THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
JULY 21, 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.”
The ninth and last Fruit of The Spirit is Self-Control. The Greek noun for self-control is egkrateia which is pronounced eng-krat-i-ah. The emphasis is on “krat.” So now you’ve learned nine (COUNT THEM 9!!!) Greek words! An important question to understand is: why are we learning Greek words?? If you’ve ever wondered or don’t know it’s because Grace Bible Church is dedicated to teaching the Word of God from the original languages in which it was written. The New Testament is written in Koine (“common”) Greek. Koine is a form of Greek that most educated people, who lived when the Bible was being written, used every day. It was simpler in its style, syntax, and grammar than classical Greek, and it was probably easier for non-native speakers of Greek to learn. It’s interesting to note that though the Gospel writers wrote in Koine Greek, Jesus Christ and His disciples spoke Aramaic. Aramaic gradually replaced Hebrew as the language of the Jews at that time.
So, in Koine Greek the word for Self-Control is the word egkrateia. Having self-control means you’re able to control your feelings and behavior. If you have self-control, you’ll be able to control your desires and passions. And in order to have self-control, you have to be humble. Why do you think that’s true? It’s because when you’re truly humble, you’re giving up being in control. As Christians, we know God is in control. But in His Graciousness, He doesn’t take control – He waits like a Gentleman for us to choose to give it over to Him. Humility is something we covered in great detail last week and if you think about it, being humble really does enable you to have self-control. This is because when a person is humble, the focus is not on self!
When control is given over to God, only good things will come to us. Even when something seems devastating, let God handle! He’s our Perfect Heavenly Father and one of His many attributes Omniscience (all-knowing)! Why wouldn’t you let Him control every situation in which you find yourself?? Look at what the apostle Paul wrote in ROM 8:28 (New International Version): And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
The problem we have as human beings is that we tend to worry about tomorrow and lose track of today. This is a result of our old sin nature. We project our fears of what we think MAY happen instead of trusting the fact that God is in control and will take care of us. MATT 6:34 (The Message Bible) gives us the perfect directive: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” It boils down to one thing: trusting Him. The more you study Bible Doctrine, the more you’ll trust Him. Do you think that God is worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow? Of course not! He already knows what’s going to happen; He knew in Eternity Past. He will provide for us as we need it, so we only need to live for today. Remember He put His Beloved Son on a cross for the world. If He did that for you, why wouldn’t He take care of you in when someone at school bullies you or when your friends gossip about you and it hurts your feelings. Let Him control it. He really can do a much better job than anyone else!
As you gradually learn to give over control over to God and you’ve developed self-control, you’ll also develop self-discipline. You might think that they’re the same, but there really is a difference between the two. When you show Divine self-control, you stop yourself and let God control the situation. With self-discipline, you go forward in His Pre-Designed Plan for your life.
If you develop self-discipline, you’ll have an organized life. Having an organized life is based on having the right priorities. Having the right priorities means putting your responsibilities in the correct order. You should constantly evaluate your priorities by asking yourself: “What is the most important thing in my life?” No matter who you are or what age you are, if you are truly a Christian, God has to be your first priority. And if God put His Word above His Name – His Word has to comes first. God and His Word are a package deal, really. Once you place Them as your FIRST priority in life, it’s up to you to complete the list of the priorities which follow. Here’s an example: God, my family, my friends, my career. For a teenager, it could be the same thing. For a parent it might be different. The point is, you need to keep your priorities straight and Divine self-discipline will help you to do it. Developing Divine self-discipline will enable you to have “time” for everything. You’ll have a time for God, a time for Bible doctrine, a time for your family and friends, a time for work or school and a time for fun. Your life will become more organized, the more you study Bible doctrine, because it will give you the CAPABILITY to organize it.
Bible doctrine will give you inner happiness when you put it first, but it must be the most important thing in your life. An organized person studies Bible doctrine daily, no matter what. So, sooner or later, if you desire to fulfill God’s plan and glorify Him, you have to get organized!!! You have to have self-discipline!
Let’s look at being organized and Divine self-control with respect to your study of Bible doctrine. The Doctrine of Election says everyone has equal privilege and equal opportunity. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day. Everyone has the same opportunity to advance to spiritual maturity. (It’s your choice!) But if you’re disorganized and you have the wrong priorities, you’ll never become spiritually mature.
Think about the people you know who complain about how busy they are and how they don’t have time for everything. There are a lot of people out there who do! If you look more closely at them, you’ll notice that they have the wrong priorities and because of this, they’re terribly disorganized. This is what the apostle Paul taught in EPH 5:15-17 when he wrote: Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. What’s “the will of the Lord” for believers? It’s for us to study His Word and become mature believers!
The Message Bible translation of EPH 5:11-17 says it all about how we should live our Christian Walk and how others don’t do it correctly: Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
The believer, who has developed Divine self-control and has become more self-disciplined because of it, will go to Bible class and learn doctrine because he or she understands what God’s Will is. That is “what the Master wants.” And if you have self-control, you’ll also be more teachable because you’ll be humbler. Humility will enable you to submit to your Pastor Teacher’s authority.
Self-control is taught in many passages in the Bible. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (PRO 16:32) This passage teaches us that someone who has self-control is a greater person than someone who captures an entire city in battle. Think about that the next time your blow your stack!
The Apostle Paul wrote about the importance of self-control in 2TI 2:1-7 (The Message Bible): So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain. You cannot be on active duty in God’s Army, if you get caught up in the details of everyday life. Being on active duty in God’s Army means being in His Plan! God enlisted you as a soldier on the day of your salvation. Are you on active duty in God’s army?
Like being a good Christian, becoming a good soldier requires consistent training. But it also demands self-control and self-discipline. A good soldier will undergo a great change by understanding teamwork, developing military skills, and being willing to make sacrifices for his or her country.
Becoming a soldier in God’s Army works exactly the same way it does in the military. You have to understand that there is a code of conduct within God’s army that is different from what you experience in Satan’s cosmic system. This code of conduct starts with recognizing and respecting authority. Remember that all authority in God’s army starts with God! We’re taught in ROM 13:1-2: Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. God is the First Authority in the Christian life, but we must always be mindful of respecting the authority in our daily lives, too. This brings Him glory!
God gives us His Divine Supernatural Power and the ability to glorify Him. Taking advantage of Divine Power (through the Filling of The Spirit) and God’s Word will allow you to receive fantastic blessings in both time and eternity. If you don’t use the abilities, He blesses you with – like The Fruit Of The Spirit – you will have wasted your life. And you’ll end up with regrets at the Judgment Seat of Christ! The Judgment Seat of Christ is an actual evaluation of all Church-Age believers. The Judgment Seat of Christ will take place at the end of the Church-Age after the Rapture. It’s the evaluation of how or if we used God’s Logistical Grace Provision, the Problem-Solving Devices (tools), and Divine Power. The evaluation is determined on the basis of the execution of God’s Pre-Designed Plan for your life or the failure to do so. Failure is a result of living in the cosmic system. Paul writes about this in 1CO 3:11-15 (New International Version) For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Failure at The Judgment Seat of Christ also means that lost escrow blessings remain on deposit forever as a memorial to lost opportunity: What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. (1PE 1:3-5 The Message Bible)