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What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

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1 What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:17 am

LesBrewer

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What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Over the next few weeks we will look into these more closely) The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the life of a Christian. The Bible makes it clear that everyone receives the Holy Spirit the moment he or she believes in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14). One of the primary purposes of the Holy Spirit coming into a Christian's life is to change that life. It is the Holy Spirit's job to conform us to the image of Christ, making us more like Him.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is in direct contrast with the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This passage describes all people, to varying degrees, when they do not know Christ and therefore are not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Our sinful flesh produces certain types of fruit that reflect our nature, and the Holy Spirit produces types of fruit that reflect His nature.

The Christian life is a battle of the sinful flesh against the new nature given by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As fallen human beings, we are still trapped in a body that desires sinful things (Romans 7:14-25). As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in us and we have the Holy Spirit's power available to conquer the acts of the sinful nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13). A Christian will never be completely victorious in always demonstrating the fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the main purposes of the Christian life, though, to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit in our lives—and to allow the Holy Spirit to conquer the opposing sinful desires. The fruit of the Spirit is what God desires our lives to exhibit and, with the Holy Spirit's help, it is possible!

2 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:56 pm

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is love?

Galatians 5:22-23 is one of the most beloved passages in the Bible. The "fruit of the Spirit" has also been misinterpreted as characteristics that believers should somehow manufacture in their lives. But the key to understanding these qualities is in the name. "Fruit" is the natural result of growth. And "of the Spirit" explains exactly Who causes that growth—it’s not our striving or straining, but the power of the Holy Spirit. No amount of human toil or gritty determination can produce spiritual fruit, but the Spirit’s influence in a yielded heart can work miracles. The fruit of "love" may be the best example. We cannot produce the type of love God desires without the leading and strength of the Holy Spirit.

The English word love has very broad meaning, but the Greek language was very precise. The love which the Holy Spirit manifests in believers is agape. This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another's needs greater than one's own (Philippians 2:3). Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament:

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

"For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another" (1 John 3:11).

“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:35).

"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).

It is because of love that God carried out His plan to save the world: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). It is only by love that we can keep the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

Love is the greatest gift God can give. First Corinthians 13 says that agape is patient. Agape is kind. Agape never fails. God desires to show His perfect, selfless love to a world that is routinely confused about what true love is. God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

3 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:03 am

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is joy?

Literally, the "fruit of the Spirit" is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells a believer. The "fruit" is the product of the Holy Spirit's cultivation of character in a heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.

The Greek word for joy is chara. Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. Joy expresses God's kingdom—His influence on earth (Romans 14:17). The Spirit’s production of joy can manifest in several different ways:

The joy of deliverance: When God sets someone free, rejoicing is in order.

1 Samuel 2:1: Hannah was filled with joy at her deliverance from her enemies.

Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.

The joy of salvation: Our greatest reason to be joyful is that God wants to save us and spend eternity with us. Nothing is better than this.

Luke 15:7: All heaven is joyful when a person accepts God's provision of salvation.

Acts 8:8: The people of Samaria were joyful as they heard the gospel and saw God's power in healing the sick.

Acts 13:52; 15:3: Jewish believers rejoiced when they heard of the work of the Holy Spirit in saving Gentiles.

The joy of spiritual maturity: As the Holy Spirit works in us to bear more fruit, we become confident in God's promises and rejoice in our walk with Him and with other believers.

John 15:11: The fullness of joy comes to those who continue in the love of Christ and obey Him.

2 Corinthians 1:24; 2:3; 7:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:9: Paul knew joy as the churches gave evidence of the Holy Spirit working among them.

Philippians 2:2: Groups of believers who unite in demonstrating the mind, love, and purpose of Christ bring joy to others.

Hebrews 10:34; 12:2; James 1:2-4: Believers, following the example of Jesus, endure persecution because of the promise of future joy.

The joy of God's presence: The Holy Spirit draws us to God, in whose presence we can know true joy. Without the Holy Spirit, no one would seek God.

Psalm 16:11: “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Matthew 2:10; Luke 1:14: Mary and the shepherds were joyful because Immanuel had been born.

Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:41: The women who went to Jesus' tomb and the disciples were overjoyed that He rose from the dead.

The Greek chara is closely related to charis, which means “grace” or “a gift.” Chara is the normal response to charis—we have joy because of God's grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8).

Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God's presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God's grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4).

4 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:02 am

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is peace?

In Romans 12:18, Paul exhorts, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." What a perfect example of our role in the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. We are to submit our wills to God's leading and our actions to God's Word, but the actual results are up to Him. Only God can create peace through the work of the Holy Spirit. Especially the peace mentioned in Galatians 5—the peace of a harmonious relationship with God.

We are born at war. At birth, our sinful nature has already declared war on God and His truth. Our heart's desire is to be separated from Him, and if we persist in this desire until death, He will give us what we want.

But God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5).

But, just as we cannot force another to be at peace with us, even Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did not ensure that we would accept His terms of peace. Romans 3:10b-11 explains, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God." None of us can accept Jesus' offer of peace through our own will and power. Our natural selves do not want it. Only God can lead us to want peace with Him; the Holy Spirit leads us to want Jesus and His message. Once the Spirit draws us, we believe in Jesus, and the peace comes. “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

However, the fruit of the Spirit includes a peace that goes beyond that of salvation. It is a sweet relationship. We are called to His presence (Ephesians 2:11-18) and called to be confident in that presence (Hebrews 4:16) because we are His friends (John 15:15). As Isaiah 26:3 says, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You."

God’s peace transcends earthly matters, as Philippians 4:4-7 illustrates. Believers are to be "anxious for nothing," for God promises to "guard your hearts and minds." It is a peace “which transcends all understanding”; that is, to the worldly mind, such peace is incomprehensible. Its source is the Holy Spirit of God, whom the world neither sees nor knows (John 14:17).

The Spirit-filled Christian has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding, or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform His work of growing fruit to the glory of God

5 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Fri May 06, 2016 11:32 am

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is patience?


There are two Greek words translated as "patience" in the New Testament. Hupomonē means "a remaining under," as when one bears up under a burden. It refers to steadfastness in difficult circumstances. Makrothumia, which is used in Galatians 5:22, is a compound formed by makros (“long”) and thumos (“passion” or “temper”). “Patience” in Galatians 5:22 literally means “long temper,” in the sense of “the ability to hold one’s temper for a long time.” The KJV translates it “longsuffering.” A patient person is able to endure much pain and suffering without complaining. A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing. Since it is a fruit of the Spirit, we can only possess makrothumia through the power and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Patience comes from a position of power. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. Losing patience is a sign of weakness. We are patient through trying situations out of hope for a coming deliverance; we are patient with a trying person out of compassion. We choose to love that person and want what's best for him.

As the Spirit produces patience in us, He is making us more Christlike. Second Thessalonians 3:5 speaks of the “patience of Christ” (ASV). Christ is even now patiently awaiting the completion of the Father’s plan: after Jesus “had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool” (Hebrews 10:12-13). We should be patient, even as He is patient.

God is patient with sinners. Romans 2:4 says that God's patience leads to our repentance. Romans 9:22 points out that only God's patience prevents Him from destroying “the objects of his wrath.” Paul glorifies the Lord for His “unlimited patience” that saved him, “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:16). Peter highlights the patience of God in 1 Peter 3:20, pointing out that God had immense patience with the evil people of Noah's day, delaying judgment as long as possible (Genesis 6). Today, “our Lord's patience gives people time to be saved” (2 Peter 3:15, NLT).

James urges believers to be patient and not to complain as we wait for Jesus to return. James holds up the prophets as models of patience (James 5:7-11). The Old Testament prophets ceaselessly spoke God's Word to unheeding and abusive audiences. Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern (Jeremiah 38:1-16), Elijah was so worn out from his fight with Jezebel that he wanted to die (1 Kings 19:1-8), and Daniel was thrown into the lion's den—by a king who was his friend (Daniel 6:16-28). While God delayed judgment, Noah prophesied of the coming destruction, and in 120 years did not have a single convert (2 Peter 2:5).

The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).

God is patient, and His Spirit produces the fruit of patience in us. When we are patient, we leave room for God to work in our hearts and in our relationships. We lay down our schedule and trust in God’s. We thank the Lord for what and whom He’s brought into our lives. We let God be God.

6 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Tue May 10, 2016 11:40 am

LesBrewer

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"The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is kindness?"

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit—the resulting character of someone who is allowing the Holy Spirit to develop maturity in his or her life. The fifth characteristic, kindness, is called “gentleness” in the KJV.

The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs. It means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” It is kindness of heart and kindness of act.

Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we're weary (Psalm 23:2-3). It is God's tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; Matthew 23:37). God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during a drought—and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow's only son from the dead (1 Kings 17:8-24). When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God gave the outcasts kindness in the form of water and hope (Genesis 21:9-21). On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52). And kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray (Luke 15:3-7). In kindness He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).

When we exhibit the kindness of God, we are tender, benevolent, and useful to others. Every action, every word will have the flavor of grace in it. To maintain this attitude toward those we love is hard enough. To express kindness toward those who are against us requires the work of God (2 Corinthians 6:4-6). That is why kindness is a fruit of the Spirit.

7 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Sun May 15, 2016 10:34 am

LesBrewer

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"The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is goodness?"

In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the "fruit of the Spirit". “Fruit,” here, means "beneficial results," the good things that come from the Spirit’s indwelling. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, our character changes. Where we had harbored selfishness, cruelty, rebelliousness, and spite, we now possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Everything in the list reflects the character of God, and goodness is one that relates directly to morality.

Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It's a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as "uprightness of heart and life." Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.

Someone with agathosune will selflessly act on behalf of others. Confronting someone about a sin demonstrates goodness. So do giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative.

Goodness is not a quality we can manufacture on our own. James 1:17 says, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." This certainly includes a life characterized by goodness. In letting the Holy Spirit control us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness. As others see our good works, they will praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

8 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Sun May 22, 2016 10:52 am

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is faithfulness?

