< Galatians 5:15-26 >
�But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.?/b>
In today�s Scripture passage, the Apostle Paul spoke about the life led by the Spirit and the life of living in the flesh. Don�t we have both of these? However, what we the righteous wish for the most is to live by bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It is said, �But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law?(Galatians 5:22-23). Hence, the fruit of the Spirit is such things like love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control as listed just now, and there are about nine, roughly counting. The Lord told us to live by bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
Regarding the fleshly life of people, the Apostle Paul said that it is the result of the works of the flesh. However, regarding the works of the Spirit, he didn�t say that they are just works, but rather, he said that they are the fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh that you know refers to works that can be done through human motives, efforts or means. Also, all things such as sorcery, hatred, adultery, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, and the like are works that come out of human flesh. However, since the fruit of God is something born through God, they are not works. By dwelling in our hearts as the Spirit, our Lord allows us to bear the fruit of the Spirit.
What I want to clearly point out and speak about first is that people who haven�t received salvation from all sins can never bear the fruit of the Spirit. If sinners who are not righteous try to bear the fruit of the Spirit, they would fail spiritually. If something that isn�t an apple tree tries to bear apples, it would fail. Please think about this once. Something that isn�t an apple tree cannot bear the fruit of an apple tree. It is like a sinner, in whom the Holy Spirit does not dwell, trying to bear the fruit of the Spirit, and he would be a dreamer who dreams about something that can never be possible.
Nevertheless, there are cases where even the righteous live by following their own flesh. Although we have received the remission of sins, there are instances when we follow the works of the flesh because we are still in flesh. However, one unique thing the righteous bear is the fruit of the Spirit, something the sinners cannot bear.
What Does God Want from Us?
God wishes for us to bear the fruit of the Spirit and He gives us the strength to bear. It is said that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, and so on. These are not things that are inherent in people. True love is not something that is in people, but rather, it is something that is in God. Because the love that God has for us is inside the hearts of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are able to carry out God�s love and bear the fruit of the Spirit. So-called fruit of the Spirit that God has given us is the expression of the true love that God has given us.
God�s love! The love that God has for us! That love allowed us to receive salvation from the sins of the world. I wish for you to think about God�s love with your hearts. Without God�s love and the gospel of the water and the Spirit, could you and I have been able to receive the remission of sins? If it were not for God�s love, how could we have received salvation from sin? I am saying that we should think about God�s love instead of thinking about what we have to do.
The love of God! That love saved you and me from all our sins. Because God so loves us, He came to this earth in flesh, bore all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, died on the Cross, and resurrected amongst the dead in 3 days to save us from sins. Now, Jesus Christ sits on the right side of the throne of God the Father, and He said that He would come to this world again. This gospel of the water and the Spirit is the greatest unsparing gift that God has given to His loved ones.
Because God�s love is in our hearts, the remission of sins and the Spirit has come into our hearts. By giving the Spirit as a gift to those who believe in the Lord and are born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has made them the people of God. God wants to take in those who believe in God�s love, which came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, as the people of God.
The first three kinds of fruit of the Spirit are love, joy and peace. God�s love saved you and me from the sins of the world. That is why God�s love is referred to as the fruit of the Spirit. Love as the fruit of the Spirit saves souls from sins by spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is none other than God�s love. God saved us by having us receive His love by the gospel of the water and the Spirit because He wished to save all the sinners through us who believe. Therefore, it is the case that those who have received salvation bear the fruit of the Spirit.
Joy in Our Hearts
The second fruit of the Spirit is joy. Joy refers to pleasure of the heart. Our hearts are pleased and happy due to the love that God gave us. What joy do we have God has cleansed our sins once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Because God loved us first, He saved us from all sins, and also, because God gave us happiness first, we are able to feel happy in our hearts. Those of us with true joy can share with all people this delightful and pleasant joy of the heart.
We should not try to lead a good life of faith by achieving and accomplishing some fleshly works. It cannot be said that one leads a good life of faith by doing so, but rather, one can only live well only by the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. True life of faith is bearing the fruit of the Spirit by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A man of faith spreads the joy to all people by being happy. He can do so with joy because he believes that God loves him, saved him from sins, made him His son, and reconciled with him by breaking down the wall of sin that had existed between God and him through Jesus Christ. If we think about God-given peace, happiness, salvation, and our lives of faith, the fruit of the Spirit will be revealed by itself. If we live by ruminating over God�s love, joy will overflow in our hearts.
We must live by ruminating over the gift that God gave us. That is precisely how to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Thinking about the gifts that God has given us in our hearts and believing in them is precisely doing the works of God. By appreciating the God-given grace in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can truly make peace with our enemies and also live happily in this dreary world by faith. In the world that we live in, there is basically no happiness, but due to the joy received from God, we are able to live by giving out joy to people. Because we have received love from God, we are able to share that love.
Dear fellow believers, as I have told you in the beginning, people who haven�t received the remission of sins have no relations with the fruit of the Spirit by any means. They can only do the works of the flesh. Of course, both the thoughts of the Spirit and the thoughts of the flesh arise even in a person who has received the remission of sins, but the sinners cannot help but pursue only the works of the flesh.
What is the works of the flesh? It is doing what flesh feels happy about, such as lewd acts, filthy things, sensuality, and others. I said, even we the righteous could be pursuing such works of the flesh. However, we know what the works of our flesh are and we do not pursue the works of the flesh to the end. The works of the flesh are merely the works passing by.
As those who have been born again, to walk by following the good pleasure of God�s will is the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is a precious gift that God has given especially to us, the righteous. God gives us peace, and clothes us the born-again of water and the Spirit with His love, joy, happiness, and pleasure. God also gives us the other fruit such as longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control through His Son. We first have to believe that God has saved all humanity by the gospel of the water and the Spirit with His longsuffering and mercy. And then, we must bear in mind that God gave all the fruit of the Spirit to those who have received salvation by faith.
We remember so clearly the fact that God has saved us from sins and that He gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are joyful because of God�s love and because we believe in the fact that we have received all blessings due to His salvation from sins. We cherish the works that God has done for all humanity in our hearts, and so God gives us salvation because He is patient for a truly long time.
God�s Kindness in Our Hearts
Today�s Scripture passage also lists kindness, goodness, and faithfulness as the fruit of the Spirit. This kindness refers to God taking pity on us. With regard to relationships between people, there are those who deserve to be pitied and there are those ones who do not deserve such pity. But the kindness of God is reflected in the fact that He takes pity on such people who do not deserve any pity from a human�s point of view. This virtue is kindness.
Kindness implies the great mercy of God. He treats us with merciful kindness. Then, what does it mean to render such great kindness? It is found in a situation where certain people have may have harmed us, but we take pity on them. This is the kindness of God. �Still, God loved you and saved even you from sins.?Those of us who have the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wish for all the sinners to receive salvation from sins. We have to give the gospel of the water and the Spirit to those who have twisted nature and are of the most pitiful in this world, so that such people can receive the remission of sins. This is the God-given duty of born-again Christians. To spread the salvation to those who oppose and treat us harshly is the kindness of God that the righteous should render. Because sinners would go to hell by remaining as a sinner, we must continue to convince them to receive salvation by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The desire to live meekly in our hearts due to the gospel of the water and the Spirit is another fruit of the Spirit that God gave us. God does not treat us with evil. We can now go on living by bearing the fruit of the Spirit because God took pity on us and treated us with goodness and meekness. Because we have received everything from God, we are able to bear the fruit of goodness by God�s love. Since we have received the nine fruits of the Spirit, we give out what we have received through God while ruminating it our hearts. Because a cow has four stomachs, it can chew the cud repeatedly. As such, we are blessed to be thankful and to live by cherishing and ruminating about all of the nine fruits of the Spirit given to us through the grace and love of God.
