We continue our sermon series ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon. Service led by Beverley Sills.
Definitions of Goodness & Faithfulness?
Goodness = Agathosune (Greek) “an uprightness of heart and life” – Thayer & Strong.
The spiritual attribute of goodness affords Christians the testimony of living a holy life for the benefit of others, not simply just to boast of human virtues. E.g., Caring for others, serving, and giving to those in need.
Faithfulness = Pistis (Greek)
faithful endurance that is driven by our trust in Jesus Christ. The spiritual attribute of faithfulness allows the believer to maintain His or Her walk with the Lord despite the challenges of life. Last week’s hymn speaks to the confidence and trust we have in Christ through difficult times.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
Paul’s inclusion of Goodness and Faithfulness is a direct answer to the problem we all face as humans which is the desire to SIN! Without the liberty of Christ, we would be under the yoke of slavery to Sin and its penalty which is death. Without the Holy Spirit bearing the fruitful flavours of Goodness and Faithfulness, we would be drawn away by our passions and desires that are contrary to God’s will. (See Rom 7 & 8)
The flavours of the flesh – Gal 5:19-21 – Displeasing to God
- The human flesh is prone to yearn for certain flavours that appeal to its desires
- The human flesh seeks to be gratified and appeased
- Paul’s battle of the flesh (See Rom 7:21) “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
- There may be certain temptations of the flesh that are harder to tame than others. (Everyone has their own weak areas of the flesh)
- E.g., the contrast between the temptations of David (2 Samuel 11:1-5) & Joseph (Gen 39:6-10)
- See Rom 8:12-14
Even as Christians just like the Apostle Paul, we have areas of weakness that need continued development. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Prayer, Fasting and accountability we can bear the fruit of goodness and faithfulness.
The flavours of the Spirit – Gal 5:22-23 – Pleasing to God
- The fruit of the Holy Spirit are divine flavours that are pleasing to God.
- Goodness and Faithfulness through the Holy Spirit allow us to reject the temptations of the flesh
- The parable of the Good Samaritan is a great example of Goodness in action (See Luke 10:25-37)
- Faithfulness gives the Christian endurance to never give up.
- Trusting God always is not always easy, as we may have questions about what God is doing or His purpose. (See 2 Cor 4:8-12)
Remember the flesh will cry out for other flavours to gratify its own desires. If you find you’re yielding to the fleshly desires more than the spirit, consider the following.
A) Remember we are in a process of becoming like Christ (We won’t achieve perfection until Christ returns) (1 Thess 4:3)
B) Be vigilant and conscious, so that temptations don’t take you by surprise (1 Peter 5:8)
C) Analyse your prayer and bible study time each day (2 Tim 2:15)
D) Fill your mind with heavenly truths (Avoid spending too much time watching or reading things that gratify the flesh) (Philippians 4:8)
E) Seek fellowship, encouragement, and accountability (Pro 27:17)
1) Read Gal 5:1-12 – Why do you think Paul was so concerned about the Galatians moving back to a physical circumcision of the law?
2) What unnecessary rules and regulations do Christians tend to impose on one another?
3) Discuss how you would encourage a Christian who believes they can do whatever they want to do even if it’s sinful because Christians are no longer under the law?
4) Read the acts of the flesh in verses 19-21. Paul describes the listed sins as obvious acts of the flesh. Discuss some other less visible sins of the flesh?
5) What things might you do to “keep in step with the Spirit”?