LESSON NINE: Galatians Chapter 5:16-26 Love

I help my sister K edit her Lady's Bible Study notes for the people who get printouts instead of attending in person. It occurred to me that many of us are bedridden or home-bound or in a hospital or for whatever reason, can't get to a local Bible Study.

With that in mind, I am copying and pasting the study notes here, for anyone who wants them. We are just starting Galatians and a new study will come out every 2 weeks approximately. In the coming months, we are covering GOEATPOPCORN.  G-is for Galatians.

Feel free to pass it on. You can follow along and not miss a beat by subscribing to the blog or the Facebook page, links in sidebar. Comments and questions welcomed.

LESSON NINE: Galatians Chapter 5:16-26 Love

Our last time together, we discussed how Paul tells us to stand in the freedom we have in Christ. We leaned how when we come to God, the Holy Spirit, comes in us and helps us live this Christian walk. Growing in the love of God, and becoming more and more like Him, is Sanctification. This is our current walk in Christ.  The main theme from our last time together, would be I guess – love. We learned how God is love. With His love, we are able to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might; and with His love we are able to love one another.

We also discussed, that just because we are free in Christ, this does not mean we can go and do whatever we want. This is where the love comes in… because we love God we want to do what would please Him and not use our freedom to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Paul has contrasted the flesh to love.

Paul will continue talking about our walk – our sanctification – and that we are to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Paul, will now share the contrast of the desires of the flesh, the works of the flesh, verses the fruit of the Spirit. Remember that Paul has said those who follow the law, are trying to achieve what can only be done by God. We are not a perfect people, so to try and do the law, is really a person who is living by the flesh. This person is following on their own terms, their own way as this is one who is doing it all by the flesh. But those who are children of promise, are living by the Spirit which is abiding within us. We will learn more about this as we finish studying this chapter.

Let’s begin this last section of Chapter 5 with verses 16 to 18….
5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Here again, Paul, refers to our Christian life as a walk. Walking is an activity; it is an action; walking shows progress, a moving forward… or sometimes moving backwards. In relation to our Christian walk we are moving forward as we walk in the Spirit. When we become Christians, we have the Spirit indwelling us [Rom 8:9 ESV] 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. So, when walking in the Spirit, this shows us that we are empowered by the Spirit, that indwells us. We can’t do the Christian walk on our own… we need the Spirit of God within us, guiding us to do it. Jesus says, [John 4:24 ESV] 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The only way to do this is with the Spirit of God. God can not fellowship with the flesh. We are fleshy people and I don’t mean just that we are people with flesh… but remember that ‘flesh’ in the Word is one who is following the sinful desires of the human nature. How can this person have fellowship with God? Only by accepting God and having His Spirit within us can we worship in Spirit and Truth. By being born again, we become spiritual beings that can worship God in spirit. When one becomes a Christian, they are born of the Spirit, and there is a work of God within the heart. Then the spirit becomes alive and conscious of God. No wonder, sometimes when we try and explain to others that we are born again, they don’t understand… [1Co 2:14 ESV] 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. We understand the Spiritual things because we can spiritually discern them due to the living Spirit being within us. I believe this is why we are attracted to each other, as children of the King.
We are made alive with the Spirit within:
[1Co 15:22 ESV] 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
[Col 2:13 ESV] 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
[1Pe 3:18 ESV] 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…
This is important to understand as we see the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Before we got saved, we were walking according to the ways of the world ([Eph 2:1-2 ESV] 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--).  We were against God, and while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us. Now we have been made alive in Jesus, by God. Due to this we have the joy of fellowship with God. And Paul is saying walk in fellowship with God through the Spirit.
If we walk in the Spirit we are not fulfilling the desires of the flesh… that is what Paul is saying. We need to remember that the flesh has no ruling over us anymore.

Both these concepts war against each other as we see in Verse 17… The actual translation goes like this “For the flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit wars against the flesh; and these two are contrary the one to the other; so that you cannot do the things that you would”. This concept is important to see. The flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit wars against the flesh. When we become Christians, we are made aware of this, not only within ourselves, but even in the world at large. But as new believers, we acquire a new nature (John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”). Now here is where many Christians make a mistake, the thought that once we become Christians then we get rid of that old nature immediately is a false one.  [1Jo 1:8 NASB] 8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. Unfortunately, we have two natures – the old and the new (Paul talks about this in Romans). We don’t have to be a Christian long before we find out about this battle.

The good news we need to remember is, God is leading us. He is the one who is the leader, the Spirit (Comforter - which means one who is walking beside) is with us in the walk. God knows this battle, as He was in it Himself (in the dessert). He has taken the brunt of the battle (at the cross). God has the victory. He is First. We just need to follow our King.

