Pastor's Heart

A blog of Lone Hill Church and Dr. Ray Stamps.

The Fruit of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace

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

Welcome to the second installment of the Lone Hill Church Blog. This second segment continues a study of the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 by defining the first three fruits. Note that certain fruits are directly related to other fruits. In fact, we can see three groupings which Paul implicitly suggests by the order of his list. In the first group we will see how joy and peace are dependent upon love. Hope you will be blessed.

1. Love is the sincere, sacrificial, enduring affection, goodwill, and the help of God to make me successful in His kingdom. Only as we experience the love of God in Christ for ourselves can we then obediently go on to love one another with this same kind of love. The demonstration of such love toward others is characterized by the rest of the Spirit's fruit.

What then shall we say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [is] against us? … 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31, 38-39

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,…. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (cf. John 3:16).

Ephesians 2:1, 3-4

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (cf. Eph. 5:1-2).

1 John 4:7-11

​ (See Jn. 3:16; Rom. 8: 28-39; 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 12:31-13:8; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 2:1, 3-4; 5:1-2; 1 Pet. 5:6-7; 1 Jn. 4:7-11; Ps. 56:8-9; Rev. 1:4-6; cf. Jn. 13:34-35.)

2. Joy ­is my response to acknowledging God's benefits for me in the Gospel, namely, that He loves, cares, provides, protects, assures me of eternal life, and that nothing can separate me from Him and His love for me. It is the joy of salvation, the joy of fellowship with God through the work of Jesus and applied by His indwelling Holy Spirit. My joy results not from my circumstances but from the input of the Holy Spirit through my faith in God's promises, so that I thankfully, consistently, and consciously am basking in God's love, my fellowship with my Lord, and the benefits of the Gospel. It is closely associated with my hope, peace, patience, and thankfulness to the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord.

Philippians 3:1

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  4 And let endurance have [its] perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

(See Jn. 15:11; Acts 13:52; 16:25; Rom. 5:1-5; 14:17; 15:13; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:1; 4:4-6; Col. 1:11-12; 1 Thess. 1:6; 5:16; Heb. 2:10; 5:7-8; 12:2; Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 4:1-3; 5:7; Ps. 51:12.)

3. Peace is that experience of knowing with all assurance that God is not against me, but He declares that He is completely for me. Knowing this, I can securely embrace all circumstances with joy being assured that He works all things to the good of my salvation and that nothing can separate me from His love for me in Christ Jesus! Further, this peace so permeates the very life of Christ's Church that it enables them by the work of the Holy Spirit to live in harmony with one another. This peace is so precious that the Church is pledged to honor and keep it to their own hurt. This bond of peace is not only a bond of peaceful brotherhood between believers, but in turn they are to be agents of reconciliation in the world extending this peace even to their enemies. Our peace is dependent upon our hope and joy, and it is of necessity associated with love, forgiveness, forbearance, unity, and thankfulness.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to [His] purpose. …What then shall we say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [is] against us?  32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Romans 8:28, 31-32

…there is no [distinction between] Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;  13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.  14 Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.  16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:11-16

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!

Luke 2:14

(See Lk. 2:14; Jn. 14:27; Rom. 8:28-39; 12:14-21; 14:17; 15:13; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 2:13-17; 4:1-6; Phil. 4:4-7; Col. 3:11-15; Heb. 12:14-15; Jas. 1:2-4.)

Remember the goal of the definitions of the Fruit is to read and meditate upon them asking and trusting the Spirit to incorporate them into our daily thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

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Sunday, 29 January 2023

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