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1098. The Fruit of the Spirit pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
October 13, 2021 7:00 pm

1098. The Fruit of the Spirit pt. 1

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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October 13, 2021 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a series entitled “Walking in the Spirt” with a message titled “The Fruit of the Spirit pt. 1” from Galatians 5:22-23.

The post 1098. The Fruit of the Spirit pt. 1 appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Walking in the Spirit, which is a study of Galatians Chapter 5. Let's listen to today's message where Steve will begin teaching about the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians Chapter 5. I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles this morning and 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 morning and 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, 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 life and making out of life things that make sense. Lord, we pray for your blessing today. Speak to our hearts. Lord, bring necessary conviction where it's needed. Give instruction and direction for our lives in Jesus' name. Amen. So let's just 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 going to fulfill the lust of the flesh. You can't be doing one and the other at 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 pull of the flesh and then the pull of the Spirit. A number of 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 there being held by a magnet, a bookshelf with two little books on it. One of the books had painted on it the little word God and the other book had painted on it the word self.

And underneath was a little poem I've 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 you're living for yourself and it's going to show up in the works of the flesh or you're living to please God and it's going to show up in the fruit of the Spirit. So first of all, he makes this clear distinction and then second observation is this, that these qualities are based upon the believer's union with Christ through the indwelling Spirit. That is, at 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 then Paul also says that Christ and the church are like a man and a woman who are connected or 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 does it do? It produces fruit. When the head is connected to the body, what does it produce? It produces actions. When a man and a woman are connected in marriage, what does 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 life that is developing the character qualities that are found in Christ, the qualities we see the fruit of the Spirit. So these qualities are based upon the fact that a believer is united to Jesus Christ.

And then there's a third 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 its own. Can you imagine a branch on a tree going, ah, come on fruit. Pop out.

I mean, he 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. And this only comes when we yield ourselves to the control of the Spirit of God and walk with Christ in a moment by moment dependence and obedience. And the two 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 gonna come because you sweat it out. Because of self-effort on demand. It's not gonna come because we put strict legal codes on you and suddenly out comes love, joy, and peace.

It doesn't work that way. It's always organic. It's always inside out. And then there's a fourth observation. I think this 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. It's like a diamond with nine stunning brilliant facets. It's like an orange that is one, an orange is a whole.

But when you take the peel off, it has different sections that make up the whole. And 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, there's joy, there's peace, there's patience, there's gentleness, there's goodness, there's self-control, there's faithfulness, there's meekness.

It's not just love, but it's also discipline. It's not just joyfulness, but it's also faithfulness. It is a balanced godliness. And when we overemphasize one quality over the other, what happens?

We get out of balance. And I think often that's a big problem among believers. Sometimes we're imbalanced because of the bent of our personality. I mean there are 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 are people that I work with that like to punch somebody in the face. I mean it's just different personalities. They kind of enjoy it.

I kind of like it. So it's a different personality. So some are bent towards this and some are 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 who's influenced you in your life. And what I think we see here is that as we mature in Christ, all of these things come into harmony.

It's like listening to an orchestra and all the parts of the orchestra fitting together to make one beautiful sound. So we see the fruit is singular. And then 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 fine one moment and then something can happen and you can react. You're 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 at peace and contentment and then suddenly you're bombarded with lust.

And why is this? Why are we this way? It is because the center at the very center of our flesh are strong evil desires that are easily aroused based on circumstances.

It's like a shark that is drawn to the smell of blood. So the flesh can sort of pop out at any time because of circumstances and the way we respond. But 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 7, 8, and 9. He said, be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption but he that soweth 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 at about two months.

60 plus 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. And all God's people said, amen.

Okay. I really am starting to dislike study. And all of a sudden you actually almost feel like you're ready to get out of 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. It is based on 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. And so therefore what do we understand? We understand that this fruit comes through a process of time so that when you go home at Christmas perhaps your parents or others or friends will look at you and go you know what you're a little bit different this semester you've come back differently. That's the fruit of the Spirit.

And so we have to be faithful. And then finally number six, the fruit of the Spirit is a character sketch of Christ. When you look in this garden what are 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 through life.

