Growing Together In The Fruit Of The Spirit
I remember the days when my wife and I sincerely believed we were patient people. We believed this all the way until we had children. The Lord then graciously disabused us of a high view of our patience. Our impatience was exposed! Our failures often serve to remind us of our need for the gospel as well as our need for the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul contended for the true gospel to prevent the churches in Galatia from being led astray by false teaching. He emphasized that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ and not works of the law. We are not able to save ourselves through obedience to the law of God, rather our only hope is the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
The wonderful news that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ brings tremendous freedom for the believer. Christ’s work on the cross is sufficient to cover all our sins: past, present, and future. Our consciences are free from the guilt of sin, and we are fully accepted by God. We do not have to live under the burden of the law. We do not have to wonder if we measure up. We do not have to fear that our good works will fall short on the day of judgment. We are free! The gospel refreshes us time and time again when we are continually made aware of the many ways we sin and fall short.
We would be mistaken, however, to think that our freedom is a license to indulge sinful desires. Instead, we are to use the refreshing freedom we have in the gospel to serve one another. The difficulty is that we cannot do this in our own strength. Thanks be to God that he does not leave us to do this in our own strength. He graciously gives us the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
In Galatians 5:18-24 we read,
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, the wonderful fruit of the Spirit will be increasingly evident in our lives together.
As we begin the new year, we want to give time and attention to growing in the fruit of the Spirit. The hope and prayer for our sermon series is that fruit of the Spirit will increase in our lives individually and collectively as a church family. The evidence of the fruit of the Spirit appears in the context of relationships. After all, it’s easy to be patient when no one is around to test your patience!
When you become a member of a local church, you commit yourself to living as a member of the body of Christ with a particular group of people, which is a good thing as love flourishes in the context of committed relationships. Our aim is to see our love for one another, as well as all the pieces of the fruit of the Spirit, flourish in the context of the Restoration Road Church family. We hope you will join us in praying for our church to this end.