Hello everyone, how are we doing this Friday? I welcome you all to another study time with ‘milk and meat’
Today, here in Nigeria a black Friday is going on and people are shopping for the sake of the flesh, the Spirit thought it wise to reveal His own discount rates as we shop through the different products He has made available to us.
His discount rate however is 100% so we are allowed to take freely, ALL that He has provided us with. Glory.
Now our topic for today would be #FRUITS. We are going to be looking directly at the fruits of the spirit and explaining each of them and then showing how we can apply these to a victorious life in God
Our text is taken from the book of Galatians chapter 5 verses 22 and 23
22 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith
23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I would like to clear our minds on something first before I continue. These fruits are outward evidence that the Spirit have come to stay in a believer, and more importantly that they have been yielding to a new nature.
It is not a sign to show that you are saved. In that you might see a believer who is really hateful, or a believer that is just not peaceful, that doesn’t mean that they are not saved, it just means that they are not showing the fruits yet, and with time of relying on the Sweet Holy Spirit, it would come to pass.
We should know exactly what saves, John 3:16
It is simple, believing in Jesus saves you and that is the only mode of qualification for eternal life.
However like Paul said in his letter to Titus chapter 3 verse 8, good works are profitable unto men and we should do our best to be at peace with all.
Some people do not exhibit these fruits because a lot of things have been taught to them. If you notice there were no supernatural things like prophesy or visions or maybe prayers in it.
What am I saying? I am saying that because a person is prayerful or not is not evidence of a fruit or not, however when we get to prayer we would talk on prayer, let us stay in the study of these fruits and I would encourage that you put them to practice and you would realize how much God can do to you when you yield to Him.
I pray for growth and evidence of fruits on anyone who goes through this teaching in Jesus name, Amen. Now let us get into the teaching.
I would back up some verses so we get an understanding
Galatians 5:16 this I say then, walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
18 but if ye be led of the Spirit ye are not under the law.
So whatsoever we are discussing here has nothing to do with keeping a law to avoid a penalty, it is a new life flowing from the Spirit within you, I just want to show us how to yield to Him.
Paul then went ahead to list the works of the flesh from verses 19 to 21 and ended it by saying that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Notice that he also said that he had told them this before (verse 21). Does this mean that when you keep a law like do not commit fornication, then you are bearing spiritual fruits? Doesn’t that then make us doers of the law? The same law that we have been redeemed from.
Let me show us something in Romans 7:5-6
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
These gives us an example of what Paul could have meant in the fifth chapter of Galatians. It was more like
The Galatians didn’t receive the law so they seldom knew what was right to do from what was wrong, so Paul was trying to show them the things that the old nature has as traits and what the new nature’s traits are using their behaviours as examples. And if you take a close look it was an admonition on how they were to treat themselves and not a teaching on how you can get saved.
So when Paul said that those who do these would not inherit the kingdom of God, he didn’t mean that those in the church would not inherit the kingdom of God, he was giving them an example of those who are outside. He could have used sinners in that place, but they wouldn’t understand so he used behaviours instead of saying sinners or righteous.
Those that have accepted Christ are SAINTS, we don’t judge them by what they do we judge them by where they are. IN CHRIST is saved, OUT OF CHRIST is unsaved.
I am saying all of this so no one leaves this post with condemnation or a heavy heart of guilt, but with an open eye and a zeal to make God evident in their daily work.
Let us look at these fruits of the spirit and discuss each of them in a bit.
This is one fruit we should see in believers but we seldom see it. It is in fact the summary of the other fruits, because if you practice this one fruit, you would be doing the rest. How we practice it is something else. People have various ways of showing love to God but let us see the God way of showing it
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
This is explicitly stated we know someone who loves God by checking how he loves people. Now let me explain it a bit, anyone can love someone who is in love with them, you do not need the Sprit to do that, because the world can do it and the world cannot receive the Spirit (JOHN 14:16), so it is not a sign of love if you love your lovely spouse and your sweet best friends.
This is how love is tested, when you love those that hate you.
Jesus was saying this in Matthew 5:43-48 and He said it like this in verse 44
44 but I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you
This is a sum total of all the possible wrongs and opposition you might have as a believer, Jesus’s response was simple LOVE THEM!
Then He went ahead to say in verse 48 that it is a way of being like God, (perfect as our heavenly Father)
HE LOVES EVERYONE. HE SENT JESUS TO DIE FOR THE WORLD.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever, He still loves the world.
Pause a bit and think of those that might have wronged you and didn’t even bother to apologize. Those that have molested, defrauded, stolen, killed, hated, opposed, cursed and despised you.
Make a decision to love them today and you would have grown and yielded to the Spirit you have got as a new nature. Please there is no place in the word that asks a new covenant believer to kill an enemy in prayers, if you love them, even your prayer point would reflect it.
This is a joy that comes irrespective of what is happening to you. It is a joy of knowing that your sins have been paid for and that you are totally free. Imagine having something this sweet and being faced by the storms of life, you would never lose a sense of being loved.
Because you would know that whereas it seems everything is getting out of hand, your eternity is assured. Most people have lost their Joy and even gave up along the way because they heard something that wasn’t a good news which says that they are justified by Christ PLUS…
It’s Christ ONLY no plus.
