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Monday, May 25, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit - Summary

We have spent eight weeks considering the fruit of the Spirit as it is described in Galatians 5:22-23. Remember, if you are a Christian you have at least some measure of all these qualities, which were demonstrated by Jesus during his life on earth. By grace, you should grow in all of them by the help of the Holy Spirit.

Here is a summary of each of the qualities listed in Galatians 5. As you review them, consider the following questions and discuss the answers in your men’s group:

! In which of the qualities do you need to grow the most?
! Have you seen growth in these qualities over the last 8 weeks?
! What will you do over the summer months to continue to grow in the fruit of the Spirit?

Love is the sum and source of all the other qualities. It 1) is practical, 2) involves doing unpleasant things, 3) requires humility to do tasks that are beneath you, or not worthy of your time and talents, and 4) is not always welcomed (but that shouldn’t keep you from showing it).

Joy is "the spiritual buoyancy that comes from enjoying the privileges you have in Christ." Joy keeps us from giving in to the sorrows of life. Sadness seeps into our lives regularly, but when you remember the privileges and promises that you have in Christ, the joy overwhelm the sadness.

Peace is inner confidence and trust in God's wise and good control of your life.

Faithfulness is being trustworthy, reliable, true to your word, doing what you said you would do, keeping your promises, being a person someone can trust and rely on, being loyal even when the pressure is on.

Patience is the quality of being long suffering, to be long-fused rather than short-fused. It means that it takes a lot to get your dander up to the point where you lash out with your hand, tongue, or in your heart and will.

Kindness is a thoughtful, considerate disposition that a believer has toward a person; goodness is the concrete expression of that kindness in deeds. To put it another way, "goodness is the outgoing expression of a kind spirit."

Meekness is a quality that is a blend of humility, gentleness, and courage or boldness. Meekness has been described as “a quiet strength.”

Self-control is the mastery of your self. It is the ability to stay on the mission that God has given you (to love God and love people for God's glory) and not be derailed by temptation.

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