So, we need to walk in the Spirit so we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Did you notice how Paul words the verse? What comes first? Walking in the Spirit!
This is the only way one can not gratify the desires of the flesh – through God alone. The evil one wants to put the battle on us, he wants to make it about ‘us’. He likes to put us first, to take our eyes off Jesus. Then the battle starts looking like ‘I screwed up. There is no hope’. Instead, it should be ‘I screwed up. But I have hope in Christ who forgives’. You see in this verse the view changes…. If it goes in reverse (don’t gratify the desires of the flesh, and walk in the Spirit) … that is putting us first and not God. We need to be led by the Spirit – then we can now fight these desires, because then it is God in us, doing the fighting. There is another important verse which helps us to see this concept –
[Jas 4:7 ESV] 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Did you notice again the order here? We can’t resist the devil on our own without first submitting ourselves to God – and once we do – look who does the fleeing – it is the devil, not us! If we try and do it on our own, oh, we run and we run fast. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes our submission to God is to run. What I am trying to say is – don’t get discouraged in this battle for our obedience, once we come to known the Lord as our Saviour. Yes, it is an on-going battle while we live here in this world. But God has given us victory!

Paul is making a distinction of the flesh and Spirit. And if one is led by the Spirit then that person is not under the law. How can you be trying to do the law if you are a child of God’s? You would know the difference. John MacArthur says it like this, Either you live by the power of the Holy Spirit, which results in righteous behaviour and spiritual attitudes (vs. 22-26), or by the law, which can only produce unrighteous behaviour and attitudes (vs. 19-21).” Being led by the Spirit brings totally different qualities in our lives than if we were following the desires of the flesh. One who is led by the Spirit, I read in my bible commentaries, is one who is active, one who has a personal involvement by the Holy Spirit. Also, the present tense is used here to show that this is an ongoing activity. We desire to hear the Word God, to read the Word of God, to spend time with those who love God, to want to learn the things of God. In other words, we are growing in the things of God. You see we are to walk by the Spirit, and as verse 18 says, be led by the Spirit. If the Spirit leads us, we are not under the law…. walking by the flesh. So, the important way to walk is to be in the Word, and remember the promises of God – remember who you are in Christ – remember His love for you was even to the point of death – remember His victory of rising from the dead, and that you too will be eternally living with your King, your Saviour, your Abba Father – because we also need to remember we are children of God and only a child of the King can come to the Lord and lay our burdens down. One thing the flesh hates is when we walk by the Spirit!

Let’s read on, verses 19 to 21, to see what the works of the flesh are…
5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

First thing you need to know with this list is that it is not a complete list, as verse 21 says ‘and things like these’ also ‘who do such things’… unfortunately, there is more, but this gives us a basis to work with.

One of my bible commentaries said this about works of the flesh “Works of the flesh means actions flowing out of fallen human nature and its desires. Apart from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, these are the actions toward which sinful humans instinctively gravitate.” These sins of the flesh show what is coming from the heart of the person. They come from the very being of the person… they describe who the person is. In another book, we will be studying later we will see that this was us before we became children of God. So, we need not say, “Oh, I don’t do any of those”, because if we take a closer it may show that to be different…

So, let’s take a closer look at these qualities…. J. Vernon McGee, divides these sins into categories… he says, This is an ugly brood of sensual sins, religious sins, social sins, and personal sins.”

Sensual sins: These sins are the insatiable appetite for bodily pleasure. These are the sins of someone trying to satisfy their desire for love… but in the wrong way. These sins are someone trying to fill the void of loneliness, isolation, insecurity…. Wanting to belong, wanting to be accepted. But acquiring love by these means only brings more of what you are trying to avoid – loneliness, isolation, insecurity, not belonging or being accepted. When one tries to bring love by way of the flesh they will only find temporary relief, as it is not a constant love of which God provides. These sins are so destructive as they are against the body… [1Co 6:18 ESV] 18” Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” They are personal sins, which touch at the core of a person, especially since this person is looking for love, acceptance, and loyalty in all the wrong places. So, let’s check the works of the flesh that Paul tells us about in this category:

Sexual immorality/adultery/fornication – prostitution = in the New Testament, the word most often translated “sexual immorality” is the Greek word for “porneia”. This is where we get the English word “pornography” from.
This is what John MacArthur says about this word “It refers to all illicit sexual activity, including (but limited to) adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution.” This work of the flesh is someone who has an eagerness for lustful pleasure and has impure thoughts (where sin usually begins, in our hearts and minds). So, the sexual immorality/impurity involves any type of sexual expression outside of the boundaries of the marriage relationship as defined in the bible.

Impurity/uncleanness = this is not regarding cleanliness in the sense of cleaning oneself with soap; this is an impurity or uncleanliness in regard to one sexually. Purity is not important to this individual – they don’t worry about their soul and the unclean things which are entering there. The internet is used often for this. The previous sin mentioned of sexual immorality is a physical one, but this one is more in the heart and mind.

Sensuality/lasciviousness/debauchery/licentiousness = I read that this “word originally referred to any excessive behaviour or lack of restraint, but eventually became associated with sexual excess and indulgence” This work of the flesh is related to lust, shamelessness (unrestrained shame), crazy partying, wild nights, as it is an overindulging in the pleasures of life.

