Fruits of the Spirit (Peace)

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Peace

As we walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit we can find an inner peace that is independent of the turmoil of our fallen environment. We can find peace as we seek to see the world from the eyes of God. This is the definition of wisdom. God holds this world in His hands and His sovereignty puts all things in motion for His greater purpose. We may not always recognize His purpose but we must also realize that the Lord reveals to His children what He wants us to know. We are not meant to comprehend all things, our fragile minds could not bear the burden. He created us to live in peace always available in His light. (John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Isaiah 26:3) You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you.

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Fruits of the Spirit (Joy)

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  • Joy

Happiness is conditional, joy is not. Joy comes from the realization that you are a child of God. You are able to be thankful in the good times and the bad. The good times are a gift for your enjoyment and the hard times are gifts for our sanctification. Joy is being content as you walk in the spirit and reject the temptations and deeds of the flesh. It is the satisfaction of having God and at the same time pursuing Him into the richness and righteousness of the Holy Spirit. (James 5:13) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Joy is found when are eyes are always on God.

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Fruits of the Spirit (Love)

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  • Love

Love is the culmination of all the other fruits, how awesome that it’s listed first and is the ultimate command of God. (Matthew 22: 36-40)  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” The unselfish affection and concern for others embodies all of the other qualities of the Holy Spirit. The ability to walk in the guidance of the Holy Spirit makes following the ultimate command possible. As fallen humans our ability to love unconditionally is impossible. Only through the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the fruits it produces can we move closer to a God-like love, which is impossible to comprehend. Love is only possible because God first loved us. He held His most prized creation in very high esteem. So much so that He took on human form in His son and became our sin so that we could be reunited with Him in Heaven.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is Patient (4) and Kind (5); love does not envy or boast (8); it is not arrogant or rude (9). It does not insist on its own way (7); it is not irritable (6) or resentful (3); it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but Rejoices with the Truth (2). Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The numbers correspond to the fruits of the spirit that make love complete.

 

HCSB ESV NKJV
Patient Patient Suffers long
Kind Kind Kind
Does not envy Does not envy/boast Does not envy
Is not boastful Is not arrogant/rude Does not parade itself
Is not conceited Does not insist on its own way Is not puffed up
Does not act improperly Not irritable Does not behave rudely
Is not selfish Not resentful Does not seek its own
Is not provoked Does not rejoice in wrong doing Is not provoked
Does not keep records (wrong doing) Rejoices with truth Thinks no evil
    Not rejoice in iniquity
    Rejoices in truth

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Fruits of the Spirit (Intro)

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Galatians 5: 22-23

 NIV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

KJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

  NIV KJV ESV
1 Love Love Love
2 Joy Joy Joy
3 Peace Peace Peace
4 Forbearance Longsuffering Patience
5 Kindness Gentleness Kindness
6 Goodness Goodness Goodness
7 Faithfulness Faith Faithfulness
8 Gentleness Meekness Gentleness
9 Self-control Temperance Self-control

 Before Jesus is crucified He tells His disciples that: (John 14:15-17)   “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:25-26) “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

God tells His people: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant… I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and teach his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”(Jeremiah 31:31-34)

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 God gave us His Holy Spirit so that He may be written on our hearts, and that we may be filled as vessels created by God. When we allow God to lead our lives through the guidance of the Holy Spirit a change takes place within us. We begin a process of change which focuses on Jesus Christ and becoming like Him. This process is called sanctification, and is only possible with the help of God through the Holy Spirit. The indwelling (planting) of the Holy Spirit (seed) causes us to mature (grow) and show the qualities of our savior Jesus (produce fruit). These qualities are an absolute depiction of God incarnate, His word made flesh. These qualities are what the work of the Spirit should become in a mature believer. When the word of God spells out the qualities He desires from the indwelling of His Spirit, we as believers must take notice and strive with the help of the Holy Spirit to become a fruit bearing disciple. If we imagine the fruits as colors, they create a rainbow that is Heaven. All of these qualities existing in all people is exactly what Heaven will be. A world of people made exactly in God’s image. Let’s take a look at each of the fruits given by God Himself to discover the depth of His desire for us.

The Faith to Follow God

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I see many instances where true faith in God’s greater purpose surprises and bewilders even the most learned Christians. People come out of amazingly difficult situations with a ‘bright light’ from a spirit made whole by our Heavenly Father, and those learned people feel that couldn’t really be the case. Cam people really do that? They want those guided lights to submit to man’s standard of dealing with hardship.

Shouldn’t we weather storms with child-like faith, holding the right hand of God and accepting His work/ redirection in our life? It’s made worse when that Godly trajectory is abrasive to the ‘learned’ person’s desires/ standards for God. One of the hardest parts of faith is discovering how the members of the church want to guide with personal preference while ignoring the Holy Spirit as it moves through the faithful. Acts 5 speaks of following God and not man. Faith is allowing God to lead us as people we thought were supposed to be wise counsel guide us in a way that contradicts what God has placed on our hearts. Much like the Pharisee who adamantly denied the guidance of the Christ prophesied for them to the point of murder. People have trouble believing that God can act in someone’s life in a way they might not understand. It doesn’t make them bad people. It’s their own version of a struggle in faith.

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Judges of the Bible

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Judges

The book of Judges describes a situation where God repeatedly shows compassion for His people who continually turn away from Him. (Judges 2:16) 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. (Judges 2:19) 19 But whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. This situation parallels with the theme of the Old Testament: God’s enduring guidance of His wavering people. We could look at the judges sent by God in this book as metaphors for situations put on His people today. When life is going well (presence of judges) people fall away from God and His provision because they are pleased that their desires are filled. Then, God sees fit to draw His people closer to Him through troubles (absence of judges) people realize the absence of God’s provision and turn back to Him. God’s mercy then provides relief (another judge) and the people once again turn from God as oppose to worshipping Him and His gifts and grace and mercy.

This situation also holds true in the Egyptian Plagues in Exodus where the pharaoh agrees to obey in the face of calamity and then turns away when the plague has resided. It is clear that human nature does not change. Lucky for believers, neither does God’s unconditional love, grace, and mercy.

(Proverbs 29:18) Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

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Culture that strays from God

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        Think about the many culture that exist around the world. The Hawaiian culture is laid back and trusts in everything being ok, where the Chinese culture is at the other end of the spectrum with its structure and control. Every other culture within the spectrum has customs and ways of doing things that make the most sense to those people. Each is also developed by man who is fallen. Thus each culture will inevitably leads its people away from God’s perfect way. A laid back culture will fail to act and miss the path of God, where the controlling culture will fail to rely on God’s guidance and miss God’s path as well. As the world falls deeper into the darkness and toward Armageddon, we see God being ignored. This is very true in America. The country was founded by Christians and grew based on His principles. Now we see a movement toward removing God and His founding structure from this country. Everyone is becoming fearful of terrorists, financial collapse, or excess crime rates. They fail to see that those fears grow as we drift from the design of God and subsequently the fathers of this country. I only use the U.S. as an example because its origins were found in God, thus they’ve strayed from its good start. Other cultures were founded in darkness and show more variance due to their human conception. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to develop within us a heavenly culture where reliance on, faith in, and love for God are its main focus.

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