Summary: A series on the fruits of the Spirit
Getting Fruit From God’s Garden Series
Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control
May 25, 2008 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
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. Gal 5:22-23 (NASB)
A Paul’s letter was written to a fickle congregation that couldn’t make up their minds.
1 ...but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe , but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? Gal 4:13-16 (NASB)
a First visit, sick, they made a fuss over him, ministered to him, he was the king.
b V. 15a: “Where then is that sense of blessing you had?”
aa Something happened to their level of faithfulness, gone.
bb Faithfulness is reliability, certainty, confidence, trusting, “I do”
2 Jesus’ faithfulness (...but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name...Phil 2:7-9 (NASB)) was proved because he stayed the course until He returned to heaven (didn’t give up in tough times, wilderness, Garden, Antipas, Pilate, Golgatha).
a He showed up just like He promised (baby in Bethlehem, crush the head).
b A Man of His word, promise keeper, faithful!
3 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11 (NASB)
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thess 5:24 (NASB) He’s promised to come back, & I believe Him!
a And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. Rev 19:11 (NASB)He was faithful at the first coming, & will be faithful at His second coming.
b I’m trusting Jesus’ faithfulness, confidence in God’s Word, & I’m standing on the promises. Do you trust His faithfulness?
B The faithfulness that we see in Jesus is the faithfulness we have in us right now.
1 Faithfulness shows up when the Spirit does.
a Faithfulness in a healthy marriage is a good mental picture of what faithfulness looks like.
b A person of your word, reliable, worthy of trust, loyal.
2 Faithful to God with service & life (folks that just are “faithful” with their attendance & giving)-loyalty.
3 Faithful to one another...with reliability & confidence.
a I’m not advocating following them into error, sin, rebellion, grieving or quenching the Spirit.
b You can faithfully reach out, pray, minister as the need arises.
It’s the next fruit that enables us to minister in faithfulness, despite temptations, hurt feelings, and anger (transitional sentence).
VIII Gentleness (translated in the KJV as “meekness”)
A Meekness isn’t weakness (not spineless incompetence).
1 Jesus (Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt 11:29 (KJV)) and Moses (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earthNum 12:3 (KJV)) were both described as “meek”, yet not one us would describe either as “weak” or “spineless”.
a Gentleness/meekness is the opposite of an arrogant, self-assertive spirit, roughness.
b Jesus & Moses didn’t throw their authority, weight around.
2 They were considerate with their dealings with people.
a Wisdom is the right use of knowledge, gentleness is the right use of power & authority.
b It is a grace of the soul
B The New Testament uses gentleness to describe 3 attitudes:
1 Submission to the will of God So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...Col 3:12 (NASB)
a It’s a gentleness in our spirit that allows us to be in agreement with the Spirit of God as He deals with us.
b God is so good, so we’re not going to dispute, resist