[Mat 5:27-28 ESV] 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
[Mat 15:19 ESV] 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
[Rom 1:24 ESV] 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
*[Rom 6:19 ESV] 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
[Rom 13:9, 13 ESV] 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
[Eph 5:3 ESV] 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
[Col 3:5 ESV] 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
[2Pe 2:2 ESV] 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
[2Pe 2:14 ESV] 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
*[1Th 4:3 ESV] 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
*[1Th 4:7 ESV] 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.

Religious sins: These next ‘works of the flesh’ are the ‘religious deeds’ ones. The person here is looking for their identity, their security without God. This can’t be done, so, the person is tampering with evil powers; sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly. Either way this is a very dangerous place to be. These sins also are about someone who is again trying to gain blessings, a right standing in the name of works. They are replacing God (Idolatry), or trying to acquire their own religion (idolatry/sorcery/witchcraft). So, this person is putting their faith, their trust in someone/something other than God. These sins are about one who is totally turned from God. When one is worshipping an idol, or tampering with sorcery or witchcraft, then they are not trusting in the God were their faith and trust should be. These sins go against God’s first love commandment – to love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, body and mind.

Idolatry = this is anything that is put in the place of God. In today’s culture, many say ‘we don’t have idols’. This is because we don’t see a physical statue, so we don’t think there is idolatry. Yes, in many religions today, there are physical idols – for example, Hinduism (many Hindus worship stone and wooden idols in their temples); Buddhism (they have Buda); Spiritualism (they worship the stars in their astrology and dead people). But we need to know that in our culture there are many idols (they are money, fame, our bodies, drugs, sex, family and any material things) – Anything that is put before God is an idol. God tells us that what we say and do shows what is really in our hearts - [Mat 15:18 ESV] 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Sorcery/witchcraft = This is also known as ‘spiritualism’, which is encouraging the activity of demons. The Greek word for ‘sorcery’ is ‘pharmakeia’ – where we get the English word ‘pharmacy’ from. Now this word refers to medicine in general, but here it means mood and mind-altering drugs. Illegal drugs and things like poisons – which refers to the occult, witchcraft and magic. Sometimes, we may have see the use of these drugs to communicate to those who are dead. One of the ways ‘sorcery’ is used during our time which seems harmless is astrology. This is not a harmless thing at all as the word of God tells us. [1Sa 15:23 ESV] 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king." God’s word tells us (some of these verses are listed on the hand out sheet) how fortune telling/divination and looking to the stars for the future is not trusting God. It is trusting what the stars, moon and sun have to say about the future. This is not trusting in the Maker but the made, and is not something to take lightly. Also, the word for ‘sorcery’ relates to the drugs that so many are using this day. Satan has trapped so many in this misuse. In this fallen world, many look for a way out and drugs or alcohol is that way…. And of course, Satan works in that he presents the best first and then when they are hooked, it is very difficult to get out.

*[Lev 19:26 ESV] 26 "You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.
 [Isa 47:13 ESV] 13 You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.
*[1Co 10:14 ESV] 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
[Col 3:5 ESV] 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Social sins: The descriptive words in the rest of verse 20 and verse 21, tell us about dealing with the relationships with others. In fact, some of them would lead to the next one. These ‘works of the flesh’ go against the second love commandment – to love your neighbour as yourself. There is no love for one another, in fact, these sins actually cause division among each other. They go against community, they especially go against God.

Enmity/hatred = this is a deep-rooted hatred, a hostility… directed towards others, but sometimes this is because of their rejection of God and this is put on others. This hatred causes the relationships to be so strained that they are often destroyed.

Strife/variance/discord/contentions/quarrels = these quarrelling and discords with others again shows how relationships when done through works and without God will lead to. Sometimes these conflicts between people seem to be when one is angry at God and taking it out on people. These works of the flesh are people who start quarrels, contentions and strife.

Jealousy/emulations = this is hateful resentment; this person due to not living in the power of God is therefore influenced by their culture; so much so that they desire the things of the world and when they see others acquire these things, they themselves become jealous. This is not just in regards to the material world but also emotionally, physically and mentally. This person wants what others have as they see themselves as not only wanting but feel they are owed this. This is also energized by this Satan focused world we live in. That is why we need to stay focused on God and He teaches what we need is Him and Him alone. But our society works diligently to get us to think of all the things we could have, of all the things we are entitled to. This false claim causes so much jealousy among us.

Fits of anger/wrath/fits of rage = this person has sudden, unrestrained expressions of hostility; they have a hot temper. There is a righteous anger – an anger at the things which go against God – at sin itself – this is different. We need to be careful to not let our anger of the things of the world control us. We have met people who seem angry at everything and everyone, carrying an attitude of frustration wherever they go. This is an individual who has no righteous anger, but is most likely angry at God and they carry this out to others.

Rivalries/strife/selfish ambition/selfishness = This person is self focused. They constantly do whatever it takes to get the best for themselves. This person is the one who likes to cause issues with those around them; they are striving for a personal ambition and will do whatever it takes to get it. They are the ones, when you try and talk to them but it is all about them, no matter the conversation – you could be talking about Christmas & the conversation ends up being about them…. I am sure you have met this person. Where this becomes a sin, is the person is very selfish – they have selfish ambitions, and they don’t care if this causes rivalries, they just want to achieve their own goals by any means. We now live in a society where this is encouraged – but with a spin that it is alright to be like this.

