This week we conclude our sermon series ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’. Preaching from Brian Dickson. Service led by Kuda Osoba.
The Spirit vs the flesh
Last week Nathan went through the two lists presented by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5. The first was the works of the flesh, the second, the FRUIT of the Spirit.
It is helpful to keep in mind the context surrounding the main focus of this sermon series; The fruit of the Spirit, because it’s not the only list we should be mindful of.
With these two lists firmly in focus, we can see what to avoid, and what we need to cling to.
Context and the two paths
Near the beginning of chapter five, the apostle Paul gave a warning to the Galatians, he reminded them they were justified before God, not by works or the letter of the old law, but instead, they were saved by grace and not works of the flesh.
A constant struggle
We are all under a constant struggle. The sinful man tends to the works of the flesh, but the regenerated, born-again wants to walk a different path. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is with us to help.
The fruit for the day
If you want to have an abundant harvest, you are going to have to resist the flesh and walk in righteousness. It doesn’t matter which fruit you pick, there’s always a desire of the flesh to try and trip you up, but remember, we have a helper.
At times you may feel you are not in control, that anything can happen. That’s when fear can creep in. You may imagine the worst, but even under the most extreme of circumstances, God is our strength, and it just so happens, the bible provides a great example.
Envy and rejection can test us all – what to do?
The first king of Israel – Saul, started off well, but gradually wandered off that straight and narrow path and began to give in to the works of the flesh. The Lord anointed David through the prophet Samuel. David was upright before God, Saul, not so much.
As a result, Saul’s heart towards David darkened, and so he tried to have David killed on multiple occasions. Despite this, David showed great restraint and self-control, even under such extreme circumstances.
Our lives may not be threatened as David’s was. We will no doubt go through our own tests and trials, but we can all have victory if we choose to walk with God and show self-control when the time comes.
Questions for further study
- Read the two lists in Galatians 5: the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Consider each list in the context of your own life….
- Do you show a mix from each list?
- Is it even possible to be free from the first list?
- What can we do to see more of the second list in our lives?
- What things hinder us from exercising self-control?
- David was hated and envied by King Saul, because David showed wisdom and restraint (self-control).
- How should we interact with people we see regularly whether home, work or church, who regularly dismiss us, or treat us with distain?
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Give examples of situations where it is better to respond gently, and perhaps examples where speaking harshly can make a situation worse.