Temple Baptist Church - 12-9-2009
A. In our previous study, we have found that you and I, as believers, either walk in the flesh or we walk in the Spirit. There is not middle ground as these two walks are contrary one to another. Amos 3:3 declares that a walk together constitutes agreement with one another. The Flesh will never walk in agreement with the Spirit and the Holy Spirit will never walk in agreement with the Flesh!
B. The Flesh lusts against the Spirit: it seeks to control the believer. The Holy Spirit lusts against the Flesh: He seeks to control the believer. Therefore, because of the continual presence of both the flesh and the Spirit, the war is perpetual and powerful.
C. It is a never ending, daily, moment by moment battle of evil vs. good in our lives. Which controls us, either the flesh or the Spirit, is contingent upon which we feed and, therefore, walk in. It is powerful in that “ye cannot do the things that ye would.” We are hindered, horrified, and hurt by the presence and often control by or flesh.
D. I want to look at the fruit of the Spiritual Walk for a few minutes tonight. The Walk of the Flesh produces a myriad of individual works. A backslidden believer can have any one or even a combination of two or more of these works but rarely will he have every one of them on that list.
E. The spiritual walk is different in that aspect. The word “fruit” is singular. It is one fruit manifesting itself in nine different ways. To be lacking in any one of these nine aspects of spiritual fruit is to be, to some extent, walking in the flesh. If we do not have all nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, then we still have areas where we are controlled by our flesh and we cannot do the things that we are supposed to do or want to do.
F. We may look outwardly spiritual but inwardly we know what we are! That is, if we are His! Some folks lack spiritual fruit and think that they are right with God. They are deceived. The worst possible deception is that of self-deception. I know when I am right with God and I know when I am wrong with God because of the inward abiding of His Holy Spirit.
1. There Are The Three Inward Aspects Of The Fruit Of The Spirit
a. Love - Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (God is love and to be right with Him and to be like Him is to love as He loves. We are to love one another; we are to love sinners; we are to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates.)
b. Joy - Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (To know God and to be right with God brings an inner joy. Not because everything is right in our circumstances but because everything is right in our Father’s House and we are saved, secure, and soon to be removed from this present evil world through either death or the rapture.)
c. Peace - John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Love and joy bring about peace! Peace with God and the peace of God. How often are our souls disquieted because of our mistrust in dire circumstances. Peace in the storm is knowing that the Master of the Sea is in the boat. He may seemingly “sleep” at times, but—when the boat fills with water and the waves are in the ship—He will arise and say, “Peace be still!”)
2. There Are The Three Outward Aspects Of The Fruit Of The Spirit
a. Longsuffering - Ephesians 4:1-2 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Patience in tribulation is a virtue so often missing in our lives. We want and expect others to be longsuffering with us in our faults and failures. We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. We are to forbear as God forbears! This takes a spiritual man or woman to do this!)
b. Gentleness - 1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. (Gentleness is a lost virtue in this generation. The terms “gentlemen” is no longer used. Gentleness is not a sign of weakness but an aspect of controlled manliness! Some of the kindest, gentlest men that I have ever known were men to be feared when confronted with war. If we walk in the Spirit, we will be gently with others as God has been gentle with us.)
c. Goodness - Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (God’s people are to be good people. God is good and His people are to have that same characteristic. Good friends, good neighbors, good children, good parents, good citizens, good church members, good followers, etc.)
3. There Are The Three Upward Aspects Of The Fruit Of The Spirit
a. Faith - Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Faith that believes against hope; faith that removes mountains; faith that sees light in the darkness of trials; faith is steadfast and sure.)
b. Meekness - 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is know who and what we are; meekness is glorifying God for what is wrought in our lives; meekness is putting others before self. Moses was the meekest man in all the earth.)
c. Temperance - 1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (Controlling of the fleshly appetites. All of us struggle in areas of temperance. There are things that we love to do that often glorifies the flesh to the place of pre-eminence.)