Summary: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.

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Sermon Objective: The Fruit of the Spirit are most fully realized in relationships and no relationship is more basic than the marriage relationship.


13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


Thursday, January 15, 2009, was another ordinary day in New York City. Or so it seemed. But by that evening people were talking of a miracle.

They may have been right. But the full explanation is, if anything, even more interesting and exciting. And it strikes just the note we need as we think about Christian character and “goodness” in particular.

Flight 1549, a regular US Airways trip from La Guardia Airport, took off at 15:26 local time, bound for Charleston, North Carolina. The captain, Chelsey Sullenberger III, known as “Sully” did all the usual checks. Everything was fine in the Airbus A320. Fine until, two minutes after takeoff, the aircraft ran straight into a flock of Canada Geese. One goose in a jet engine would be serious; a flock was disastrous. Almost at once both the engines were severely damaged and lost their power. The plane was at that point heading north over the Bronx, one of the most densely populated parts of the city.

Captain Sullenberger and his copilot had to make several major decisions instantly if they were going to save the lives of people not only on board but also on the ground.

• They could see one or two small local airports in the distance, but quickly realized that they couldn’t be sure of making it that far. If they attempted it, they well might crash land in a built-up area on the way.

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