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Summary: The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 5) What is patience? The picture of patience. The purpose of patience. The practical practice of patience. Find sermon at www.praiseag.org


The Fruit of The Spirit (Part 5)

Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)

[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.


The annual cost of people running red lights in the United States is $7 billion. The average amount of time saved by running a red light is only 50 seconds. How much might a minute saved cost you?

Yes, this morning we are going to focus on patience. I’ve often heard people say, “Don’t pray for patience because it’s too painful!” Or others who have prayed, “Lord please give me patience . . . and I want it NOW!” Whether you are reluctant to pray for patience or if you want patience in a hurry, you are not likely to develop much fruit until you have a change of heart. What you need is a better understanding of what patience really is and how it works in our lives.

 What is patience?

How many of you know when we talk about patience there are a lot of different ideas that come to mind? Patience can be:

o Endurance or staying power, an inner strength

o Tolerance or lack of complaint, a still calmness

o Persistence or personal fortitude, a willingness to wait

But what is patience . . . what is the fruit of the Spirit known as patience? Is it all of these things, or is it something else altogether?

For starters let’s remember, we’re talking about the FRUIT of the Spirit not fruits! Paul lists nine different expressions of the Spirit, but they are all one fruit. The fruit is all connected to each other.

Love is the blossom; love is where the fruit of the Spirit begins. Without love there is no fruit. In the same way you will not have cherries without cherry blossoms, or apples without apple blossoms, you cannot have the fruit of the Spirit without love.

The first thing the Spirit does within our lives is to put the love of God within us. Remember also that we are talking about the fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of the saints. Apart from the Spirit of God these characteristics cannot be fully developed in our lives.

We have said joy is love rejoicing; peace is love resting—love trusting. Patience is love enduring; it’s love that is durable and lasting. Patience is love that is not easily broken.

How many of us would like to receive that kind of love from the people in our lives? Guess what . . . you will most often receive the love you give! When we think of patience as love enduring—a love that is not easily broken, then we are all more likely to want it!

Does this fit with what the Bible says? Paul wrote to the Galatians, “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . patience.” What did he mean by patience? Well for starters let’s remember Paul didn’t write the Bible in English! It was written in Greek. The fruit of the Spirit we are calling patience has also been translated into English as longsuffering, forbearance, and serenity.

What is this fruit of the Spirit? Is it really love enduring, a love not easily broken?

The Bible uses four different Greek words that are translated in various ways as patience. Each of these words emphasizes one aspect in one way or another of what we think of as patience. Because it’s “Greek to me” and you too we’re not going to look at all four of these words; we are only going to look the word Paul used as the fruit of the Spirit.

Paul said the fruit of the Spirit is “makrothymia.” This is a compound Greek word made up of the words “makro” meaning long, and “thymia” meaning anger. So literally it means LONG TO ANGER as opposed to “oxythymia” which means sudden anger.

We all know people who “have a short fuse.” They are quick tempered and easily angered. Let’s be honest; I have found “oxythymia” sudden anger looking back at me in the mirror sometimes; my fuse has sometimes been cut short. Am I the only one?

That’s why we need the fruit of the Spirit; we need “makrothymia;” we need a long fuse, to be slow to anger. Patience is the prolonged control of anger or restrained wrath.

Do you see now why patience or longsuffering, forbearance or serenity, whatever you may want to call it is really LOVE ENDUREING? Patience is a love that lasts; it is durable and will not be easily broken.

 The Picture of Patience

Matthew 18:21-35 (MsgB)

At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, "Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?"

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