece there's patients, there's gentleness, there's goodness. There self-control.
There's faithfulness. There's meekness is not just love but is also discipline is not just joyfulness but it's also faithfulness is a balanced godliness, and when we over emphasize one quality over the other. What happens we get out of balance. Nothing often that's that's a big problem among believers sometimes were in balance because of the bent of our personality me. There are per particular people that I work with that are by their very nature, extremely merciful. There are people that I work with that are extremely systematic there people that I work with that like to punch somebody in the face. I mean it's just different personalities that kind of enjoy it.
I kinda like Sosa different personality. So summer bent towards this in summer bent towards that. Maybe it's an imbalance because of your own personal interest at the time of your life you're interested in this thing or that or maybe it's because of the person that's influenced you a Christian is influence you in your life and what what I think we see here is that as we mature in Christ.
All of these things come into harmony is like listening to an orchestra and all the parts of the orchestra fitting together to make one beautiful sale so we see the fruit is singular in number five, the fruit of the spirit is developed only over time. Fruit doesn't grow overnight. Only weeds grow overnight and you don't eat weeds for breakfast. The flesh is very different from the spirit. For example, the way the flesh works is you can be fined one moment and then something can happen and you can react your happy something is stated and then you lose your temper an event takes place. And suddenly you're flooded with fears you're walking along in life and sort of it. Peace and contentment, and suddenly you're bombarded with lost and why is this why we would this way it is because the center at the very center of our flash art strong evil desires that are easily aroused based on circumstances. It's like a shark bit is drawn to the smell of blood so the flash can sort of pop out at any time because of circumstances in the way we respond with the fruit of the spirit is very different. The fruit of the spirit grows in seasons. It's seasonal. It takes time. The character of Christ doesn't come overnight, but it is developed through the process of patient obedience.
It requires obedience, no matter how you feel. Look at Galatians 6 and notice what Paul says in verse 789 he said be not deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever man.
So what, that shall he also reap. For he that so into a splash of the flesh reap corruption, but he that so to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. You know I think of this semester for you. Here we are. It's early November. You have been here for just about two months 60+ days, maybe a little bit more. You're probably at this place in the semester where you're saying you know I'm starting to get slightly tired of this game. Thanksgiving cannot get here fast enough in all God's people said okay I I really am starting to dislike study and all of a sudden you actually almost feel like you're ready to get outta here and actually what's happening. If you're responding obediently is actually fruit is being produced.
Actually, God is working because God's work in your life is not contingent on how you feel is based own your obedience to God's word and you persevere and you stay faithful and you stay consistent. That's why the worst thing you can do is quit so therefore what we understand we still understand this fruit comes through a process of time so that when you go home at Christmas. Perhaps your parents or others or friends look at you and go you know what your little bit different this semester. You come back to. That's the fruit of the spirit. And so we have to be faithful and finally number six the fruit of the spirit is a character sketch of Christ. When you look at this garden. What you seeing you're actually seeing Jesus. If you would study the Gospels.
You could see Christ manifesting these qualities in their perfection. As he walks to life. So being a spirit control believer is being a Christ like believer. So these are some just basic general observations that help us when we look at the fruit of the spirit.
So let's get in this morning, then to the specific manifestations of the fruit of the spirit in the life of the believer. What were going to do is were going to put them in categories and were going to put them in categories of three love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, long-suffering, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, or you can call them a triad and since there are three of them. It's a triad of triads in the first three have to do with the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit in the believer's relationship with God, love, joy and peace have to do with my relationship with the Lord. The second has to do with my relationship with others.
The manifestation of the fruit of the spirit in the believer's relationship with others. That's long-suffering, gentleness, and goodness towards other people and then the last three is the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit in the believer's relationship with himself. Meekness, faithfulness, and temperance now because the first one. Love is so important and foundational. That's all will have time for this morning. But what we see here is the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit in the believer's relationship with God. That is, these are results of my relationship with God. These are things produced in my life as a result of knowing God in a greater way and what is the first one. It is love the fruit of the Spirit is love, we know that these are the great commandments to love God and to love man we know Paul said that when we walk in the spirit we will be showing love to others. So what is he mean by love is the fruit of the spirit. When he first of all say this, that what he is talking about here is actually God's own love. It's not really my loving God. It's actually something different. It is God's own love is his love that was demonstrated in the crucifixion of Christ.
Romans 58 God commended God demonstrates his love to us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. What is the cross you saying about this morning is the display of God's love is what we can see them in its manifesting God's love and it is this love. This love of God that is actually given to us as believers at the moment of our regeneration. Romans five verse five. You are Mark that Dale it says the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us God's spirit comes to dwell within us and with God spirit, which is God's person is his love.
This is God's own love given to us and what happens because of this we can actually begin to love God and others. I remember when I got saved and I III knew the sentence the God to change my heart, so that before the things of God. I ran from now the things of God.
I run to. I used to love sin and now I load sin. There's a change your hearts been made different. What is that difference. It is the love of God that is been poured in your heart you don't love God by human nature. You are an enemy of God.
