Summary: Each of these characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is a part of God’s character. They describe Him, and therefore, how He relates to us. Because it is our goal to become like God in His character, it becomes our responsibility to respond to people t
“The Spirit-filled Life”
Spirit-filled people overcome temptation.
“...live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify ... the sinful nature.” vs. 16
Spirit-filled people have to fight their natural desires.
We aren’t born patient, are we? When a baby wakes up in the middle of the night & is hungry, or its diaper is wet, it doesn’t lie there & think, "I know Mom & Dad are tired. So I’ll just wait until a more convenient time to let them know that I need something to eat or my diaper changed." No! That baby cries impatiently & continues to cry until it receives the attention it demands.
Have you ever traveled with a child? A little 4-year-old boy was traveling with his mother & constantly asking the same question over & over again? "When are we going to get there? When are we going to get there?" Finally, the mother got so irritated that she said, "We still have 90 more miles to go. So don’t ask me again when we’re going to get there." Well, the boy was silent for a long time. Then he timidly asked, "Mom, will I still be four when we get there?"
“They [the Spirit and the sinful nature] are in conflict with each other” vs. 17
Neither patience, nor any of the other 8 parts of the fruit of the Spirit are our natural reaction to the people and situations that we face. When we came to Christ, we received a new nature – but the old nature is there too. And they are constantly fighting against each other. They want different objectives. They handle things in different ways. So because these things are contrary to our nature, it’s not going to be easy to live according to these standards. But it is possible. And it even becomes second nature to us the more that we yield to God’s Spirit and put these things into practice.
Spirit-filled people don’t face judgment.
“...if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” vs. 18
“...there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1 (quickview) ,2
“Against such things there is no law.” vs. 23
Last week, using the examples of love, joy and peace, we saw that each of the parts of the fruit of the Spirit are based on our beliefs, are commanded in Scripture and are empowered by the Holy Spirit living inside of us. In our own strength, we cannot force ourselves to produce this fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to the Spirit and let Him produce godly character and actions in us.
As we examine three more aspects of the fruit today, our main goal is to see that each of these characteristics is a part of God’s character. They describe Him, and therefore, how He relates to us. Because it is our goal to become like God in His character, it becomes our responsibility to respond to people the way that He responds to us.
1. Patience is the power of the Spirit-filled life.