LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:19-24 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

The works of the flesh proceed from the sinful nature as naturally as water flows down hill. In this passage Paul mentions many of the works of the flesh that the natural unregenerate man show in their lives. The natural man not only does not feel guilty or ashamed of the various manifestations of these traits, but in many cases is proud to claim them as part of his character. Many for example are proud of their drinking, sexual exploits, partying, etc. Our secular culture even makes heroes out of many who exhibit such behavior. Paul says plainly that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The text then reveals the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. These characteristics are given by the Holy Spirit to those that have been regenerated and redeemed from the penalty and power of sin. They are Christians and have been changed from the inside out, and are no longer under law. They are under grace, led by the Spirit of God, and the fruit of the Spirit will flow from them just as naturally as the works of the flesh flow from the unregenerate. The Bible is clear that a redeemed sinner is not made perfect and can still succumb to the works of the flesh. However, unlike the unregenerate, they will not be proud or indifferent to their sin. They will be ashamed, sorry, convicted by the indwelling Holy Spirit, and will repent and turn from their sin.

The bottom line is that those who habitually practice these works of the flesh without remorse, shame, or repentance will not inherit the kingdom of God, no matter what kind of belief or claim they may have professed in Jesus Christ as their savior, unless at some point in their life they truly come to faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God that He does save such sinners such as this from not only the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin. When God does this work of grace, the born again sinner will not habitually wallow in the works of the flesh that Paul describes in this passage. When the son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).


Blogger mark pierson said...

I think Donsands hit the nail on the head at your blog....
"I was unthankful and selfish to the core of my being.
Now the core has been changed, but I still have to contend with "the remnant" of sin in me."

August 26, 2007 7:19 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

The new creation, a habitation of God through the Spirit, God's temple, quickened, made alive from the dead, a slave of God and of righteousness, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, conveyed by the Father into Christ's Kingdom, a kingdom and priests unto God, - that is the Christian.

August 26, 2007 7:26 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...

A theological position different than this is not informed by the whole of the Bible. It is a position that dichotomizes faith and repentance where the Bible does no such thing,resulting in operation on a false and unbiblical paradigm.

August 26, 2007 7:32 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Thanks for making these points and Donsands certainly summed it up well with his great statement about his core being changed by the Holy Spirit.

It is a fact that vast majority of personal testimonies involve a person saying that "God changed my heart." Scripture teaches this and that is how people report their actual personal experience.

I have never heard someone say, "I believed the promise of Jesus and went back into beer hall for another round of brew."


August 26, 2007 9:27 PM

Blogger Daniel said...

Corrie Ten Boom tells the pointed story (by way of example) of the pickpocket who gives his testimony - "I used to steal 20 watches a day, but since I found Jesus, I only steal about three or four a day..." her point being that cutting down on sin is the work of guilt and not the work of the holy spirit. True repentance is a change of heart that manifests itself not in a trimming back of sin, but in a clean break.

August 26, 2007 11:59 PM


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