Well we are coming close to the end now in this series with this and just a couple more, and we are looking at what is faithfulness?

Faithfulness is steadfastness, constancy, or allegiance; it is carefulness in keeping what we are entrusted with; it is the conviction that the Scriptures accurately reflect reality. Biblical faithfulness requires belief in what the Bible says about God—His existence, His works, and His character. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit; it is the result of the Spirit working in us. But the Spirit is also our seal of faithfulness. He is our witness to God's promise that if we accept the truth about God, He will save us.

Hebrews 11 gives a long list of faithful men and women in the Old Testament who trusted God. Abel's understanding of God made his sacrifice real and authentic. Noah trusted God's word about the coming judgment as well as God's promise to save his family (Genesis 6-9). Abraham and Sarah believed against all evidence that they would have a child (Genesis 21:1-34). Rahab trusted God to protect her family when the Israelites destroyed Jericho (Joshua 6). Gideon's mustard-seed faith routed an entire army (Judges 6-7).

In that list in Hebrews 11 is the example of Enoch, who "obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (vs. 5b-6). Faith, or a faithful commitment to who God says He is, is basic to walking with God. As Jesus traveled, He responded to people's faith and curtailed His involvement where there was no faith (Mark 6:1-6).

Enoch understood that God rewards those who seek Him and trust Him with all their hearts. We trust what God does because we trust Him, not the other way around. In other words, we trust God even when He is silent and we see no miracles. That is part of faithfulness. We know God is reliable, steadfast, and true.

The Old Testament saints also had faith in the invisible work of God (Hebrews 11:3). Abraham never saw his descendants become “as numerous as the stars in the sky.” Moses never entered the Promised Land. And none of the Old Testament saints lived to see their Messiah. But they were faithful. They believed God would do as He promised. They lived by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Faithfulness is believing that God is Who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven. The only way we can have such faith is by the Holy Spirit's influence. He testifies to the truth and impels us to seek God. The Spirit makes us faithful.

9 Re: What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? on Thu May 26, 2016 5:54 pm

LesBrewer

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The Fruit of the Holy Spirit – What is gentleness?

Galatians 5:22-23 says that the Holy Spirit works in us to be more like Christ (Ephesians 4:14-16), and part of the fruit, or results, of that work is gentleness. Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” does not mean weakness. Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others. The opposites of gentleness are anger, a desire for revenge, and self-aggrandizement.

It takes a strong person to be truly gentle. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow gives us a wonderful illustration of gentleness in “The Village Blacksmith.” In the poem, the main character is described thus:

“The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.”

However, in church, as he hears his daughter singing a hymn, the smith is overcome with emotion, “And with his hard, rough hand he wipes / A tear out of his eyes.” This is gentleness. Might restrained. Humility and grace.

God wants us to give Him control of our lives. Relying on our own logic, we have no impetus to submit to God's leadership. With the wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit, however, we begin to see why we should completely submit to God as Lord of our lives. Human power under human control is a half-broken weapon in the hands of a child. But gentleness places our strength under God's guidance; it is a powerful tool for God's kingdom.

Every person is powerful. We can speak words that influence others; we can act in ways that help or hurt; and we can choose what influences will inform our words and actions. Gentleness constrains and channels that power. To be gentle is to recognize that God's ways and thoughts are high above our own (Isaiah 55:9). It is to humbly realize that our worldviews are shaped by exposure to sin and the misinterpretation of experience. It is to accept God's worldview, reflecting truth about the spiritual and the material worlds.

It is to our advantage to have a gentle attitude toward God because He is omniscient and we are not. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" God challenges Job. "Tell Me, if you have understanding" (Job 38:4). God knows everything of the past, present, and future (1 John 3:20); we can't even get the weather forecast right. Like a petulant teenager to his parents, we may cry out, "You just don't understand!" but God does understand, more than we could possibly know (Psalm 44:21).

When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will correct others with easiness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride (2 Timothy 24-25). We will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God—offenses He's already forgiven (Matthew 18:23-35). Competition and sectarianism will disappear, as the goal becomes less about ourselves and more about preaching the gospel (Philippians 1:15-18). John the Baptist was a fiery preacher, yet he evinced true gentleness when he said, “[Jesus] must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).

Gentleness also means giving up the right to judge what is best for ourselves and others. God is not as concerned with our comfort as He is concerned with our spiritual growth, and He knows how to grow us far better than we do. Gentleness means that we accept that the rain falls on the evil and the just and that God may use methods we don't like to reach our hearts and the hearts of others.

Finally, to live in a spirit of gentleness toward God is to accept His judgment on people and issues. We tend to think it is gentle to go easy on people and try to justify actions that God has called sin. Or to let someone continue in sin without speaking the truth. But Paul says, "If anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" (Galatians 6:1). This doesn't mean to be so soft that the sinner doesn't realize he's sinned. It means to confront the brother in a manner that is in line with Scripture—to be mild, loving, encouraging, and clear about the holiness that God calls us to.

Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness

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