Dissensions/seditions = this individual complains and criticizes never finding happiness… some do it as they are also self focused and they complain or criticize others in order to lift themselves up. Due to this, dissensions are caused. They only see the negative in others. 

Divisions/heresies/fractions = this person feels that everyone else is wrong except those in their own little group; they themselves are never wrong. They are not teachable and they cause many fractions due to this. They follow heresies – we see this so often now-a-days as we all have our own absolutes – as taught by our society – we are all right in our own eyes. There is no accountability to anyone and this includes God, with these people. They cause divisions, they spread false truths and rumours. They themselves are liars who again are totally against God. In fact, God is not a part of their thoughts or in their lives in any way.

*[Rom 8:7 ESV] 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
*[Jas 4:4 ESV] 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
[Eph 4:26, 31 ESV] 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, ... 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
[Col 3:8 ESV] 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
*[Jas 1:19-20 ESV] 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Personal Sins: These are self-indulgent sins which show a person who is without restraint. These sins go totally against God as they give the flesh free rein.

Envy = This is similar to the one who is jealous. They are not content and only want what others have. When one tries to live up to the expectation they have put on themselves, or the world has dictated to them, they work and toil in vain. In fact, it causes them to ‘rot’ inside. We need to put all this away so we can follow God and not what men, the world or even what we ourselves seem to think is what we need. It only causes trouble. When God gives us what we need, we can learn to be content in Him. But this person becomes so overcome with envy it rules them.

Drunkenness = this includes rowdy, boisterous and rude behaviour. We have see how wine is associated with joy and celebrations in the Word (like the wedding Jesus attended, where He changed the water into wine). But drunkenness is an abuse of this and it only leads to trouble.

Orgies/revellings/carousing = Back then they would worship pagan idols which would include orgies; now-a-days this includes wild parties. I read this about this sin “This is a total abuse of the gift God has given between a husband and wife. When this is abused it leads to destructive consequences.”

*[Pro 14:30 ESV] 30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
[Ecc 4:4 ESV] 4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
[1Pe 2:1 ESV] 1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander
*[Pro 20:1 ESV] 1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
[1Co 6:18 ESV] 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

At the end of all these works of the flesh we read “and things like these/who do such things” = many other sins can be added to this list, it is not inclusive. Some people look at this list and think, oh, I don’t do any of these. They try and justify themselves because their ‘said sin’ is not on the list. Or they think this is the sin I do and now that I know that, I can fix it. Both thoughts are incorrect as we know. This is not an inclusive list….
Sometimes we may say oh, I didn’t do that but we must remember what Jesus told us – sin starts in the heart. With the sins we discussed, we should take note that if we try and deal with them alone, or with our modern ways, none of these efforts will work.

People even find that once they think they have overcome the sin they are working on, they return to the sin – to themselves. Or they are dealing with the sin, in their work of the flesh – giving glory to themselves. Live in Liberty puts it like this…. Paul’s having none of it. He’s saying, “The problem isn’t education because the flesh can’t be instructed to behave, except for outward conformity. It has to be destroyed. It’s opposed to the Spirit, not merely misinformed. We’re born of the flesh and remain in the flesh until we’re born of the Spirit. Only then can things change.” In Paul’s theology, being justified, sanctified, and glorified are inseparable from being in Christ. Grace transforms, not willpower.” Only God can make the change as we die to self and live to God.

The word ‘do’ is current – some bibles say, ‘which do’ – this indicates continuous action. We need to remember that Paul is describing those who ‘do’ these things; this is some one who is continually and habitually doing them. This is a way of life for these people.
 [1Jo 3:4-10 ESV] 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He (Jesus) appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.Do you see what John is saying here? If our sin is continual, if you keep on sinning you are not a child of God. If a child of God sins (which we all do) this does not mean you were not a child of God. There is a difference here. A saved person, will feel remorse, when they sin. We know what our sin does do to us and to others; we try and grow in Christ; we try and develop in our walk. Where as a non-Christian will continue in their sins. Sometimes, we don’t see our growth in Christ; but others see this growth if we are staying in righteousness – in the word, in study, with other believers, etc.

Yes, we as believers do commit sins, but we repent. Those who practice these behaviours and do so uninterrupted and without repentance cannot belong to God. Therefore, they would not be able to enter the Spiritual Kingdom of God. This Kingdom is made up of redeemed people. See our conduct shows what is going on inside. And if their outward conduct is such, well it just shows that they are not born again, and therefore, do not have the Holy Spirit living within them and cannot enter the kingdom of God. [Rev 21:8 ESV] 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Notice how some of these works of the flesh are more obvious then others. Some that were listed here are what is inside, like strife and jealously (and even sometimes anger we don’t show outwardly). But whether the sin is an outward expression of what is inside; or one that is dwelling in our hearts, it needs to be dealt with quickly. Remember what God told Cain [Gen 4:7 ESV] 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it." Cain was given an opportunity by God to repent, but he didn’t. And where did it lead to but murder. So, we can’t let these sins rule in our lives. Or we can’t be dominated by our flesh – it is God who should be ruling in our lives.

