Summary: Exposition of Gal 5:22-25 second in a two part series comparing the lives of believers and unbelievers
Text: Galatians 5:22-25 Title: Indicators of Genuine Faith, Date/Place: NRBC, 6/24/07, PM
A. Opening illustration: "The Spirit produces one fruit, not nine fruits. The fruit, however, has nine facets or qualities. If a believer is walking in the Spirit, he will possess all nine of these qualities. The source of the fruit is the Spirit who produces it in and through the believer."
B. Background to passage: Again Paul is comparing the looks of the genuine Christian life with those of the false believer. After looking at the pattern of life of an unbeliever, Paul speaks of the fruit (singular) of the Spirit. The logic goes like this: if the Spirit of God dwells within you, He will produce fruit, thus identifying you as a believer. Jesus said that good trees make good fruit… Again, notice that the Spirit produces one fruit that has nine different facets
C. Main thought: We will briefly look at these nine qualities, so that we can evaluate our crop, and then talk about two keys to seeing these things in your life if you are a believer.
A. Love (v. 22)
1. This is the word agape, meaning unconditional, highly-valuing, sacrificial love. And it is the one on this list by which all the others flow from. One writer said that Paul could have stopped here.
3. Illustration: "The term love, which heads the list of the Spirit’s fruit, should not be regarded merely as one of the cluster; it is rather the stem from which all the rest hangs. Love stands at the head of the list, but it is the heart of the whole." a little girl named, Nan, writes this letter: “Dear God, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I have trouble loving them!”
4. This is the mark that distinguishes us. Not because others don’t love. But because Christians love those who don’t love them. Christians continue to love under adverse conditions, even persecution. Do you love faithfully, willfully, sacrificially those that don’t deserve, or even despise your love?
B. Joy (v. 22)
1. This is happiness not based upon circumstance but upon the character and person of Jesus Christ. It is a command in parts of the NT, but a fruit here. One that the Holy Spirit produces in the person that is walking in step with the Spirit.
2. Deut 28:47-48, Phil 1:25, Ps 37:4,
3. Illustration: A young girl became a Christian in an exciting revival at her church and was baptized the closing Sunday morning. That afternoon she ran through the house singing and dancing. Her sour grandfather rebuked her with these words, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You just joined the church and you’re singing and dancing on the Lord’s Day!” Crushed by her grandfather’s attitude, the little girl went out to the barn, climbed up on the corral fence, and observed an old mule standing there with a sad, droopy face and bleary eyes. As she reached over and patted the mule sympathetically, she said, “Don’t cry, ole mule. I guess you’ve got the same kind of religion that Grandpa has!”
4. If you joy is well-placed in Christ, it is an unshakable foundation, because nothing can shake our Lord and Master. Do you have joy that overcomes circumstances, or happiness that undulated with the tides? Are you a grouchy, depressed, negative, hateful Christian, or genuinely filled with joy?
C. Peace (v. 22)
1. Peace comes from our relationship to God, and also between believers and others. It all starts will a calm assurance that God is in control.
2. Ps 27:1, Matt 5:9, Rom 12:18,
3. Illustration: the guy who couldn’t understand why God wanted a dent in His car, The first thing Will did was to totter over to Jason. He knew Jason was at the bottom of this thing, only since no one had ever done something like this to him before, he didn’t know what the thing was. So he did what he had always done. He put his arms around Jason and lay his head against the mean little boy’s chest.
4. Live with a deep trust in God’s character and power. We should be peacemakers in our homes and families. Quick to settle disputes humbly and Christ-like. Feuds, grudges, fights, arguments, etc. have no place in the lives of believers. You should be the one that is the level-headed one in the family, job, church.
D. Patience (v. 22)
1. This word for patience dealt not with bearing up under circumstances, which is definitely a Christian quality, but enduring people. And sometimes God places more on some than others. This is another quality that is grounded in our understanding of an absolutely sovereign God.