The Spirit's Fruits - Final WrapUp - Galatians 5

Steve Viars April 23, 1991 Galatians 5:22-24

- tonight we're going to be having a final wrap up of the
  series on the fruit of the Spirit
- now you might say - I thought last week we had the "Final
  review"
    - what's the relationship between the "final wrap up"
      tonight and the "Final review" we had last week

- the answer to that is - "you have a "final wrap up" when
  you run out of time before covering everything you need to
  in the "final review"!

- I'd like to attempt to accomplish three objectives tonight

   1) look at another passage that describes the same kinds
      of attributes as the fruit of the spirit, but does so
      from another perspective, that I believe will help us
      as we seek to grow in these areas. You could look at
      this first part as some additional motivation to be
      growing in our development of the various components of
      the fruit of the spirit.

   2) go back and spend a little more time on applying the
      put off/put on principle to this study.  I wasn't
      satisfied with the amount of time we were able to spend
      last week on this because we were rushed by that point.
      To be honest, I chose one of the easier components to
      work through the put off/put on principle--tonight I'd
      like to see how we do on some harder ones.

   3) study the way Paul concludes this study because I
      believe that material contains some important
      instruction but also contains a lot of hope.

- let's call this first point:

I. The Human Side of Fruit Bearing

  - we've said a number of times that these characteristics
    are called the fruit of the Spirit for some definite
    reasons
       - they're not called the fruit of Paul, the fruit of
         men, the fruit of women

       - INPUT - what truths was God emphasizing when He
           called these characteristics the fruit of the
           Spirit?

             - only be developed by a believer
             - must use the Spirit's sword
             - must be asking for the power/help of the Holy
                 Spirit

    - however, that could potentially get out of balance,
      especially because of the way Gal. 5:22-23 is worded,
      so I'd like us to compare these verses to two other
      similar passages to pull out some similarities but also
      some important differences


- on your notes, we've printed out three passages, Gal. 5:22-
  23 (the one we've been studying for several weeks), and two
  other similar passages, I Tim. 6:11, and II Tim. 2:22

- under those verses, we've also given a table that helps
  compare the components from the three verses
- let me make one quick observation about these verses that
  has nothing to do with our point here - but:
    - its good for us to notice here that the lists are
      obviously different.
    - INPUT - what point can we make from that? (Neither of
              these lists was intended to be comprehensive)

    - INPUT - let me ask you, as you compare the lists:

    A. Similarities in these passages?  (INPUT)

        - all three mention love, faithfulness


    B. Differences in these passages?  (INPUT)

        - several

    C. What is mentioned in I Tim. 6:11 and II Tim. 2:22 that
       aids our understanding of Gal. 5:22-23

       - in both passages, we are told to "pursue" these
         components of the spirit's fruit

       - we talk a lot about this point, so I don't want to
         spend a lot of time right here, but:
       - there are some folks who call themselves Christians
         who have trouble imagining any place for the
         Christian's individual involvement in the growth
         process

       - in fact, when we were talking about self-control the
         other night, we mentioned Grace Fellowship
         International, (Charles Solomon - Spirituotherapy)
         which says "the first thing we tell new converts is
         'Don't try to live the Christian life.  You have
         invited the Lord Jesus into your life, let Him live
         his life in you."

       - others like to say "let go and let God" and other
         phrases that would imply that there's no place for
         human effort in the struggle

       - I think its possible that if a study on this
         subject was isolated to Gal. 5:22-23, that  might
         lead some to fall into thinking that the phrase
         "fruit of the Spirit" implies that man can't be
         involved

       - that’s why its good to compare Scripture with
         Scripture because I Tim. 6:11 and II Tim. 2:22 make
         it clear that these components of the Spirit's fruit
         have to be actively pursued by the believer

 


       - now lets talk about how active the Bible means

       - let's go to another passage where the word
         translated pursue is used

       - Isa. 14:13

       - now you might ask - I thought the NT was written in
          Greek and the OT in Hebrew - how could the same
          word for pursue be used in the OT?