Paul now will contrast the “works” of the flesh, with the “fruit” of the Spirit. The “works” of the flesh are something we do. But, the “fruit” is a development in us of the work of the Spirit. This shows us the contrast of the flesh and Spirit. The flesh is all about ‘us’, the ‘I’ in it’s works. The Spirit, is all about God. Let’s read verses 22 to 25, to see about this fruit…
5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Put fruit on the table – and ask them to describe the fruit – after some descriptive words have been said, explain how they have described the fruit). Here in these verses we don’t have fruits, we have ‘the fruit’ of the Spirit. These descriptive words are characteristics of a Christian. Before we go on, I would like to share what Live in Liberty says Before we address the fruit, a warning: Don’t read what follows as a checklist. It will drive you to either pride or despair and would overlook the fruits’ real purpose. Rather, they’re descriptions of the inevitable outcome of life in the Spirit. As you walk by the Spirit you won’t carry out the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Why? Because the Spirit changes your taste buds! You’ll increasingly long for His fruit and disdain your fleshly works. The Spirit awakens you to the vintage wine of the Father’s cellar.” He refers to this as the vintage wine as he is referring to the description Jesus gives us in regard to us being a part of the branches of Christ and without Him we can produce nothing. [John 15:4-5 ESV] 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Also, we need to remember that these qualities are part of our sanctification and therefore we are continually growing in Christ, which means they are continuing developing in our lives…. We are not fully ‘ripe’, ‘developed’ until Jesus takes us home. Let’s now see about these qualities of the fruit:

Love: this is ‘agape’ love. This love is not an emotional, physical love but is more a self-sacrificial service type love. This type of love is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. This love of God is defined in his immeasurable incomparable love for us. There are no expectations to be had from us, in order for God to show love to us. He loves us because He is love. Jesus is the definition of this love in action, with his life and death for us. There are four types of love mentioned in the word of God – and ‘agape’ love is the love we see from God. This is the love that the Spirit is working in us. But we may know these other types of love as well.
There is ‘Eros’ love = this is physical, sensual and intimate love which is shared between a husband and wife – Song of Solomon talks of this love. There is ‘Philia’ love = is a strong, affection between friends or compatriots. It is the emotional connection that goes beyond acquaintances. It is the care and appreciation we have for others. David and Jonathan are an example of this. The last type of love is ‘Storge’ love = this is family love, a bond among mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc. This is shown to us with the love Mary and Martha had for their brother Lazarus. Showing a cherished tender love, one has for their kindred.
This characteristic of love, is the first quality listed as it is the all-important trait as we seen when we read 1 Cor. 13. God clearly shows us about love by His wonderful character that we see in His Word. A true mark of being a Christian is our first love for God – which He develops in us, by the Holy Spirit. All these four types of love God works in us when needed; but the ultimate is the ‘agape’ love that He shows us – is being worked in us as we are being sanctified.

Joy: this joy is not based on the circumstances around us; this is a deep joy that is the result of our relationship with the Lord. This joy continues despite the changing world, as it is based on the promises of God and the reality that we know we have eternal life in our Lord. Even if we go through difficult times, difficult circumstances, joy is still there, sometimes even more so. It is a gift from our Lord – we can’t make this kind of joy. Happiness is a result of circumstances around us, it comes and goes depending on what is happening. But joy is always present. It does not mean we are always smiling, it means as Christians we know the deep joy of knowing our Lord and His wonderful promises. Our greatest joy, as Christians, is found in God. And we need to remember that joy of the Lord is our strength as well.

Peace: this also is not related to our circumstances. This peace is a result of our justification – of us being reconciled to God. When this happens, we are no longer enemies of God and therefore we acquire this inner peace. We now have a confidence and freedom in God as we now can approach God. This peace is a result of our relationship with the Lord. We have a deep peace, a deep security, an inner calm as Christians. Because we know that the Lord has everything under His control, we can now rest. We don’t have hostility because of our Lord. This does not mean we will not get frazzled at times, this world continues and situations arise which try and take our peace away. But this inner, deep peace continues despite what is going on around us. And we need to keep our eyes on Jesus when these situations happen. He wants us to be in Him to know the peace – the rest – He has to give.