You have no desire to obey God. You're not subject to his law, neither indeed can be.
You can even follow God until God puts in your heart his own love. And as we grow in the word and as we grow by walking in the spirit. What happens we grow in that love thing. That's why Paul prays in Ephesians 3 verse 16 that we would be strengthened with might by his spirit on the inner man, that Christ would dwell in your hearts by faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love would be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breath.
The depth length and the height and the know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge.
What is he saying is that is we as a spirit of God works in our life. It is an ever growing expansion of love. It's constantly growing. When I first started dating my wife. Bob Jones University. Our first date was on the Ed was at the alumni Stadium watching two soccer matches and we were in that day in the habit of riding one another letters through this unusual mail system.
We have your Bob Jones University and of course this was in the day back in the day. Obviously there was no cell phone and phone calling was just it just didn't work very well so I would get letters. I had a PO Box here and when I opened the PO Box.
I knew she sent me a letter to me.
That was back in the day were we were sharing post office boxes without 3000 people per box and I would open it up and I knew that I got a letter from her because I could smell the perfume coming and she would write me a nice little letter and said I enjoyed lunch today. Lovable. But the most important part was the way she signed that she started signing it.
Sincerely and then she signed it joyfully and then in Christ and then in Christian love and then finally the day came, where she signed love will obviously either you have experience it or you are in a drought or something like that and I would take that I would take that letter and I would read it like seven times I read it on the way to class. I would read it in class.
I would read it all the way home I would read it when I got home and what it did was just constantly confirmed that she really loves me when I read the Scriptures, God's spirit works in my heart to confirm to my life.
God's love for me.
That's what this love is. Let me say says secondly that this love begins in time to start freeing us from our interferes our inner pride in our inner insecurities, let me say that again this love frees us from our interferes pride in insecurities by nature all insecure people we want to be accepted. We want to be. Notice we want to be viewed as important. We want to be loved.
But the problem is that we all seek for love in the wrong places. When I was a youth pastor. I struggled my first two years of ministry because I wanted the teenagers to like me. It was almost like a revelation one day that I realized how sinful, selfish and immature I was to want teenagers to like me. And so in a way I was using the teens from own selfish pursuits and I realize I was wrong and I God convicted me and I begged God to forgive me but the biggest problem was I was looking for them to give me something that God never intended for them to give me that God said I will all already have given you, and that's my love. It was a change was a change my attitude. It was a change in my ministry where realizing God's love for me was more than enough perfect love casts out fear drives it out.
God didn't give us the spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind and I change my attitude and not stop looking to the teenagers to get from them what I wanted and I started looking to God and what that did is it is. It freed me up to love the teenagers instead of loving myself every one of you here by nature insecure what God want you to do is to realize that he is more than enough is not to come from another person. And finally, this love liberates us for the purpose of loving others. When you think of love. How would you define love. A lot of people say love and sacrifice. It's very interesting to me that in first Corinthian's chapter 13 we call the love chapter that Paul says if I make life's greatest sacrifices. If I get my body to be burned, and I give my money to the poor, and I do without love.
It doesn't profit me anything so you can do actions without love, and then he begins to describe love is interesting if you go down to the list enforcement is 13. He's actually revealing the fruit of the spirit. What is love. Love is long-suffering, love is kind same word for gentleness in the fruit of the spirit. Love is not envious. That is, it finds in the Lord what it needs not in getting something else. Love is not proud, is not puffed up, but it's the opposite is meek.
Love does not behave itself unseemly, it doesn't seek its own, is not easily provoked, love is self-control is temperate love bears belief, hopes, endures all things never fails. Love is faithful.
So what we learn. We were that love is the source of all the other characteristics is the sum of all the rest, and these qualities come from and are produced by love.
So what is love love, ultimately, is the controlling force of the believer's life.
So let me ask you this question is love the controlling force of your life. All right, let's take a very simple application.
As we conclude let's take what people today are actually saying has become an extension of the human body. You know what that is. It's your cell phone your cell phone has become an extension of who you are in is no longer just a means of communication is a means of who you really are a master. This can you use the cell phone is an instrument of love course again. Can you use it as a tool of the flash can you express through your cell phone.
God's love or can you express for your cell phone. Cell love what you use your phone for artless even be more specific. Let's take an app let's take the app called yet yak is you know about that. I did not solve the turnip truck yesterday.
How do you use it what you expressing through it. Is it a tool that expresses God's love. God's goodness and God's blessing or is it a means to express the sinful disposition of your own heart. Here's anything a bit about your CAC that you can say whatever you want to say, and nobody will ever find out except God. Do use it to express your frustrations your complaints your disagreements your criticisms your speaking evil of others. The bottom line is this is your CAC an app that reveals if you are in the flesh or is it revealing if you're in the spirit pulses walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, the spray God. We pray for your blessing on the day. Lord help us to realize that every action every thought, every deed reveals who is controlling us the spirit of the flesh.
Help us to walk in the spirit of Jesus thing you've been listening to a sermon from the study series in Galatians chapter 5 by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University.
Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform