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Walking by the Spirit, Part 3

Galatians 5:22-25 July 14, 1974 1670


The Christian cannot walk independently of the Holy Spirit. He cannot operate on his own energy and have success because the Christian life is directly dependent on the Spirit's work. There are three things that make walking by the Spirit necessary for fulfilling God's plan for the Christian.

A. The Impossible Standard

1. God's expectation

God's standard for the believer is so high, there is no way a Christian could ever meet it, humanly speaking. Jesus expressed that unattainable standard when he said, "Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father, who is in heaven, is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). Because of the impossible requirement of God's standard, it can be fulfilled only when we walk by the Spirit.

a) John 13:34--"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (cf. John 5:12). Doesn't that sound slightly impossible?

b) Ephesians 4:30-32--"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God by whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you." The standard is being like Jesus and forgiving like God has forgiven us.

c) Ephesians 5:20--We are to be "giving thanks always for all things." Even that one thing is an impossible standard from the standpoint of our humanness.

d) 1 John 2:6--John makes it obvious how impossible God's standard is: "He that saith that he abideth in [Christ] ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."

2. God's Enablement

Being like Christ is an impossible standard. That's why the believer must walk by the Spirit. It would be impossible to attain that standard on his own. Second Corinthians 6:16 contains the following promise of God to operate in the lives of His people: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." It is God who dwells in the believer, empowering him to accomplish the task of walking by the Spirit. Walking by the Spirit is important because of the impossible standard God has set. It is attainable only by God Himself. Therefore, as you walk in Him, God's high standards are fulfilled in you.

B. The Formidable Foe

We could never fight Satan in our own strength. Keep in mind that the spiritual battle going on in the universe isn't primarily between Satan and Christians; it is between Satan and God. But we get in the middle of it. When people become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet. 1:4) at the point of their salvation, they automatically find themselves in the middle of the battle. Because spiritual battles must be fought on a spiritual level, we must rely on divine resources to withstand the forces of Satan.

1. Ephesians 6:10, 12--"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.... For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Since we are flesh and blood, we cannot handle an enemy consisting of angelic beings outside our realm of combat. So we must be strong in the Lord.

2. James 4:7--Before we are told to resist the devil, James commands us to submit to God: "Submit yourselves, therefore, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." You must depend on God's power to resist Satan and his forces.

3. Jude 9--Even Michael, the champion angel, deferred to the superior power and authority of the Lord in a confrontation with Satan: "Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil ... dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Even Michael, who was of equal power as Satan, did not rebuke him personally. It is clear to us then that because of the formidable enemy we face, we cannot fight him with our own strength.

4. 1 John 4:4--"Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." It's good to know that God's strength is so available.

C. The Sinful Flesh

1. The problem

We are all victimized by our own flesh. Romans 7 makes that clear. The Apostle Paul delineates the conflict that takes place in every believer. Although he could say, "I delight in the law of God" (v. 22), he also said, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not.... But I see another law in my members, warring ... and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which in in my members. Oh, wretched man that I am!" (vv. 18, 23). Paul recognized he could not control his flesh in his own power.

2. The solution

The only way the flesh will ever be subdued becomes clear as we read Galatians 5:16: "Walk [by means of] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." The only way you will ever conquer the flesh is by walking in the Spirit's power. You cannot conquer it by attempting to keep the law in your own strength. Because of God's impossible standard, our formidable foe, and our hopelessly sinful flesh we must walk by the Spirit. When you do that, the works of the flesh are not produced. Now let us consider the positive results of walking by the Spirit.


I. THE COMMAND (v. 16)

II. THE CONFLICT (vv. 17-18)

III. THE CONTRAST (vv. 19-23)

A. The Works of the Flesh (see vv. 19-21)

B. The Fruit of the Spirit (vv. 22-23)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

1. The principles explained

a) The significance of singularity

Notice that the "fruit" of verse 22 is singular in contrast to the "works" of verse 19, which is plural. The flesh manifests itself in many different ways, although not everyone practices all the works listed in verses 19-21. (No one could without destroying himself!) The Spirit, however, produces a single fruit, which signifies the unity of the spiritual qualities mentioned by Paul. When you walk by the Spirit, you will see not a few, but all facets of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. You either have all or none of it. That should produce a sense of relief because you don't need to run around and try to generate love or joy. You just need to walk by the Spirit and He will produce it all in you. God reduces everything to a common denominator--walking by the Spirit, which produces the fruit.

b) The character of the Christian

The fruit of the Spirit determines the character of the Christian. Each fruit forms the pattern that ought to be seen in the believer's life, although there will be times when we don't see them. When we fail to walk in the Spirit, we break the pattern. Whatever directs a person's heart determines what will characterize that person's life. In Mark 7, the disciples asked the Lord about a parable He had just given. He replied, "Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatever thing from outside entereth into the man cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the stomach, and goeth out into the draught [it is eliminated after the digestive process], purging all foods? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (vv. 18-23). Christianity is not the philosophy of shaping up a person's environment to make him a better man, for it is man who contaminates the environment in the first place. A Christian's character is determined by the Spirit-led qualities that issue from his heart. Spiritual fruit is extremely important. It is the indicator that a man is saved. If there is no fruit in your life, something is wrong because fruit is evidence that God is at work. God spoke through Hosea, saying, "From me is thy fruit found" (14:8). Whatever you do that is godly is from God. Walking in the Spirit produces fruit.

c) The attitude behind the action

(1) Action fruit

When you study the Bible, you will find that fruit means different things.