There are too many verses here to put as God has an everlasting love, which he shows us all through His word… so here are just a couple for us….
[John 15:13 ESV] 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
*[Rom 5:8 ESV] 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
[1Jo 3:16-18 ESV] 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
[1Pe 1:8 ESV] 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
[John 16:20 ESV] 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.
*[Rom 14:17 ESV] 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
[Phil 4:4 ESV] 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
*[John 14:27 ESV] 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
[Rom 8:28 ESV] 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
[Phl 4:6-7, 9 ESV] 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ... 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
[Rom 5:1-2 ESV] 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
[Heb. 4:16 ESV] 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So, we have seen the first three descriptions of the fruit – words that describe our intimate relationship with our Lord. These qualities can only come from Him as they describe Him. But also, these words show the world that we are Christians… these qualities are not in the world. When we discussed the works of the flesh, we seen that when people try to acquire love, joy and peace with their works, it can’t be done… and when they try, it just shows how deceptive the world is in telling us that we can get them by ‘doing such and such’. It can’t be so. But with God, not only do we develop in love, joy and peace; but we develop in such a rich, real, deep way that we know it can only be because of God. So, these first three, are us loving the Lord our God, with all our hearts, soul and mind.

The next three qualities, are more social oriented. They are more towards, love your neighbour as yourself. We find, these descriptions are when we grow with trials, tribulations and being persecuted. The attitudes and actions are the result of God working in us. So, let’s see what they are:

Patience/long-sufferings: Well, as we seen from the works of the flesh, patience can not be acquired without God. We have heard sayings like ‘God, I need patience, give it to me now!” How silly really, as we know from our life experiences, God is continuing to work in this area of our lives. When we rest in the plans of our God, rather than our own plans; and when we abandon our own ideas - when we focus on God, He gives us the ability to endure; God even gives us a willingness to accept difficult situations. This quality is a difficult one for some of us – but we can be encouraged to know that God doesn’t give up on us and continues to work on the qualities we need to have work on.

Kindness/gentleness: “This comes from the Greek word ‘chrestotes’, which not only means goodness as a quality of purity, but also as a gracious disposition in character and attitudes. It encompasses tenderness, compassion, and sweetness.” This quality also, is one where we may need too much work; but praise be to God, that He is so gentle Himself in how He works with us. When we come to the Lord, He gives us a genuine tender concern for others.
God gives us a desire to treat others with kindness. Sometimes, this is shown with generosity or sympathy towards others. But it is also shown when we pray for others – a very wonderful kindness. As sisters in Christ, we show our kindness to others when we send cards, make meals, send emails, texts to let others know we are thinking and praying for them. Showing acts of kindness is so wonderful and the Lord does bless us in doing this; but He also gives us the ability to be gentle and kind to those who may hurt us – not just physically, but emotionally as well.

Goodness: “This is translated from a Greek word, “agathousune”, which is found only four times in the Bible. Goodness is the practice or expression of kindness, or doing that which is good (Rom 15:14; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; and 2 Thess. 1:11). This quality is strongly related to our acts of kindness we show… in fact, it is the nature result of kindness. Goodness is that inner quality of tenderness, compassion, and sweetness we see in others, through their acts of kindness. So, showing goodness to others is for their benefit – as well as for ourselves… because when we show goodness, it blesses them and in turn we are blessed in our goodness. In fact, Paul in chapter 6, will command us to show goodness to others. Again, this can only be done through the Holy Spirit.

Now kindness and goodness are difficult to distinguish between them. I read that kindness is more about the attitude and goodness is more about the things we do for others. I read this quote (can’t remember where I got it from), which says “Kindness and goodness are so closely related that sometimes it is not easy to distinguish between them. A kind person is also a good person, a good person is by nature a kind person. Both of these characteristics stem from love. Someone has said that patience is suffering love; kindness is compassionate love; and goodness is ministering love.”  A very good way to put it. That is why the quality of love is listed first as when the fruit is being developed in us, it all stems from this first characteristic.

*[Eph 4:1-2 ESV] 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
[Col 3:12 ESV] 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
[1Ti 1:15-16 ESV] 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
[Mat 11:28-29 ESV] 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
*[2Ti 2:24-25 ESV] 24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
[Rom 2:4 ESV] 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
[Gal 6:10 ESV] 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
[2Th 1:11-12 ESV] 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The last three descriptive words for the fruit are reliability – which means they are not driven by the impulses of the flesh, like the works of the flesh are; but they describe a person who is resting in the Lord. In fact, these last qualities, again, can only be in a person who has the Holy Spirit. They show a person who has been rescued from the world…. But they are also, characteristics which the Lord works on us daily, so, we can become, more and more like Him.

Faithfulness: this is a person that one can depend on. They are loyal, they are trustworthy; they keep their word. They follow through with what they say – as our Lord keeps His promises. There are many verses in the Word of God which speak of our Lord’s faithfulness. A person who is not saved, in the world, can be faithful; but they are faithful to whom and why? We as Christians are first and foremost, faithful to God and then this flows out to others. See, only a follower of Christ can truly be faithful to God. You need to know God, His faithfulness to us and then with the Holy Spirit within, we in turn are faithful to God.
Yes, we fail sometimes, we may have doubts… but a true child of the King, remembers His faithful love towards us and stays true to God.

