Last week we talked about Darkness and Light, including Matthew 5:16 that says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” Since the light that shines forth from us comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it occurred to me that the fruit of the Spirit is like a rainbow of colors that all work together to produce pure white light. At the risk of mixing metaphors too badly, let’s use the prism of Scripture to think how the various fruits of the Spirit work together to make up the light we are to shine. As the world seems to get more and more contentious, we have been presented with an opportunity to shine light into the darkness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Things to think about:
· The natural state of things is darkness (Genesis 1) but light requires energy. The light we are to shine is not self-generated but comes from the Holy Spirit inside of us (if you’re a believer). Jesus tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing and also that He would send us a Helper.
· Paul says earlier in Galatians 5 that we are to be led by the Spirit (Light) and not by our own natural desires (Darkness).
· The current times we live in cry out for light. So if we are to be led by the Spirit and shine light, let’s get more practical about what light actually looks like.
ROY G BIV
o 1 John 3:16-18 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
§ How do we show love to others?
o Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
o It is said that the difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is dependent on external circumstances but joy is more foundational and not swayed by externalities.
o Joy is rooted in hope. Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
§ How can we share our joy with others?
o John 16:33 - “I have told you these things, so that in me You may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
o Philippians 4:4-7 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
§ We all know verses 6 and 7 but it’s interesting that verses 4 and 5 mention two other fruits of the Spirit – Joy and Gentleness
§ How can we share peace with others?
o Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
§ Here are four fruits in one verse!
§ My mother-in-law used to say, “Never pray for patience. You don’t want to go through the training course!”
§ How can we show patience to others?
o Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
o It seems that kindness and compassion go together, that we are to treat others as we would want to be treated.
§ How can we show kindness to others?
o In Greek, the word goodness, “agathosune,” means “an uprightness of heart and life” (Thayer & Strong, 1995).
§ It seems to me this is closely related to holiness and righteousness.
o Jesus says about Himself in John 10:11 – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
o It is both an attitude and a lifestyle.
§ How can we show goodness to others?
o Faithfulness is Belief + Action + Perseverance
§ Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
o Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith chapter in the Bible.
o These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
o By faith Abraham obeyed
o By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark
o By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau
o By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
o By faith they passed through the Red Sea
§ How can we show faithfulness to others?
o Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
o Also expressed as humility or meekness. Meekness is not weakness! It is strength under control.
§ How can we show gentleness to others?
o Proverbs 25:28 – “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
§ You can have the edifice but not the evidence.
o James 1:19-20 – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
§ How can we show self-control to others?