So being a Spirit controlled 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. And what we're going to do is we're going to put them in categories and we're going to put them in categories of three. Love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, long-suffering, faithfulness, meekness, temperance. So you could call them a triad.

And since there are three of them it's a triad of triads. And the first three have to do with the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit and 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 and 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 and the believer's relationship with himself. Meekness, faithfulness, and temperance.

Now because the first one, love, is so important and foundational, that's all we'll 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 does he mean by love is the fruit of the Spirit? Well let me 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. It is his love that was demonstrated in the crucifixion of Christ, Romans 5-8, God commendeth, God demonstrates his love to us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. What is the cross?

You sang about it this morning. It is the display of God's love. It is what we can see and it's 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 5 verse 5, you ought to mark that down. 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's 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 in others. I remember when I got saved. And I knew the sense that God had changed 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 loathe sin. There's a change. Your heart's been made different.

What is that difference? It is the love of God that has 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't 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. I think 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 breadth, the depth, the length, and the height, and the know the love of Christ which passeth all knowledge. What is he saying is that as we, as the 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 here at Bob Jones University, our first date was at the alumni stadium watching two soccer matches. And we were in that day in the habit of writing one another letters through this unusual mail system we have here at 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 post office box here. And when I opened the post office box I knew she had sent me a letter to me.

That was back in the day where we were sharing post office boxes with about three thousand people per box. And I would open it up and I knew that I had gotten a letter from her because I could smell the perfume coming out. And she would write me a nice little letter and say I enjoyed lunch today blah blah blah. But the most important part was the way she signed it. Now 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.

Well obviously either you have experienced 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 would read it on the way to class. I would read it in class. I would read it on the way home.

I would read it when I got home. And what it did was it 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. But let me say secondly that this love begins in time to start freeing us from our inner fears, our inner pride and our inner insecurities.

Let me say that again. This love frees us from our inner fears, pride and insecurities. By nature we're all insecure people. We want to be accepted. We want to be noticed. 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 for my own selfish pursuits. And I realized I was wrong and 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 already have given you and that's my love. And it was a change. It was a change in my attitude. It was a change in my ministry where I realized that God's love for me was more than enough. Perfect love casts out fear.

It drives it out. God didn't give us the spirit of fear but a power, love and a sound mind. And I changed my attitude and I stopped looking to the teenagers to get from them what I wanted and I started looking to God and what that did is it freed me up to love the teenagers instead of loving myself. Every one of you here by nature are insecure and what God wants you to do is to realize that he is more than enough.

It's not going to come from another person. And then 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 would say love is sacrifice. It's very interesting to me that in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 we call the love chapter that Paul says if I make life's greatest sacrifices, if I give my body to be burned and I give my money to the poor and I do it without love it doesn't profit me anything. So you can do actions without love and then he begins to describe love.

And it's interesting if you go down through the list in 1 Corinthians 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, it's not puffed up, but it's the opposite, it's meek. Love does not behave itself unseemly, it doesn't seek its own, it's not easily provoked. Love is self-controlled, it's temperate. Love bears, believes, hopes, endures all things, never fails, love is faithful.

So what do we learn? We learn that love is the source of all the other characteristics. It 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? Alright, 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.

Do you know what that is? It's your cell phone. Your cell phone has become an extension of who you are. It is no longer just a means of communication, it is a means of who you really are. Let me ask you this, can you use the cell phone as an instrument of love?

Of course you can. Can you use it as a tool of the flesh? Can you express through your cell phone God's love or can you express through your cell phone self-love? What do you use your phone for? Alright, let's even be more specific. Let's take an app. Let's take the app called Yik Yak. You say, you know about that?

I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday. How do you use it? What are 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 the neat thing about Yik Yak, that you can say whatever you want to say and nobody will ever find out except God.

Do you use it to express your frustrations, your complaints, your disagreements, your criticisms, your speaking evil of others? The bottom line is this, is Yik Yak an app that reveals if you are in the flesh or is it revealing if you're in the spirit? Paul says, walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Let's pray. 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 in Jesus' name. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon from the study series in Galatians chapter five 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-11 11:53:20 / 2023-08-11 12:02:30 / 9

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