       - the answer is - before the time of Christ, some men
         translated the OT into Greek - called the Septuagint
           - we can learn a lot about people's understanding
             of the OT by studying that document

       - read Isa. 13:14

          - INPUT - which word in this verse do you think is
                    the same as the one in I Tim 6 and II Tim
                    2 translated "pursue"?

                    - (KJV - flee, (same in NASB and NIV)

          - what does Isaiah compare these folks to?  (i.e.
            "they will be like..." - a chased/hunted gazelle)

          - in other words, the word pursue in I Tim. 6 and
            II Tim 2 is likened to a hunted gazelle in Isaiah
            13

          - INPUT - what is true of a hunted animal - what is
                    that like?  (various answers, ie. - the
                    animal runs for all his might - he
                    doesn't stop for any reason - everything
                    else seems unimportant compared to the
                    chase)

          - INPUT - what is Paul saying to us about Growth?

          - point is - Paul is likening the development of
              the Spirit's fruit to running.

              - we all know about running - we're running
                here and there all the time.
              - in fact, some here tonight have been running
                all day, you ran home - woofed down some
                dinner-and here you are.
              - we all know about running - but Paul says -
                what are you running after?
              - what are you pursuing?

              - we're not talking about being in a rush,
                having it all done today
              - in fact, a little later on we'll discuss a
                concept that shows that that’s definitely not
                true


              - so we're talking about intensity

              - just like the intensity and the swiftness of
                a gazelle running for its life, we ought to
                be running, pursuing after the development of
                these characteristics

              - see, that’s that's the importance God puts on
                the process - the question we need to ask is
                - do I view the process the same way God
                  does?

              - Has my desire and intensity on this subject
                been commensurate with His?

PAUSE

    - have you ever worked with somebody who didn't have the
      same intensity to get the job done that you did?

    - its like when you've got a toothache - you're head's
        throbbing - you can hardly think straight

    - you call the dentist for an appointment - he says -
      "how's June 15th sound?"

    - point is - The Lord describes likens process to a
        running animal being chased or hunted - and we need to
        ask ourselves - are we exerting that kind of effort

- I'd like to move on and attempt to push our discussion of
  applying the put off/put on principle to the fruit of the
  spirit study and then I'd like to look at two other wrap up
  issues

II. Applying The Put Off/Put On Principle To The Fruit Of The
     Spirit

- review Put off/put on - Eph. 4:22-24 - read and explain)

- last week we said that in order to develop these character
  qualities that Paul is commanding, we have to follow
  several steps:
            1) identify area we need to work on first (see
                  list of fruit and weeds)

            2) identify what habits of thinking and behaving
               are associated with that area that need to be
               put off.

            3) identify what habits of thinking and behaving
               need to be put on in their place.

- last week, we worked on one that is fairly easy to put into
  this format (patience)

- tonight - I'd like to try a couple that will be a little
   more challenging

- we've given you the fruit/weeds chart like last week except
  this time we've filled in the blanks

- let's try one of the artificial fruits, timidity
   (artificial fruit that sometimes looks like meekness)
- many of might say that we are shy or timid by nature, but
   that has to change if we're going to carry out the great
   commission
- that doesn't mean that God wants everyone to be extreme
   extraverts, but timid folks need to change

- First, let's talk about some habits of thinking that may
  need to change for the timid person (INPUT?)

- Now, what habits of behaving might need to be put off?
  (INPUT)

- INPUT - what habits of thinking need to be put on?

- INPUT - what habits of behaving need to be put on?

(Do the same thing for manipulative kindness)

- we've talked about some additional motivation to work on
  these principles (the fact that Paul uses the Word "pursue"
  in similar discussions of character qualities), and we've
  talked about some how-to's with the Put off/Put on
  principle
      - now I'd like to look at the way Paul concludes these
        verses and see some of the hope he gives

III. Paul's Final Encouragement In Fruit-Bearing

    - read 22-26

    A. Reminds us who we are in Christ

        1. who you belong to

            - I like the way the King James version
              translates that - "they that are Christ's"
            - Paul reminds us who we are - if we're saved, we
              belong to the Lord

            - INPUT - can you think of another passage that
                teaches that same truth?