Gentleness/meekness: Here we have a person who is submissive to God and therefore a humble, gentle attitude is shown, even in offensive situations. This person doesn’t try and get revenge or retribution – but at the same time, we must remember that as Christians, that doesn’t mean you let other people misuse you or mistreat you. Meekness does mean a weak or mild person – we need to be wise in situations we come across. For example, we are told that Moses was one of the meekest people in the bible. But when he came down from the mountain after speaking with God; and the people were worshipping a golden calf – Moses didn’t quietly walk off the mountain and say ‘oh, you are not behaving, you are doing wrong’. No, Moses administered disciplinary judgment – with God of course. And in the New Testament, we have the life of Jesus, who also showed us that when He faced the money-changers in the temple; again, He didn’t calmly say, ‘oh, you should not be in here’. No, he flips the tables as He reminds them that this is a house of prayer. I would say a meek/gentle person is one who shows consideration for others but they do so with a confidence in the Lord. This person is teachable and yet strengthens others. We know when we meet these people as they show the love of God and through this we see the gentleness, we see meekness… we see one who in Christ.

Self-control/temperance: Maybe this trait is listed last as it seems by many (me included) that it is one of the most difficult to acquire. This ‘discipline’ (as I read it being described – a good word for it) can only be acquired by the Holy Spirit. It is only by God that we can resist the power of the flesh. When one shows restrain with their passions it is such an encouragement to us. We need to stay focused on God ‘every hour’, ‘every minute’ to overcome the pulling of this world. It is a characteristic that is being worked on continually. Remember, we will not be fully developed until we are with our Lord. But while we were travelling through this time on earth God is working us. So, if you have days were your self-control seems to be gone – it is not – just refocus on God.

Like love, there are too many verses that could be listed here, but here are a few…
[Lam 3:22 ESV] 22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
[1Th 5:24 ESV] 24 He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.
*[Col 3:12 ESV] 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
[Jas 1:21 ESV] 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
*[Eph 4:1-2 ESV] 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
[Mat 11:29 ESV] 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
[1Co 9:25 ESV] 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
[2Pe 1:5-7 ESV] 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

When we walk in the Spirit these traits are a by-product, because they can only be obtained by the work God is doing in us. And as we read in John ([John 15:4-5 ESV] 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing), we can do nothing without Christ.

Paul also tells us that there is no law against these traits. In fact, whoever is showing forth these characteristics is one who is fulfilling the law.  We can see from the difference between the list of works of the flesh and the description of the fruit is:
-         The works of the flesh are plural; the fruit of the Spirit is singular
-         One is a list of deeds; the other is describing a fruit which is coming about due to what the Spirit is doing in us
As we develop in these traits, this is Sanctification working in us. It is us becoming more and more like our Lord as He works in us. It is wonderful to see how we develop in a slow and quiet way – just think how fruit grows. It is not quick, it is not with a lot of loud attention. It is God’s work in a slow steady pace…. It is wonderful to be able to rest in the Lord and not have to depend on ourselves. God is all-sufficient. And as Paul says – His power is made perfect in weakness… [2Co 12:9 ESV] 9 But He (Jesus) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Remember, when we spoke about the parable of the sower and seed? We seen those that tried to live this Christian life on their own – the results were they could not do it. But the last sower produced much fruit and this can only be done through God. J. Vernon McGee says That is the reason I keep saying that you are never asked to live the Christian life. You are asked to let Him live through you. No believer can live the Christian life himself. The old nature cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit.” The only way we produce these qualities is to abide in Christ (John 15:4). Paul lets us know that producing requires ‘yielding’. Giving all to Jesus, and this is a daily, if not an hourly thing. When we yield to the Spirit, it can produce these traits of the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit.

As we read verse 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires, we see that Paul is letting us know that the power that was on the cross is in us; this power belongs to all who belong to Jesus. And when this happened our old fleshly passions and desires were also crucified. This does not mean that we will not have spiritual battles raging within (Romans talks about this in detail). Only through God, and by God can we overcome these passions and desires of the flesh and that is because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. There is an old saying that the Spirit you feed is the one that will grow – so let’s make sure we feed our new Spirit. The old one is dead, it has no power. Oh, it might try and yell and pull and try and get you to go that way… but remember it can’t reach you! We are standing in the power of our Saviour! And we need to remember this. We need to remember that the words here “have crucified the flesh” …means, it is done – it is finished. We just need to trust, to believe in Jesus!

This is so beautiful! Live in Liberty words it like this “Freedom is not a simple expression of unchecked, unthinking self-interest; it’s the capacity to crucify the flesh by turning to Jesus in a step of faith. This is keeping in step with the Spirit, moving with the Spirit, hearing the voice of the Spirit leading into a lifestyle of repentance, deepening reliance, and real love.” So, we have the victory, we just have to tap into that.
We have been set free when we accepted Jesus as our Saviour. So, even though we have the capacity to sin we need to remember that it no longer has power over us.
[Col 3:2-3 ESV] 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
[Rom 6:13-14 ESV] 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
[1Pe 2:11 ESV] 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Paul already told us, in [Gal 2:20 ESV] 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Our new life in Christ is what gives us the strength to overcome.

