Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, July 29, 2016

True or False? Galatians 5:22-24

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:22-24)

If this is true, do any of these words describe you? They were given to the new Christians at that time. You probably remember the love, the peace, and the joy you had when you became a Christian.

One of the reasons you might not have joy like that anymore is the chastening of the Lord. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). The chastening is meant to be short-lived. You can see the progression in Psalm 32:

"Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.' And you forgave the guilt of my sin." (Psalm 32:1-5)

The first two verses describe the saved person. Verses 3 and 4 describe the person who has sinned and has not confessed it. Verse 5 is the repentant Christian who has returned to the blessing of the Lord.

All of the fruit of the Spirit is connected. The fruit of the Spirit is patience. When the Christian becomes impatient, he loses all the other fruit at that instant. When he is impatient, he is not loving, kind, peaceful, joyful, etc. If you have lost the fruit of the Spirit, it is because there is unconfessed sin in your life. Find out what the sin is (or what the sins are) and confess and forsake it. When this is done, you will find that you can obey Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice!"

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