Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Thoughts determine action, action determines character,
and character determines destiny.
Notice a few vital principles that the apostle Paul taught to us and taught Peter to remember concerning the principle that “all things are for our sakes” just as the apostle Paul said in 2CO 4:15.
The passage tells us For all things are for our sakes so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks from those people to abound to the glory of God.
The grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God from every member of the Church-age dispensation.
And, it is because of principles like this which is involved in our lives that we must not lose heart [or get discouraged], but though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day.
Therefore, when we look at certain things that go on in our life in the spiritual realm, we see that for the moment what we are going through is really nothing but a ‘light affliction’ which is producing for us an ‘eternal weight of glory’ that is far beyond any comparison to the natural or to the ordinary things that they are compared to.
Whereas what is not seen is usually invisible but produces and eternal weight of glory which most people never see by others.
In fact, what are those super-natural means that demand super-natural assets that the Word of God reveals to us as the power of God, the power of His word, and the fellowship we can have with each member of the Trinity, - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
First of all, the most powerful asset is the ability that we have to fellowship and communicate with the Three members of the Trinity .
- First of all, in 2Co 13:14, we have the principle of having fellowship with God the Holy Spirit as this verse says; "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you."
This is a manifestation of the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is correctly interpreted as the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the singular, not the fruits of the Spirit in the plural, it is in the singular.
It’s one fruit with nine different manifestations, not 9 different fruits but picture it as one tree and nine different fruits on the tree.
We begin by noting that these characteristics are not found in the majority of born again believers.
These characteristics are only manifested in those believers who fulfill ROM 8:4, they do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
1) The works of the flesh shall not be fulfilled; Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
2) And the second result is that the fruit of the Spirit shall have its own unique manifestation of the Spirit.
Both the negative and the positive aspects of the spiritual life are guaranteed to those who depend upon the ministry of the Spirit.
Now, in this passage, the nine words which denote the fruit of the Spirit represent superhuman qualities of character.
By superhuman qualities I do not mean that the believer has superhuman power that makes him different than anyone else.
I mean that the believer is motivated by the power of God the Holy Spirit to handle any problem that comes his way.
And there is absolutely no way that these nine different manifestations could ever be performed, produced, or plagiarized by human ability or any personal self-improvement program.
In fact, these nine graces constitute the essential elements of Christian character.
Now, unfortunately, in our day and age, and with little apparent thought for the implications involved, Christian leaders have crammed upon believers the idea that Christian character is a thing to be built by strenuous self-effort and self-discipline.
And they end up trusting in the flesh or in their ability to conform to what they "think" God desires them to conform to.
JER 17:5 talks about the curse of man trusting in himself when it says, Thus says the Lord, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
PSA 62:9, "Men of low degree are only vanity, and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath."
Now, this supposed sequence in character-building is said to be simply that thoughts determine action, action determines character, and character determines destiny.
And many times, this type of message is taught by individuals with good intentions, however, there is little need for a Savior or the power of God in such a program of this improving self-development.
This is why 1CO 1:18 says, For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Notice the statement in 1CO 1:18 which says “but to us who are being saved, the cross is the power of God for salvation but sozo doesn’t always mean salvation, sometimes it refers to being delivered.
Notice also that we are "being saved" or being delivered, and in the present tense it speaks of an action that is happening habitually.
It means that every day we have the opportunity to be delivered or saved from ourselves.
And therefore, they fall into the same snare as the Jew did described for us in ROM 10:2, For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
Unfortunately, today, cosmic or worldly Christianity has infiltrated the church and has subtly promoted certain ways in which man is supposed to live to please God.
However, Christian character is a divine production which is not to be achieved by self-effort but by the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
As one writer said, Galatians 5:22-23 is the shortest life of Christ ever written, for the fruit of the Spirit is the outliving of the in-living Christ.
Dr. Scofield said "Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness but the possession and manifestation of nine graces: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Peace is integrity "within" toward self.
So, when accepted all together, the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit presents a spiritual portrait of Christ.
And this character is possible because of the believer's vital union to Christ (Joh 15:5; 1Co 12:12-13), and is the fruit of the Spirit in those believers who have learned to rely on the indwelling power of God the Holy Spirit, (Gal 5:22-23).
Joh 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
- The second privilege of fellowship is based upon the fact that we can have fellowship with God the Father, not just praying to Him but also having fellowship with Him by means of conversation with Him, especially during the Church-age; Eph 3:14-21.
- We can have fellowship with God the Son; 1CO 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- The importance of fellowship with God.
- The importance of fellowship with believers.
- The Disadvantages of Christian fellowship.
The purpose is that the Jews were the chosen race in the Old Testament but the gentiles could convert to Judaism anytime they desired to.
It is the spiritual life of Judaism that counts not whether or not the individual is from the race of the Jews.
JOH 1:13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.
Now, in this first miracle, our Lord is beginning to reveal to the Arab nations and places like Egypt, India, Ancient Rome, Asia, and the many different nations from Africa.
Our Lord was concentrating on those nations outside of Jerusalem in the ancient times especially like Greece, Turkey, Corinth, Thessalonians, Ephesus, Galatia, Philippi, Colossae, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and last and probably even the real least, the lukewarm church we know as Laodicea.
In all these places and more, our Lord instructed Peter, Paul, and John to make sure that they claim to everyone that Allah is the god of the Arabs whose prophet is Muhammad and not Jesus Christ.
Our Lord and no one else including the many different gods that the Arabs claim to be prophets of the one true god whose prophet is Muhammad and whose name is Allah.
Arab’s claim that they have the one and only God says the prophet Muhammad who claims to be a prophet of which he is not.