The last couple of verses in this chapter say - [Gal 5:25-26 ESV] 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Some bible translations have the word ‘walk’ instead of ‘keep in step’. But that is actually what the word walk means here. In verse 16, we read ‘walk in the Spirit’, but here we are to ‘keep in step’… You see in verse 16, we are just learning to walk. And as you know when a child is learning to walk, you can’t go and lecture them on how to walk, or show videos… the way they learn to walk is by actually doing it. And this is true with our spiritual walk. And as with our physical walk, we fall, but get back up and keep going, so it is with our spiritual walk. We keep going and pretty soon we are running, climbing and doing all kinds of things. This is also true with us spiritually. In verse 25, we see that now that we have learned to walk, we are to keep in step with the Spirit. Once a child learns how to walk, they then learn where to walk… and this is so with our spiritual life.  We are to keep in step with the Spirit. And when we do this we don’t want what the flesh desires, we want what God desires – and then He can work through us to develop the fruit. [Eze 36:27 ESV] 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

The last verse in Galatians, is a thought of when you walk in the Spirit, don’t get all puffed up thinking you have arrived. Don’t start getting all conceited to the point you start provoking each other and envying each other. If a person is saying they are following after the Spirit, but is looking for the approval of men they only are looking for empty approval – this is in vain. In fact, when a person does this they are only going to be disappointed – we can’t please all the people. Sure, we look for a certain amount of approval from people; we even sometimes look for honour, and support from people. And guess what? This world and the people in it, bring disappointment. That is why when we walk in the Spirit, because the Spirit is living in us – and when we follow after the Spirit – we don’t need the approval of those in this world – we have the approval of God. So, what we need to do is – walk, in step with the Spirit – daily. Remember, we have the Word of God, we have Christian fellowship, we have Christian music, and we have prayer! Yes, the Christian life is a daily battle – but we need to stay focused on Jesus – because God has won the war. Victory over death was won at the cross, and when we are with our Saviour, victory, complete salvation will be ours as we behold the Glory of our God.

The only way to accomplish what Paul has stated here in this last verse, is serve one another in love. As we spoke earlier on the importance of love – it is what the main theme is really. We can only walk in the Spirit if we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, body and mind. We can only do what these last few verses say, if we love our neighbour as ourselves. It is all about love – and it starts with the Father’s love towards us, through His Son, Jesus, who died for us and rose again, because of love, who now gives us the Holy Spirit when we come to Him – because of love. What does love cause us to do? But to serve, not to become conceited and envying… now we should be serving one another in love.

In Conclusion:

-         Our Christian life is a walk, an action which shows progress
-         We have a constant spiritual war within – but if we walk in the Spirit we do not gratify the desires of the flesh
-         These ‘works of the flesh’ are divided into four categories: sensual sins, religious sins, social sins and personal sins
-         Sensual sins: these are sins where someone is trying to satisfy their desire for love, without God = (Sexual immorality/adultery/fornication; Impurity/uncleanness; Sensuality/debauchery/licentiousness)
-         Religious Sins: these are sins where someone is trying to find their identity, their security without God = (Idolatry; Sorcery/witchcraft)
-         Social sins: these are sins where someone is going against the command to love your neighbour as yourself: (Enmity/hatred; Strife/variance /discord /contentious/quarrels; Jealousy/emulations: Fits of anger/wrath/rage; Rivalries/strife/selfish ambition/selfishness; dissensions/seditions; Divisions/heresies/fractions)
-         Personal Sins: these are sins where someone is without restraint, and they go totally against God = (Envy; Drunkenness; Orgies/reveling/carousing)
-         This is not an inclusive list, as there are many more sins – but these are ones that the Galatians were known for
-         The issue is with those who continue/who habitually do these sins – there is no repentance with this person
-         Paul contrasts the ‘works of the flesh’ with the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ – which showed us that the ‘works’ are something we do; but the ‘fruit’ is the development of our character by the Holy Spirit working through us
-         The traits of the fruit starts with ‘love’ – the core development
-         Then we have Joy and Peace = both are not based on our circumstances but on our relationship with God; as we are eternally connected to Him – so, we have a Joy unspeakable and a Peace that passes all understanding
-         Intimate relationship with God is from these first three descriptions = Love, Joy, and Peace
-         Social oriented qualities: Patience/long-sufferings; Kindness/gentleness; and Goodness
-         Reliability on God describes these last three traits: Faithfulness; Gentleness/meekness; and Self-control/temperance
-         When we walk in the Spirit, these traits of the fruit, are a byproduct, because they can only be obtained by what the work God is doing in us – our walk of Sanctification
-         There is no law against these traits, in fact, whoever is showing forth these traits is actually fulfilling the law
-         Sin does not have the victory over us; we have been set free in Jesus
-         We need to keep in step with the Spirit; we need to stay focused on Jesus
-         They only way to keep in step is by love – loving God, with all our heart, soul and mind; and serving one another in love (loving our neighbours as ourselves)

I would like to finish with a verse, that I hope describes us as a group….
[1Th 5:11 ESV] 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. This is one way we show our love towards one another.

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