“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” – 1 Cor. 12:4-6 (NIV)
We conclude our study of the Holy Spirit this week on “His Ministry Concerning the Fruit of the Spirit.” It the eleventh and final recorded ministry performed by the Holy Spirit of God which we started last week.
Please remember that we have studied the personality of the Holy Spirit, His names and emblems, His ministry concerning the spiritual gifts; and the eleven permanent gifts which demonstrate His ultimate goal here on earth. That is, to bear fruit for Christ through believers. “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Rom. 6:22. “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” – Col. 1:10.
We ended our study on the fruit of the Spirit on faith as follows: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Gal. 2:20. “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” – Gal. 3:11
You will notice that Dr. Wilmington in his Guide to the Bible lists eleven fruits instead of the nine we read of in Galatians 5:22-23 “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” He adds Righteousness and Truth as part of the fruit.
Please enjoy this concluding gifts of the Holy Spirit and pass it on!
Right acts; going the appointed mile. “Filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God”. – Philippians 1:11
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11
- h. GOODNESS:
Wholesome acts; going to the extra mile. “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go wit them two miles.” – Matthew 5:41
- MEEKNESS: SUBDUED STRENGTH
- Paul used this method in dealing with the Corinthian church. “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit? “– 1 Corinthians 4:21
- This is the method to be used by spiritual people in restoring a backslider. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:12-13
- It is to be used in keeping unity with a church. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:2-3
- It is the method to be used in dealing with all men. “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,” – 2 Timothy 2:24-25
- TEMPERANCE: SELF-CONTROL
The great New Testament example of this is the Apostle Paul. Observe his testimony:
“Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as
many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law
I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those
under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I
am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the
law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so
that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I
may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one
gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the
games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to
get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do
not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after
I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Cor. 9:19-27
living an open life, without guile and hypocrisy. “This, then, is how you ought to regard us:
as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is
required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
We cannot end this exclusive study of the Holy Spirit without mentioning the kind of life we lead when we choose not to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul talks about The Sinful Nature.
In contrast to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Bible clearly points out that there are visible and demonstrable “acts of the sinful nature” as we read in Gal. 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh 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.” These acts refer to the human nature with its corrupt desires resistance to God and insistence on going its own way. This nature has been in effect since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
The sinful nature remains within Christians even after we choose to accept and follow Christ, it continues to be our deadly enemy that battles against our spirit – “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” – Romans 8:6-8, 13. For this reason, this sinful nature must be resisted and put to death spiritually through a continual spiritual battle that we must fight and win through the power of the Holy Spirit –“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” – Galatians 5:17
The spiritual conflict within believers involves the whole person – mind, body and spirit. The struggle is whether we will give in to our own sinful desires and yield to sin’s control, or whether we will surrender to the Spirit’s demands and continue under Christ’s authority and control. “ in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” – Rom. 8:4-14 (NIV)
The battlefield is within each Christian, and the conflict will continue throughout our earthly lives if we are to reign with Christ in the future.
Source: Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible
All Scriptures are from the New International Version.
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