Friday: Further Thought – The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit
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“In modern language the passage in Galatians 5:22-23 could read something like this: ‘The Fruit of the Spirit is an affectionate, lovable disposition, a radiant spirit and a cheerful temper, a tranquil mind and a quiet manner, a forbearing patience in provoking circumstances and with trying people, a sympathetic insight and tactful helpfulness, generous judgment and a big-souled charity, loyalty and reliableness under all circumstances, humility that forgets self in the joy of others, in all things self-mastered and self-controlled, which is the final mark of perfecting.

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

This is the kind of character that is the Fruit of the Spirit. Everything is in the word Fruit. It is not by striving, but by abiding; not by worrying, but by trusting; not of works, but of faith.’ “-S. Chadwick, in Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, Wash.: Logos Bible Software, n.d.), chapter 30.

“If the love of the truth is in your heart, you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart, you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil-speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the Word of God forbids that kind of conversation.” – Ellen G. White, Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 76.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In class, talk about the final question at the end of Thursday’s study regarding the need for self-control. Why, if we are saved by grace, is victory over sin so important? After all, isn’t the gospel about forgiveness of sin? At the same time, think of the character of Judas and what the sin of covetousness did to him. What can we learn from his example about the answer to the question about the need for victory? Also, how does what Ellen G. White says here help shed light on the question of the need for victory? “One wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 53.
  2. Why is the fruit of the Spirit more important than any gifts of the Spirit?
  3. Read aloud 1 Corinthians 13 in class and talk about what it means. Why does Paul put such a big emphasis on the need for love? How can we learn to love the way that Paul talks about showing love here? Why is death to self and abiding in Christ so crucial, especially in loving those whom we truly dislike?
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Amen!(18)

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Friday: Further Thought – The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit — 7 Comments

  1. Galatians 5 gives us the 'fruit' not fruits of the Spirit, meaning to say he cannot give you love not patience, joy not goodness, he surely gives us the whole package of Godliness. l often hear myself say l am good with giving but am not patient, well surely it means am lacking Gods faithful guide because he who calls us to all enables us in all. May God assist us through the Holy Spirit to give off the 'fruit'of the Spirit in its entirety, and yield entirely to his influence.

    Amen!(22)
  2. Why, if we are saved by grace, is victory over sin so important?
    How many times have I heard something similar being said?
    If I ask that question then I don't really understand what "being saved" means.
    Jesus came to save us from sin. He wants us to be changed: from lost to found, from blind to seeing, from dirty to clean, from drowning to being on top of the water, from evil to holy, from being in debt to being solvent etc, etc.
    We will only really be able to say "I am saved" once this mortal becomes immortal. Only those who have overcome sin (through the grace of God) will sit on the thrones with Jesus.

    Right now I am in the process of being saved, of getting victory over sin, luckily Jesus has promised what He has begun in my life He will carry it on to completion.

    Yes, in the Book of Life my status was changed from lost to saved when I accepted Jesus as My Saviour, and by His Grace my character is daily being changed to be more and more like Jesus' character, through spending the working of the Holy Spirit in my life.

    See the promise from pg 668, Desire of Ages - it is possible to get victory over sin, but it is all "heart work" by His Grace:

    But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. “If ye love Me,” He says, “keep My commandments.” He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.
    All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.
    As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised.

    Amen!(6)
  3. Here is a text that sums it all up. "Saved" means "regeneration"and "renewal", that is why it is often called being "born again".
    Titus 3:1-7
    Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    Also 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

    Amen!(4)
  4. I thought about the question asked above about the difference in importance of the fruit verses gifts of the Spirit.

    Having the fruit of the Spirit is important because it indicates the Spirit's working in the life.

    Having gifts or talents isn't as important because we can use these as we see best, but the fruit comes only when there is intimate contact and ongoing relationship with the Holy Spirit. Only thru this relationship comes a character reflecting the likeness of Christ.

    Amen!(6)
    • Nancy, I think that without the fruit there are no gifts given. It takes the fruit to properly work the gifts.

      The greatest power of God is in His Love to change Human hearts to hearts like the Heart of God.

      Amen!(2)
  5. Why, if we are saved by grace, is victory over sin so important?

    First of all, I don't see the Bible talking about "victory over sin" in those terms - as in "being important." Rather Paul thanks God for giving us the victory. (1 Cor 15:57) The wording of the question has the unfortunate effect of making it appear that "victory over sin" is important to our salvation, rather than a result of our salvation.

    I think it is important to recognize that there is nothing we can do to add to the salvation that Christ so graciously offers to us. (Rom 3:21-25, 28; Rom 5:1-2, 8-11)Our victory over sin does not save us. We can only have victory over sin because Christ saved us and lives His life in us.

    So is victory over sin important? Paul deals with this question in Romans 6:1-18. Essentially he is saying that when we accept Christ's death in our behalf, we die to sin and sin is no longer our master. Therefore we should walk in the new life that God has provided for us. See also 2 Cor 5:15-17; Col 2:12; Col 3:1, 11, etc.

    The new life in Christ demonstrates the effectiveness of His salvation to the world and to angels. And in that way it *is* important. It demonstrates that God's plan *works.* And it does work. If there is no "fruit of the Spirit" in our lives, it is an indication that we are not in a saving relationship with Christ.

    I think that as long as we are concerned about the importance of victory over sin in terms of our salvation, we still have a salvation-by-works mind set - that is salvation by our merit, rather than Christ's merit.

    When we begin to recognize that our victory over sin is all about what *God* does in us and that it is to the glory of God, not ours, we are seeing matters in a biblical light. If we are in Christ, I believe we will be more concerned about bringing honor to Christ than in our own salvation.

    Amen!(1)

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