The Fruit of the Spirit - Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law

Galatians 5:22-23

This is the fourth and final installment of our study of the Fruit of the Spirit. We come to the final three: Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. These three are connected as core discipleship qualities. They flesh out the qualities needed by someone who would be a devoted follower of Jesus. The first is a persevering trust. The second is surrender, and the third is disciplined obedience.

7. Faithfulness is being diligent and tenaciously persevering to fulfill a trust given to me. It is being true to my word to others and especially consistently demonstrating my fidelity to Christ in every detail. It is the quality of enduring and consistent reliability. By the Holy Spirit our faithfulness is to reflect and witness to Christ's faithfulness to God, the Father, and to us.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Revelation 19:11

"I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells."

Revelation 2:13

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:1

In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.

1 Corinthians 4:2

[Urge] bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

Titus 2:9-10

(See Mt. 24:45; 25:21, 23; Acts 16:15; 1 Cor. 1:9; 4:2, 17; 10:13; 2 Cor. 1:18; Eph. 1:1; Col. 1:2, 7; 4:7, 9; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Tim. 1:12; 3:11; 2 Tim. 2:2, 13; Heb. 2:17; 3:2, 5; 10:23; 11:11; 1 Pet. 4:19; 5:12; 1 Jn. 1:9; Rev. 1:5; 2:13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11.)

8. Gentleness (meekness) is first and foremost the necessary, heartfelt condition of mind which humbly accepts and surrenders to the Word and will of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of positive faith. Meekness stems not from weakness but from the inner strength to be obedient to God's will and to restrain selfish ambition, self-assertion, hardness of heart, and resistance to God's will, as well as, grumbling and complaining. Its essence is the enthusiastic surrender, a joyful running to do God's will. Gentleness is exercised toward others by imitating the meekness of Christ. Such meekness is especially needed when correcting and admonishing others. It is generally to characterize our dealings with everyone.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light"

Matthew 11:28-30 (cf. 2 Cor. 10:1)

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

Titus 3:1-3 (cf. 2 Tim. 2:24-25)

(See Mt. 5:5; 11:29; 21:5; 1 Cor. 4:21; 2 Cor. 10:1; Gal. 5:23; 6:1; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:2; Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 3:4.)

9. Self-Control is first self-denial, saying no to self, and then it is yielding and disciplining oneself by the Holy Spirit to obediently serve the Lord. Gentleness (meekness) and self-control go hand in hand. To be surrender I must be self-control. Such is being filled with the Spirit and to have the mind of Christ. Self-control enables me to live not to please myself but to please the Lord and to live for His glory.

So whether we are at home or away we make it our aim to please him.

2 Corinthians 5:9

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Matthew 16:24

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

Titus 2:11-12

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

Ephesians 5:18

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

1 Peter 4:1-2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

(See Mt. 16:24; 26:34-35, 75; Mk. 8:34; Lk. 9:23; 12:9; Jn. 13:38; 14:31; Acts 24:25; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 2:15-16; 7:9; 9:25; 10:31; 12:16; Gal. 5:23 Eph. 5:18; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 1:10-12; 1 Tim. 4:6-12; 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:12; 3:5; Titus 2:12; Heb. 10:7; 12:1-12; 1 Pet. 1:6; 4:1-2, 11; Rev. 2:13; 3:8.)

Conclusion

Concentrate daily on developing the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Specify a targeted fruit for each day. Endeavor daily to make progress on that fruit. This must be followed up with an evaluation of progress and failures correcting and improving these. Plan, Do, Correct, Adjust (PDCA).

Heidelberg Catechism Question 1

What is my only comfort in life and in death?

That I belong – body and soul, in life and in death – not to myself, but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of His own blood has paid for all my sins, and He has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that He protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head, indeed that everything must fit His purpose for my salvation.

Thinking about Faith
The Fruit of the Spirit - Patience, Kindness, and ...

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Monday, 10 December 2018

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