Summary: A sermon designed to help up to become more patient with people and with circumstances.
pt. 4 - I Will Be Patient
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Introduction: I want to welcome you this morning to part 4 of a new sermon series based on the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. This series is all about life change and what God wants to do in our lives if we will let Him. Make no mistake my friends; the goal of God in salvation is Christlikeness. God wants to change us into the image (icon -- exact replica) of His Son in character, conduct and personality.
What is patience? Someone has written that:
1. Is the ability to sit back and wait for an expected outcome without experiencing anxiety, tension, or frustration.
2. Is the ability let go of your need for immediate gratification and be willing to wait.
3. Patience is the trait that displays tolerance, compassion, understanding, and acceptance toward those who are slower than you in developing maturity, emotional freedom, and coping abilities.
4. Patience is the ability to remain calm in the midst of turmoil because you know God is in control.
Let me also remind you that we can translate the first few words of verse 22, "The fruit of the Spirit..." to read "...the fruit that the Spirit produces..." This morning I want to you to ask yourself this question as we begin; "If I was more patient would it make a difference in my life?"
First let's consider:
I. We Need to Acknowledge God's Patience
We have the patience of God illustrated in the way that He deals with those who commit sin. The scoffers that Peter mentions charge God with "...slackness..." or tardiness or the inability to keep his word but Peter declares that this is His patience with men. We can see this patience in three areas.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
a. His patience with wicked
Romans 2:5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. ESV
What Paul is saying is that all those who sin are "storing up" or piling up God's wrath until the day of "...righteous judgment..." God is displaying his patience in that He allows men to continue in their sin even though he could justly destroy them at any time. God is very, very patient with those who sin against him.
b. His promises to the waiting
The second issue that Peter addresses in the passage that I read is "...his promises..." The scoffers ask the question:
2 Peter 3:4 ...where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Joshua 21:45 Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
It was 900 hundred years between God's promise to Abraham to make of him a great nation and the unification of the twelve tribes under King David, but it came to pass. It was 20 years between the time Elijah pronounced God's judgment on Ahab and Jezebel but it came to pass.
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
1. One jot -- the smallest of the Hebrew letters.
2. One tittle -- one of those little strokes by which alone some of the Hebrew letters are distinguished from others like them. (Our punctuation marks)
c. His patience with the wayward
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
He is speaking not of justification through His blood once for all, but of the present sanctification ("cleanseth" is present tense)
Notice that God not only forgives believers but he also cleanses them and continues to cleanse them! This would mean that God understands that we need to be cleansed over and over again. I shower every day and wash my hands many times every day to keep my physical body clean. As a Christian I sin and because I do I need forgiveness and cleansing every day in order to stay clean. God is patience, more patience than any earthly parent and like a good parent He is alert to the cries of His children when they are in distress and in need of forgiveness.