Summary: If we are indwelled by the 9 characteristics/fruits of the Holy Spirit when we are saved, why is it then we have so many ’professing’ believers who seem to do whatever is in their power to steal the joy and kill the fellowship of the local church?
Date Written: July 29, 2009
Date Preached: August 02, 2009
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Sermon Series: Murder and Robbery in the Fellowship!
Sermon Title: The Legalist!
Sermon Text: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 [NLT]
This morning I am sure you have looked at your bulletin and wondered, “What is Bro Bobby going to say today?” Well I am beginning a series that deals with those in the church… those professing believers whose actions and attitudes steal the joy and kill the fellowship of a congregation.
However, before we move into the realm of what is BAD for the fellowship, let’s look at what Scripture says the believer is SUPPOSED to look like… let’s look at who we are SUPPOSED to be in Christ!
Turn with me to Galatians 5:22-23 and let’s look at what God is saying should be a picture of a full devoted follower of Christ who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit and allowing Christ to rule and reign in their lives…
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
The believer is called to a life that goes against human nature and human frailty… After Christ indwells our hearts, the Holy Spirit should produce the following characteristics in our lives that MUST be unmistakable and obvious in our daily lives… to NOT have these characteristics is to NOT know Christ!
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit brings about 9 different fruits into the believers life, and these 9 fruits are manifested in our day to day living. What many people misunderstand about this list is that it is NOT a list of Spiritual gifts… but a list of fruit borne because of the presence of the Spirit in our lives!
All 9 should be present in our lives… not only the ones we believe we think are our strong suit… Paul teaches us that we become a ‘new creature’ in Christ… and this is what we are to become! Let’s briefly look at what these 9 characteristics of the Spirit are…
1st is Love… agape love is described here where the believer has a unconditional love for their Savior and for all those in the fellowship of Christ PLUS all those who do NOT have Christ in their life! Paul teaches us that we can have all the talent and gifts in the world but if we don’t have LOVE… we are nothing more than a wind bag… a useless NOISE…
2nd is joy, which is NOT the same as happiness. Joy comes from a deep seated contentment that occurs when our focus is in the proper place. Paul taught us that we are to be content with where God has placed us and serve Him from whatever situation we find ourselves. This doesn’t mean we cannot strive for better, but it means that our service to God cannot be determined by the circumstances of our life… Our Joy is based on our relationship with Him!
3rd there is peace, it is a peace about our circumstances and what is happening in the world. Jesus tells his disciples that he did not come to bring the peace that the world knew, but that His brings a peace that only God could provide… Paul describes this Peace… it is the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding…’
This dovetails with the joy that comes in serving Christ in all situations. The world will not understand how we can have joy and peace in the struggle of life, but in Christ we can!
4th is patience which is described in many translations as ‘long-suffering’ or putting up with others when they are going against God and His plan. God was patient with us, He is patient with this world and we are to be patient with those who are OUTSIDE of Christ, but also we must be patient with each other. Love of each other helps in this situation… without love there can be NO patience!
The 5th characteristic is kindness, and this is one we fall short on quite abit as believers. We simply find ourselves being HONEST to the point of brutality at times… when kindness is warranted. What we need to understand is that Kindness of the spirit does NOT accept the wrong doing but merely reveals the love of Christ. In John 8 Jesus reveals this kindness when dealing with the woman caught in adultery.
The 6th characteristic is goodness. Paul uses the Greek word, [ah-gath-oh-soon-ay] which is a form of the Greek word [agape] which is unmerited or unconditional love. Which translates to mean that we are to be good, even when those we are dealing with are not worthy of us being good to them… it means that we do good when good is not the warranted thing! This takes a great deal of reliance on the Spirit, but it IS a fruit that we must bear!