Summary: Everyone is familiar with a hammer and a screwdriver. These are common tools. Does God have tools? Today we will look at nine tools that God provides for us to use.
Last week I asked you two simple questions.
The first was “Are you 100% committed to Jesus Christ?”
The second question was “Are you 100% committed to this church?”
Following the service, I had one person approach me and tell me that they aren’t
100% committed to Jesus, but they are going to work on it. I have a lot of respect for
this person- to acknowledge their weakness and then pledge to work on it. That’s
something to be proud of.
Maybe some of you feel the same way.
You don’t feel like you’re 100% committed to Christ, but boy, would you like to get
With those thoughts in mind, this morning we are going to look at tools.
As most of us know, tools come in all different shapes and sizes. You have heard me
talk to the children about the tools that are up here.
I’m amazed at all of the different tools that there are.
Consider this for a moment … (Holds up screwdriver) This screwdriver is not only a
flathead screw driver, but it is also a large Philips head screwdriver. Within this little
handle, there are 12 pieces to transform this one unit into many different tools. I’m
always amazed at who came up with these ideas.
Tools are used to help us accomplish a project.
This morning, I’m curious to know if you knew that God had His own bag of tools.
Nestled neatly within the letter to the church of Galatia is a set of God’s tools that I
would like to take a look at today.
Our author today, Paul, has written this letter to the church of Galatia with a lot of
intensity and emotion. He has been checking up the church from time to time and he
has received some news that is disturbing.
In Paul’s mind, there is a crisis in the young Galatia church. Convert Jews were
diminishing the power of Christ’s work by focusing on the ‘law’ rather than on Jesus
Christ. These Jewish Roman citizens were seriously violating the basic principals of
Christ by using their status as Greek-speaking Roman citizens to put down the
Gentiles. They were claimed to be Christians, but they were continuing to practice as
Jews. And their practice of following the ‘law’ is what separated them from the
Galatians 3.1 clearly communicates Paul’s anger towards them:
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ
was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did
you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are
you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your
goal by human effort?”
One of the best ways that I like to describe Paul is to refer to the 1988 movie
“Twins” with Danny De Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the movie, Danny De Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger play the role of biological
twins. Now if you can picture the short, weak, and heavyset Danny De Vito and then
picture the tall, muscular, and well trimmed Arnold Schwarzenegger- you can get a
good picture of how Paul was.
In my opinion, when Paul was at a church, he represented the Danny De Vito
character and when Paul wrote a letter, he represented the Arnold Schwarzenegger
The letter to the church of Galatia was very strong and powerful. And Paul had every
intent to get his point across.
One of the best tools that God gives to us is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
In Chapter 5 of Galatians, we read about the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the tools of
the Holy Spirit which are made possible to us by the living relationship between us
as Christians and God through Christ. There are nine of these gifts, but they are
grouped as one- fruit being a singular word- just like there many grapes on one vine,
but it is one bunch.
These nine tools fall into three categories:
The first three comprise general Christian habits of mind; their primary direction is
The second set primarily concerns Christians in their relationship to others and the
Christian Community around us.
And the last three concern Christians as they are to be in relationship to themselves.
For time’s sake this morning, I am not going to go into much depth about each of these
tools. Instead, I am going to give an overview of each tool of the fruit. Some of the tools
are self explanatory, but hopefully this overview will alert you to the value of their use.
The list of fruit begins with love.
Love, set by the Spirit, should set the tone for the life of the whole community. Paul