GRACE BIBLE CHURCH - The Tree of Life
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 09-26-99
The Fruit of the Spirit Part 1.
We are noting what the Holy Spirit will produce in us when He is allowed to do the transformation. We have been looking atGAL 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." 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." When we walk in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, two things happen:
1. The works of the flesh shall not be fulfilled. GAL 5:16
2. The fruit of the Spirit will have its manifestation.
In GAL 5:22-23, the nine words that denote the fruit of the Spirit all represent superhuman qualities of character. There is no way that they could ever be produced by human ability or any personal self-improvement program. They are divine characteristics, and are considered to be "one" fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not produce a few of these in one believer and more or less in another. If one is present, then all are present. In fact, these nine graces constitute the essential elements of Christian character. Unfortunately, some Christian leaders have taught that Christian character is to be built by strenuous self-effort and self discipline. So the phrase, "the fruit of the Spirit" is important to understand. It's not the fruit of the believer or the fruit of the ministry, it is the fruit of the Spirit. In GAL 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is" The word for "fruit" is "karpos" which means production, an effect, a result, work, act, deed or profit, "of the Spirit" is "tou Pneumatos" referring to God the Holy Spirit. So let's begin to look at "the fruit of the Spirit"
The word "agape" translated of course "love". The Holy Spirit declares that "agape" love is the greatest virtue of all in 1CO 13:13, so it is reasonable that it be first on the list. This love is unconditional, so with it you will accept and tolerate people as you find them. Not being critical, looking down your nose at them being legalistic. This love contains virtue and therefore has capacity for true love in friendship, romance, marriage, and all human interaction. It is the type of love that The Lord Jesus Christ told us to operate in concerning our enemies, Mat 5:44, 46. This love is a problem solving device of Christianity which is defined as unconditional love toward all mankind. Being impersonal, agape love emphasizes the virtue of the subject rather than attraction or rapport with an object. It is the ultimate expression of virtue, and is also the ultimate expression of humility. Without humility (enforced and genuine) people are disoriented to life.
We see this type of Love in verses like PRO 17:9, Mat 5:44, LUK 6:27, In 1CO 13:4-5 "Love is patient, love is gracious, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, True and godly love does not act improper, it is never selfish, is not resentful, does not think evil,"
Next we have the Greek word "chara" translated joy and it means inner happiness and contentment. There is a happiness on the other side of the door of hope which is totally divorced from circumstances, pleasure, or environment. Joy is a system of thinking doctrine and is accompanied by enthusiasm for that doctrine.
Joy is thinking not emoting. This joy has a response, which includes animation in the soul, enthusiasm and exultation. A liveliness from the spiritual victories that will come to you, and with these victories the proper and true Biblical elation as a response to doctrine. As the use of that doctrine in perception, metabolization, and application becomes more of a reality in your life, you will experience this joy. This is why the Bible equates joy with undeserved suffering. LUK 6:22, "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man."
Joy is simply sharing God's happiness no matter what the situation may be. This true happiness or joy is a monopoly from the Lord. Satan's myth of arrogance is that both people and pleasant circumstances in life can make you happy and give you joy. Pleasure, success, social life, sexual life, public approbation, fame, material things, travel, health, and pleasant circumstances are not capable of making you happy. These things are pleasurable, stimulating, fun, and enjoyable, but they don't carry you in times of suffering. Only true happiness and the joy that God the Holy Spirit produces can do that. Remember the eight experiments that Solomon made?
This joy that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives is not dependent on environment, associations, or circumstances of prosperity or adversity, it depends on none of these things. You cannot receive true joy from the details of life, However, if you have capacity from your spiritual growth, you can enjoy these things to the maximum. So GAL 5:22 "But the fruit or the production of the Spirit keeps on being virtue-love, joy, [inner happiness and exultation or enthusiasm], peace,"
The third part of the fruit is "eirene" translated "peace" it also means tranquility, health, prosperity and harmony. The word connotes two types of prosperity, inner peace with God and overt prosperity and blessing. This is the type of peace or inner tranquility that delivers a person from anxiety, fears and worries. If you have the fruit of the Spirit you will be at peace with others, and that is one of it's meanings, to be at peace with others, Act 7:26, ROM 12:18. You will also have a tranquil state of the soul, being assured of salvation and fearing nothing from God and being content with the relationship. You have zest for life and an enjoyment of every moment of life, regardless of what it brings. You are very much alive and you treasure every moment of life, whether in adversity or prosperity.
This inner peace cannot be bought in life. It is something that very few individuals enjoy. A mental stability where you have the ability to make correct and accurate application of metabolized doctrine in time of testing. This stability is the insulation against Christian psychosis, neurosis, and psychopathic tendencies. Now, Biblical peace or prosperity is based upon receiving the power and the strength that God has provided. True inner peace which results in overt prosperity comes from your perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine.
When you understand divine viewpoint and the fact that you are accepted with God forever, you will stop struggling and begin to enjoy peace with God. Our peace as well as our prosperity with God is contingent upon the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. So, this peace is a result of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit controlling the soul of the believer and producing His Fruit. This inner peace is based upon a system of thinking or the thoughts that we think, COL 3:15,"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts"