(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Never mind the ‘Part 2 ‘ in the photo above, I want to emphasize ‘Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit’! That fruit of the Spirit is contrasted with the works of the flesh, and both are listed in Galatians 5:19 through 23:
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, good- ness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law.
Let’s look at the two lists side by side:
Works of the Flesh Fruit of the Spirit
Adultery (sex outside of marriage) Love (agape, the high- Fornication (including adultery est form of love) and incest) Joy (cheerfulness, calm Uncleanness (moral or physical delight) impurity) Peace (safety, prosper- Licentiousness (unbridled lust, ity, tranquility, outrageousness, shamelessness, fearlessness) insolence) Longsuffering (patience, Idolatry (worship of false gods) endurance, slowness in Sorcery (magic, drugs used for avenging wrongs) magic) Kindness (moral good- Hatred (hostility) ness, integrity) Contentions (strife, wranglings) Goodness (upright in Jealousies (contention, envy) heart and life) Outbursts of wrath (fierceness, Faithfulness (conviction indignation) of God’s truth lived Selfish ambitions (to put oneself out) forward) Gentleness (mildness, Dissensions (disunion, division) humility) Heresies (following wrong beliefs) Self-control (mastering Envy (jealousy, ill-will, spite) of desires and pas- Murders (slaughter) sions, especially sen- Drunkenness (intoxication) sual passions) Revelries (drunken parties, rioting)
Paul ends his description of seventeen works of the flesh with these words: “…and the like….” In other words, these seventeen are not an exhaustive list! There are still more works of the flesh, and none of them are good!
Now, which list would you like to have describe your life? Just take the first three of the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, and peace: If those three things filled your life, would anything trouble you? Would you be living a happy and victorious life?
So how do you get the fruit of the Spirit manifested in your life?
✞ First, you ask the One who manifested all these things in His life, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come into your life!
• Realize your need for Him. • Confess your sins to Him. • Ask Him to come into your heart and life, to save you from a wasted life, and an eventual hell! • Ask Him to be your Lord and Master.
Matthew 11:28 through 30 – “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
John 6:37 – “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Romans 10:9 and 13 – “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved….For whosover calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
✞ When you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and life to forever dwell with and in you!
I Corinthians 3:16 (English Standard Version) – “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? ”
Romans 8:9 – “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
✞ Obviously, the fruit of the Spirit must be generated in and through us by God’s Holy Spirit!
✞ Saint Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18 to “…be filled with the Spirit….” Then, in Ephesians 5:19 and following, Paul lists certain things that flow out of a person who is filled with the Spirit:
• Ephesians 5:19 – “...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs....” • Ephesians 5:19 – “...singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord....” • Ephesians 5:20 – “...giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ....” • Ephesians 5:21 – “...submitting to one another in the fear of God.” • Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” • Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.” • Ephesians 6:1 through 3 – “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” • Ephesians 6:4 – “...fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” • Ephesians 6:5 through 8 – “Servants, be obedient to those who are your masters....” • Ephesians 6:9 – “...masters, do the same things to them, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” • Ephesians 6:18 – “...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit....”
✞ Paul wrote his letter to the Colossian church about the same time as he wrote the letter to the Ephesians. Here is what he says beginning in the middle of Colossians 3:16 though 4:1:
• Colossians 3:16 – “...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs....” • Colossians 3:16 – “...singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” • Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” • Colossians 3:18 – “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” • Colossians 3:19 – “Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter towards them.” • Colossians 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” • Colossians 3:21 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” • Colossians 3:22 – “Servants, obey in all things your masters....” • Colossians 4:1 – “Masters, give your servants what is just and fair, knowing that you have a Master in heaven.” • Colossians 4:2 – “Continue earnestly in prayer....”
Why do I take the time and effort to list above the subject matter of these two Scriptures – Ephesians and Colossians? Because….
✞ …the two lists are almost identical!
• Same order of subjects! • Almost the same words!
✞ …what Paul is saying is that apparently there are two different sources from which the lists of these things flow!
• In Ephesians 5:18 Paul tells us to “...be filled with the Spirit...”! • In Colossians 3:16 He exhorts us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly...”!
If the identical things flow out of being “…filled with the Spirit…” and “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…,” then I have to equate the two, or at least know that they are very closely related to each other!
So here is the answer to being “…filled with the Spirit…”: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!” And for that to happen, you must be richly dwelling in the word, your Bible!
✞ And what is going to happen if your life is filled with God’s Holy Spirit? You will be filled with “…the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
✞ What’s the alternative? Your life will manifest “…the works of the flesh…adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries….” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Which do you want?
Get into your Bible
…and stay there!