Two verses emerge here; ACT 4:12 "And there is salvation or deliverance in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
Or, as our Lord said in JOH 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
This is longing for the basics of the purity that comes from honesty and respect of the basic doctrines concerning every new believer needs to honor and respect concerning their salvation.
He is talking to Jews or gentiles called a chosen race;
These Jews or these gentiles are called a people for God's own possession.
And then the most important reason of why we are here as a new creature or a new creation is because of the fact that both the males and the females are a new spiritual species because of faith in TLJC.
This is so that that we may proclaim and announce to the revelations the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1PE 2:10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
In fact, the Arabs were the ones who were not content to be what the Jewish parents taught their children to be concerning the difference between what the Jews and all the gentiles.
They were very brutal to their own people and brutality does not always express itself in violence, but also in the vicious use of the tongue in slander, gossip, and maligning.
But when it takes precedence over your love for God, you will never reach spiritual adulthood and never have the pleasure of being occupied with Christ.
Obviously, fellowship with these categories of Christians would be detrimental to the spiritual life of the believer.
Whether fellowship is detrimental or wonderful does not depend upon the fellowship as such, but upon your ability for believers to discern virtue and integrity that comes from the justice and the righteousness of God.
This is when the fellowship one has but upon the ability to discern graciousness and virtue wherever it is.
Neither legalism nor lasciviousness are virtuous.
If you do not put God first, your relationship with people in any periphery will be a mess and will have no spiritual significance.
If you have fellowship with positive believers who have virtue, integrity, and who recognize the privacy of your priesthood, you can have a wonderful relationship with others where you will make some of the greatest friendships in this life.
On the other hand, the advantage to such friendships is that you are not depending on them; you're depending on the Lord.
When you are not depending on people and still have relationships with them, then you are at least in spiritual self-esteem.
You don't get upset when they turn nasty and sarcastic and turn sour, because you are depending on the Lord, and your fellowship with the Lord takes care of that.
Christian fellowship is nice to have if there is no legalism, antinomianism, or apostasy.
However, Christian fellowship cannot advance the believer in God's plan, purpose, or will for his life.
Your encouragement must come from inside of you.
If you get together with people in order to gain their approbation, to get something from them, or to be admired by them, you will be mixed-up for the rest of your life.
Social life can be a very refreshing interlude, as it was designed to be under the right circumstances.
However, Christian fellowship cannot replace reception of Bible doctrine, fulfill the protocol plan also known as the PPOG, or glorify God.
Christian fellowship can only provide unrealistic expectation and role model arrogance so that your life becomes one of intensive competition and no relaxation.
This is when the believer learns that vital lesson that if God does not provide it, who needs it?
The Lord wants all His followers to realize and believe and apply the operational will of God which refers to how the Lord wants us to operate or function concerning the Word of God which guides and directs us to what the Lord wants us to do.
Now, because this is true, our Lord desires the believer to be filled with the Spirit, through PMA of Bible doctrine so that you can handle anything that comes your way.
Remember what our Lord said in AMO 3:3 to the prophet and to the priests in the days where division was not popular; the Lord said; “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment or an agreement to walk together with each other?”
The Lord loves to see unity among His people.
He also desires us to build a soul structure with us that glorifies or what some call it an edification complex in the soul which is based upon the mystery doctrine of the Church-age.
As an edification complex we have the ministry of our founstionrry, we have our foundation which is built upon the Lord Jesus Christ, which are the rules that are built upon a foundation who is Christ, and along with that, we have the mystery doctrine of the Church-age.
PSA 100:1-3, states that we all are made a strong foundation with the rooms of the soul function ,first floor, a second floor, a third or fourth conviction, doctrine aw, a third floor, etc. which is being finished and established as our spiritual soul.
This means you have a soul which is structured according to divine viewpoint which doctrine builds within the believer’s soul so that the believer is able to worship the Lord as the Lord desires by means of the Spirit and the truth.
In the times in which we live we need to understand the divine assets that are given to us as the material used to build a soul structure in the soul so that we know the will of God and how to operate and function with the divine assets that the Holy Spirit gives to us at salvation.
There is only One who truly cares and the last thing that some of us need is to be around with are those who drag us down with their negativity and pessimism.
There is so much garbage in the human race that is being fed to us daily by the lies of the Cosmic System that come from the god of this world, Satan, so we need to make sure we are being cleansed by the Word of God.
Those who think in the negative realm will only drag you down to their level of negativity.
They live as they think in the negative realm where they exist as loser believers who are pessimists.
Pessimists or those who constantly perceive things in a negative light. see a “glass half-empty” rather than half-full.
- You discredit victory.
- You always assume things won't work out.
- You rain on other people's parades.
- You give up easily.
- You have a difficult time forgiving.
Psychology suggests that pessimist are really depressed people who have no idea how pessimistic they really are.
They may seem to have an accurate view of reality, though this accuracy is not worth anything because it is based on the lies that come from the cosmic system or the devil’s world.
On the other hand, the opposite of a pessimist are optimists who are believers who think positive and are happier and healthier in spite of the lies of the world.
“If you continually focus on what you don’t have, your life will always seem to be completely empty despite the fact that it’s completely full.”
“When you're a pessimist, people are always smiling at someone else rather than you.
We all know people who do not share our positive system of thinking and therefore, they could care less what our opinion may be, they’re too busy putting down those who are grateful and thankful for the blessings that the Lord gives.
Therefore, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Optimists do more with less while pessimists do less with more.
When divine viewpoint rules in our life, what is deemed a nightmare by one person is considered a blessing in another realm.