                I Cor. 6:19-20 - What? Know ye not that your
                  body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who
                  is in you, whom ye have of God, and ye are
                  not your own?  For ye are bought with a
                  price, therefore glorify God in your body
                  and your spirit, which are God's

            - INPUT - how or why should that truth impact the
                      way we view this study on the fruit of
                      the spirit?

                - one writer commented on this verse by
                  saying, since God's owns us, and we are to
                  be bearing fruit, that makes us His orchard
        2. what happened when you were saved

            - now, I want to spend a little time here, and
              here's why:
            - this concept dovetails with:
                - the passage we studied to begin this series
                - one of the points from Pastor's message
                   Sunday evening
                - one of the points we saw from I Peter 2 on
                   Sunday morning
                - along with the way Paul is concluding here

            - we're talking about the phrase:

            a. crucified the flesh with its affections and
                 lusts

               - now Paul is talking about what happened
                 positionally to every believer at the point
                 of salvation
               - Romans 6:6 is very similar - "Knowing this,
                  that our old man is crucified with him,
                  that the body of sin might be destroyed,
                  that henceforth we should no longer serve
                  sin"

               - point is - when we were saved, we were set
                  free from the bondage of sin - we no longer
                  had to sin

               - Paul's been emphasizing that point in
                 2:4, 4:21-31, and 5:1
               - Read 5:1

               - that’s the same argument he's calling up
                 again at the end of this study
               - sure, its hard to develop these
                 characteristics, but you belong to Christ
                   - and you have crucified the flesh--you no
                     longer have to sin

              - I said that this dovetails with several
                studies we've done

            b. connection to this study?

              - if you remember, we began this series by
                studying Gal. 5:13 and talking about
                "restrained liberty"
                 - read - the point was - our liberty in
                   Christ, controlled by love, is what
                   actually makes it possible for us to grow

            c. connection to message on Peter Sunday night?

         - INPUT - can you connect that to one of the points
             Pastor made Sunday night?  (Peter was a
             listener, loyal, liberated)

 


            d. connection to message on authority Sunday
                morning?

         - let me ask you to turn over to I Peter 2 - read
           verse 16

    - point is - this is a major Bible theme.

    - see, what should we tell ourselves - I can't change,
      I've always been this way (my whole family was this
      way, you can't teach an old dog new tricks)

    - we need to tell ourselves - I can change, I don't have
      to continue in those sinful habits.

    - INPUT - How is this different than a sanctified "the
              little engine that could" or simply positive
              thinking?

            - the little engine had no guarantee he'd make
              it.
            - we're not talking about positive thinking--
              we're talking about true thinking.

    - God very clearly emphasizes in His word that
      remembering that we've been freed from sin is an
      important part of the growth process
         - and I think its safe to say that since its come up
           in several major studies recently, that God wants
           us to make this important truth a part of our
           being

         - Paul said it this way in Romans 6:11 "Likewise,
             reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed to
             sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our
             Lord"

    B. Commands us to live in light of our position

        - verse 25

        - there's a couple different ways we can look at that

        1. the term "walk" is a challenge

            - the reason I say that’s a challenge is because
              Paul says - walk in the Spirit (not sit in the
              Spirit)

            - illus - elderly couple - in 70's - married over
                 50 years

                  - bickering, fighting, lying, cutting each
                    other up
                  - yet said they had been believers for
                     decades

                  - How could that happen? - hadn't been
                    walking in the Spirit - hadn't taken the
                    Spirit's sword and applied it to areas
                    that verses 22-23 identify

        2. the term "walk" is an encouragement

            - INPUT - why is that true?

    C. Don't let pride hinder the process

        - Paul concludes with an unusual statement - read 26

        - I think we need to ask, how does that fit into the
          overall argument?

        - I think we need to say it this way - there were at
          least 3 potential kinds of people who would hear
          read this letter, and all three needed to hear
          verse 26

        1. the legalists - they needed to hear it because
            their pride had thrust them into legalism in the
            first place

        2. the self-righteous - I'm thinking here of
            individuals who heard these words but thought - I
            don't really need to change

        3. those who would take steps to grow in these areas

            - NASB - let us not become boastful

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

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