TEEN TREE             OF LIFE


Part 2

June 2, 2019


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


Last week, we ended with a very important lesson which is that as a Christian, you must learn how to stay in God’s Pre-Designed Plan for your life. Being filled with the Holy Spirit (rebound) is only the first step. You have to work toward having the thinking (or the Mind) of Christ which will enable you to make choices like Our Savior did when He walked on earth. You have to make the choice to stay in God’s Plan and to produce The Fruit of The Spirit. But the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (GAL 5:22-23)


The qualities or characteristics listed in GAL 5:22-23 are seen only in those believers who DO NOT walk according to the flesh, but according to The Spirit. Walking in the flesh is sinning. When you walk by The Spirit, you’re in God’s Pre-Designed Plan. The reasoning here is that if you walk by The Spirit, the result is, you’re not sinning. Look at GAL 5:16-18 (The Message Bible): My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical [oppose each other], so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? Please remember – and this is very important – that because of our old sin natures, we’re always going to sin. Your goal is to be aware of the choices you make and if you sin, use the rebound technique.


What also happens when you walk by The Spirit is that The Fruit of The Spirit is easily and clearly seen in your life! In GAL 5:22-23, the nine words that stand for The Fruit of The Spirit, each represent superhuman or divine qualities of character. There is no way these qualities could ever be produced with human ability or by a self-improvement program. So, remember, that we are producing the fruit and that attempting make yourself a “better” person is not going to help in the production, either.


Now, what’s very cool is The Holy Spirit doesn’t produce just a few of these divine qualities in a believer. If one quality is present, then all are present! So, when you begin to see the fruit produced in your life, you’ll see each and every one of them! These nine qualities are the essential and necessary parts of the ideal Christian character. (Again, think about Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’s lifestyle on earth.) Because of this, the term, “The Fruit of The Spirit” and its nine parts are extremely important to understand.


The first Fruit is LOVE. Let’s learn a GREEK word! You remember that the New Testament is written in Greek, don’t you? Well, the original Greek word in the Bible, for this type of LOVE is agape. That’s pronounced uh-gah-pay (emphasis on GAH). Agape is Divine Love – God’s Love.


Now, as you know, every word of the Bible was inspired by The Holy Spirit because God had to be perfectly precise in giving us His Word. So, The Holy Spirit’s Job was to inspire the writers of the Bible. As we have learned, God magnifies His Word above His Name: I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. (PSA 138:2 English Standard Version)


The Bible contains a variety of 66 books written by approximately 45 different writers. It was written over a span of about 1200 years. The fascinating thing is that The Holy Spirit carefully inspired all of the authors so that their books fit together with the same main theme. The first 12 chapters of Genesis tell us that mankind is in trouble because of sin and The Fall of Adam. The rest of the Bible, from Genesis 12 to Revelation 22, describes how God will fix the problem and eventually restore mankind to the glorious place and existence that we had before the Fall.


God didn’t dictate every word to each writer. The Holy Spirit had to influence each writer’s thoughts or mind. By doing this, The Holy Spirit selected the words from each writer’s own vocabulary and used the writer’s experiences for what he was writing. This is why, what the authors of the Bible wrote, are God’s Words.


The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write 1CO 13:13: But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. The Message Bible translates Paul’s ancient Greek words like this way: But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. Faith, hope, and love will continue on into eternity. Each will remain in the next life which believers are going to have in Heaven. But there is an order which Paul is pointing out to us and love is first.


Agape love is unconditional. This means when you love someone with agape, his or her actions don’t matter to you. You accept them as they are. You aren’t critical of them. You don’t look down at them. It’s the kind of love that Our Lord told us to use when dealing with our enemies in His Sermon on the Mount in MAT 5:44-46: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Again, look at The Message Bible’s translation (MAT 5:44-47) of Our Lord’s Words: “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.


Agape love is also the eighth Problem-Solving Device (tool) and is defined as impersonal, unconditional love for all mankind. This type of love is taught in 1CO 13:4-7: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Again, The Message Bible’s translation of 1CO 13:4-7 puts it perfectly: [agape] Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. That translation really describes the essence of unconditional, impersonal love.


The second Fruit is JOY. The Greek word for Joy is chara. It’s pronounced ka-dah with the emphasis on “dah.” Chara means inner happiness and satisfaction. This type of happiness is totally separate from the circumstances or environment that you find yourself in. It comes from excitement for and love of Bible doctrine. As you apply doctrine more and more, in your everyday life, you’ll experience this type of joy or inner happiness.


You’ll also experience this type of joy from The Spiritual victories which you’ll achieve during your Christian life. When you are triumphant in the trials God puts in your life, you’ll experience Chara. Think about this the next time you’re faced with a difficult situation in your life. If you apply what you’ve learned by studying God’s Word, you will feel tremendous inner happiness. As an example, say a bully in your class starts yammering at you and threatening you. Instead of fighting back by yelling in his or her face, walk away. Let’s make up our own term for this – The Christian Walk-Away! Without question, when you do The Christian Walk-Away, you will experience JOY!


This kind of joy is part of sharing God’s happiness, no matter what situation you’re in. Satan has led people to believe that joy in life comes from people and circumstances. Pleasure, success, social life, public approval from others, fame, material things and pleasant circumstances cannot make you happy. These things are fun and enjoyable, but they can’t help you in times of suffering. Only the true happiness and joy that God The Holy Spirit produces can do that!!

{to be continued}

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top