1. In Galatians, Paul warned regarding the works of the flesh...
a. They can destroy the liberty we enjoy in Christ - Galatians 5:13-15
b. They prevent us from following the Spirit and doing the things we wish - Galatians 5:16-17
c. They keep us from inheriting the kingdom of God - Galatians 5:21
2. He also wrote concerning those led by the Spirit...
a. They are not under the law (in particular, the Law of Moses) - Galatians 5:18
b. They produce fruit against which there is no law (i.e., no condemnation) - Galatians 5:22-23
[We now turn our attention to the first triplet of graces: love, joy and peace]
A. THE LOVE THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, agape - that love which seeks only the highest good of others
2. Is the love of God poured into our hearts - Romans 5:5
4. A love in Christ which "surpasses knowledge" - Ephesians 3:16-19
-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of LOVE in their lives
B. LOVE IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. We are to walk in love - Ephesians 5:1-2
2. We are to love one another fervently - 1 Peter 1:22
3. Love is to be the "tie that binds" the "garment" the Christian is to put on - Colossians 3:12-14
4. It is to be the "universal motive" for all that we do - 1 Corinthians 16:14
5. It is to prevent our Christian liberty from turning into destructive selfishness - Galatians 5:13
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to our LOVE?
[When the love which the Spirit produces is a dominant presence in our lives, it is only natural that it be accompanied by joy]
A. THE JOY THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, chara - joy, gladness (Thayer), delight (Vine)
2. Is integral to the kingdom of God - Romans 14:17
3. Is a gift from God, closely related to our faith and hope - Romans 15:13
4. Is a blessing to sustain us in times of persecution - 1 Thessalonians 1:6
5. Can be described as 'inexpressible and full of glory" - 1 Peter 1:6-8
-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of JOY in their lives
B. JOY IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. Should be a constant presence in our lives - Philippians 4:4
3. Finding joy even in difficult circumstances - James 1:2-4
4. Especially when suffering for Christ - 1 Peter 4:13
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to our JOY?
[Walking in love, experiencing joy, it is understandable that those led by the Spirit would also have peace]
A. THE PEACE THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, eirene - "peace between individuals, i.e., harmony, concord" - Thayer
2. Is the result of those set their minds on the things of the Spirit - Romans 8:5-6
3. Is also integral to the kingdom of God - Romans 14:17
4. Is also a gift from God, closely related to our faith and hope - Romans 15:13
-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of PEACE in their lives
B. PEACE IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. Involves peace with God, when justified by faith - Romans 5:1
2. Involves peace with man, made possible by Jesus' death - Ephesians 2:11-19
3. Involves peace within self, received from God through prayer - Philippians 4:6-7
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to our PEACE?
1. What a contrast between the Spirit and the flesh...!
a. Those who walk by the Spirit experience love, joy, and peace
b. Those who indulge lusts of the flesh experience hatred, jealousies, and outbursts of wrath
2. Which would you rather have...?
a. A life infused with love, joy, and peace, by the Spirit of Almighty God?
b. A life inflicted by hatred, jealousies, and outbursts of wrath, due to fleshly lusts?
By the grace of God, all who have been born again of water and the Spirit, and are willing to walk in the Spirit can experience this wonderful love, joy, and peace (with even more, as we'll see in lessons two and three). How about you? Are you ready to experience God's love?
-- Don Treadway, September 2009 --