Also, for us to live with God�s love and all His blessings is to live amidst the fruit of the Spirit. Dear fellow believers, do you understand? Other fruits of the Spirit are faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are faithful to God because Jesus, God Himself, was faithful to God the Father to save us from sins. Since we have received such great love, it is only right that we should be faithful to God.
For those of us who are righteous, the gentleness in our hearts comes from God. Originally, our character overflows with fastidious individualities. But in spite of our weaknesses, we are able to get along in harmony with each other in God�s Church, and we realize this is only possible because of God. In looking back, there is something very strange in those of us who are born again. There are times when a person is very gentle, even if he or she had not been such a gentle person in the past. Looking into it, we are so gentle because the Spirit of the Lord is in our hearts.
Because all people love the pleasures of their flesh, they tend to seek and chase after these pleasures. This is the fundamental nature of the man of flesh who is without the Holy Spirit. Essentially, people do not have the gentleness of God. From looking only at the flesh, humans are the brood of evildoers by nature, and thus originally humans are a species that has no self-control and no fundamental goodness. Because there was no goodness within them, they created idols and religions to pursue their own goodness. What then do all the religions in this world seek? They seek idolatry and hypocrisy.
By His very disposition, God Himself loved us and saved us from sins 2000 years ago by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. Only this love of God is the utterly gentle and virtuous goodness. For those who believe in God�s love contained in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Spirit of God resides in their hearts, and God allows them to carry out the works of the Spirit. It means that, if the Spirit is within a person, the Spirit will control that person�s heart and make him or her gentle, even if human beings are originally terribly ruthless and bad natured. In the same way when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of sins, the Spirit enters our hearts and uses us in the works of God by making us quite virtuous, self-controlling, and gentle.
We may oftentimes expose the works of the flesh, but for those who were born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the spirit is gentle. We should neither injure nor absolutely ruin others. On the contrary, we should always think about what would that person needs, and ways we can help that person. As the Bible says, �The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives?(Psalm 37:21), we the righteous should give in plenty. We provide help by using numerous things that God gave us. If there are no material things, we do it by faith, truth and love. Just as Peter healed a lame man by saying, �Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk?(Acts 3:6), we the born-again also can raise sinners from their sinful bed to walk in the light by giving them the gospel Truth. We also say to people who still sit amid the darkness of desperation, �Money, I don�t have. I have nothing, and I don�t even have the honor that you seek. Yet, what I do have are the Truth, love, gentleness, self-control, joy, and others that God has given me. Arise and shine! I give you freely all I have received from God.?
Our flesh, even though we have been born again, is essentially evil. However, after Jesus Christ came inside us through the Holy Spirit, the fruits of the Spirit is born within us. The Spirit allows us to bear nine kinds of the fruit of the Spirit. It is because God had given us all nine kinds as a gift, that we are able to bear these nine kinds of the fruit of the Spirit. He allows us to become gentle in due time, possess joy and happiness at a proper time, and indulge in God�s love frequently. We are able to continue to live because of that love.
How do we lead our lives of faith? We lead our lives of faith by appreciating in our hearts what God has given us and also by bearing the fruit of the Spirit as He desires. As it was said that there is no law against such things, there is no way for us not to give to others God�s love that we have received. Because the righteous live by believing in their hearts the works that God has done, they are drawn towards the desires of the Spirit.
When we are doing work, it is good if we are in Christ�s love and we follow His love, even if our work is not accomplished to perfection. We must lead a life of faith by believing and following the grace of salvation in which God had clothed us. If we live by appreciating God�s love in our hearts, by passing out this love of God to our neighbors, and by also receiving love from our brothers and sisters, then this is the true life of faith, the life which bears the fruit of the Spirit.
We all must lead a life of faith led by the Spirit by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.