When you know how much God has loved you, the love that would be shed abroad in your heart would be without bounds, but when you don’t know that, you are joyful only when you feel like it, and then you preach that same God to people only to leave many feeling God when they think He is near. But that is wrong, GOD LIVES IN YOU. Be ever joyful
This one is like Joy too, you know for sure that you have Peace with God. And this comes by believing in Jesus, see Romans 5:1
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
That is the peace you are to have, it is a sure possession, YOUR SALVATION IS SURE
Romans 14:17 says
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drinks; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost
This kingdom doesn’t rely on what you have or what you eat, it is a sure kingdom there you are ever peaceful and joyful.
Do not let the peace in you be disturbed, and in so doing you can successfully make peace and instil peace in stormy situations arising in the life of others.
This one is simple and straight, you would have to endure wrong doings with a good attitude.
Now the question is how long is the long suffering supposed to last? And my answer is as long as the wrong doing lasts. If your patience and attitude doesn’t outlast the wrongs done to you, can you really say that you have suffered long?
It is not measured in years of suffering, it is measured by coming out of it with a good heart and attitude. Maybe now you would realise that these fruits are impossible for someone who is not having the Sweet Holy Spirit because it is not easy.
I would give you a secret tip of mine here however, if someone hurts you so much, pray for them so much and you would see that your attitude towards them would be calm.
I didn’t say pray against them or pray for longsuffering, NO, I said pray for them to be well, in good health, to prosper: pray good things to them, and leave the rest. More often than not, these situations are really not about you. It might just be their salvation pushing them to you, don’t let us lose that one soul because we were inconvenienced.
The Greek word interpreted gentleness here is the word ‘krestotes’ which closely denotes GENEROSITY. So you don’t go about saying that a person is not showing fruits because he is not always sitting quietly in the corner, not that there is anything wrong with that though.
But the word here is a giving life that comes from the Spirit you have received.
I would site an example here and move on, just last night I was to go get something from my street and I was prompted to get suya (roasted meat) for my neighbours which I just did when coming back. I gave them and they thanked me, this morning I realized that they hadn’t eaten and that made their dinner. They didn’t know it was God but I knew by an inward witness and I obeyed.
Now you would think I had a whole lot of money but no I didn’t, but I provided dinner for someone.
It is a life of giving, the way the church is meant to be, we are not supposed to travel to a new country with the plan of where to stay as long as Christians exist there. We are all brothers and sisters and this would lead to the next one.
This one is like the former but it doesn’t have to cost your coins. It requires your time though.
It is any act of kindness that you do towards people.
I remember a time when some lovely friends and I while in school would be going on our business but if we run into a girl with a bucket or gallon of water, we help them carry it to the destination where we part ways. It didn’t take us anything, but it helped those ones greatly. They would thank you as a hero in a fairy tale, but all we were doing was being ourselves. Do not be weary of doing good, it is not out of obligation but yielding to the Spirit within you would make you a light and a help to people around you. Do not let the flesh ride you into selfishness and thoughts of self always, give a chance to the Spirit.
The Greek word used here is ‘pistis’ which can both refer to “the attitude of believing” and “or the integrity of a person” hence the FAITH and FAITHFULNESS we see in different translations.
But reading in context here (refer to first teaching on the series) would show that the discussion talked of Faithfulness and not faith. It was how people were to act towards one another and not a faith towards a higher being. Since God Himself is Faithful and His Spirit lives in us, we can be faithful too.
You are meant to be a source of strength and counsel to others. Believers are to portray a character of integrity where your words can be trusted.
I would relate something I want us to give a thought here, many do not trust their words, why do you think they find it hard to trust what God tells them. If you are a criminal, you would suspect others too. Think about this and start being faithful towards others.
This word is humility. It is what made Christ leave divinity to be made man, and die as man, live within the bounds of nature, He had to eat too and His food digested just like any other man.
If this is found in believers, you would see a church were no man is so highly anointed as not to be able to relate to others way below them. Let me say this, it is easy to be humble to someone who is above you, but what of those who see you as a god, how do you see them.
We were told not to esteem ourselves higher than others, and there is no exception to this rule. God doesn’t rate us by the miracles we perform, He rates us IN CHRIST, we don’t have heights of righteousness we are all EQUALLY RIGHTEOUS. Because we are using the same righteousness, that’s the one gotten by Faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 10:3-4)
With this mind, you would see that giving glory to God and resisting pride would not be an issue because it would be God in man doing His work, and you would constantly point people to God and not to you.
The word here is also translated as self-control. It is the Greek word ‘engkratea’ which literally means “inner strength”
It is a word that covers mastery over one’s desires and passions, and emotions which is a working of the Spirit that you have received.
It is the life of God in you producing a trait that doesn’t react because of an action that just hit you and put you off balance, it is a NEW NATURE
Now we are done with this study, I believe someone would yield more to the Spirit. Whenever you seem to have not-yielded, just yield next time. Do not condemn yourself and then sleep off in the pool of fleshly desires.
No, it is God at work in you, and you would know because you have His Spirit, JUST YIELD.
Till next Friday, remember
I LOVE YOU and YOUR SALVATION IS SURE.