(a) Praise is "the fruit of our lips" (Heb. 13:15).

(b) Financial assistance to those in need is an example of fruit (Phil. 4:17).

(c) Praying with understanding is fruitful (1 Cor. 14:14).

(d) Godly deeds will be fruitful in the lives of those who "walk worthy of the Lord" (Col. 1:10).

(e) People won to Christ are "fruit unto life eternal" (John 4:36), and the first believers in Achaia were called "first fruits" (1 Cor. 16:15).

The Bible refers to different actions as being fruitful. But behind them are the necessary attitudes.

(2) Attitude fruit

Before you ever see the evidence of fruit, there must be a correct attitude behind it because attitudes produce actions. Whatever is going on inside a man will be manifested externally. The Christian life can be summarized by the attitudes of love, joy, peace, long- suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. If those attitudes are present, they will produce the appropriate actions. A Christian can't experience love or joy in a corner by himself because those are things that are shared with others. Fruit that is produced by the Spirit is not self-centered.

Is your fruit basket upside down?

Christians are commanded to be fruitful, which requires depending on God. We can't be inactive and expect God to produce. We need to yield ourselves to God. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 is similar to the list of qualities in 2 Peter 1:5-7: "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge, self control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." Whereas Paul emphasizes the divine source of those qualities, Peter emphasizes the Christian's responsibility to acquire them. That is not a contradiction; it's the mysterious paradox of the Christian life--we are responsible to utilize God's power. Let me illustrate it this way: Imagine someone picking fruit on a tree and throwing it down to you to catch it in a basket. If you have your basket upside down and you're not paying attention, the fruit is going to drop on the ground. The Christian's responsibility is to get his basket in the right spot to receive the fruit the Holy Spirit is producing. The Christian life involves submitting yourself to the Holy Spirit.

2. The particulars examined

Commentators have tried to organize the fruit of the Spirit into different categories. Some say the first three are for God, the next three are for men, and the last three are for yourself. However, none of the outlines I found fit in every detail. The list of spiritual fruit is probably not complete. The phrase "and the like" (v. 21) tells us that the list of the works of the flesh is incomplete; the phrase "against such [things] there is no law" (v. 23) may indicate that the list of the fruit of the Spirit is also incomplete.

a) Love

(1) Its meaning

(a) The supreme gift

First Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Some commentators believe that the qualities listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are different manifestations of love. Love is clearly a dominate factor in human experience.

(b) The fulfillment of the law

Romans 13:10 says that a man who loves is fulfilling the law. Love is the basis of the Church Age. Galatians 5:14 says, "All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

(c) The epitome of self-sacrifice

Love is not an emotion. It is an act of self- sacrifice. It is not necessarily feeling loving toward a particular person. It may not have any emotion connected with it. Romans 5:8 does not say, "God proved his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ had a warm feeling toward us." Rather, while we were sinners, "Christ died for us." Jesus said, "Greater love hath no man than this, than that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). God always defines biblical love in terms of self- sacrifice.

(d) The evidence of salvation

First John 3:14 says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Verse 17 says that since true love is expressed by meeting the needs of others, if you don't see that kind of love in your life, there is reason to question your salvation. Another reason to question your salvation is if you have misdirected love. First John 2:15 says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." If you are a new creation in Christ and the Spirit dwells within you and is producing fruit, love will be the pattern of your life. It will be broken by sin, but it will still be the general trend of your life.

(2) Its example

The supreme example of love is Jesus Christ Himself. In John 11 Jesus had arrived in Bethany at the request of Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, who was now dead. John 11:33 says, "When Jesus, therefore, saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled." When Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus, He groaned and even wept. However, that wasn't because Lazarus was dead. In ten minutes Christ was going to raise him from the dead. In fact, He had purposely allowed Lazarus to die so He could display His glory by raising him. Jesus was crying about the consequences of sin--it brings death and creates sorrow. Verses 35-36 say, "Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" Jesus wept because He saw the power of sin as it hit the life of someone He cared for.

(3) Its command

Before He died Himself, Jesus taught about the sacrificial nature of love, saying, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Did you know you are commanded to love like that? Ephesians 5:1-2 says, "Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ hath also loved us."

(4) Its source

If you would like to love like that, let the Spirit produce it in you. Romans 5:5 says, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us." The only way you'll ever see that kind of love generated in your life is through the Holy Spirit, the source and power of spiritual life.

b) Joy

(1) Its meaning

The word translated "joy" (Gk. chara) refers to the joy of God passing through a Christian. It is not just human joy that happens to be stimulated by divine influence. Nehemiah 8:10 says, "The joy of the LORD is your strength." Chara is always used to refer to joy that is based on spiritual or religious factors. It is not a slap-happy silliness that is the result of positive circumstances, but the deep-founded joy of God. First Peter 1:8 says, "Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [Christ] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Spiritual joy transcends circumstances. In John 16:20, Jesus informed His disciples that they would weep and be sorrowful, but that their sorrow would "be turned into joy." He illustrated the overriding power of joy with the example of childbirth: A woman has pain and apprehension in giving birth to a child, but that same incident also brings joy when the child is born (v. 21).

Divine joy is full joy. You can't add to it. First John 1:4 says, "These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." Jesus made a similar promise in John 16:24 before He departed: "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." Our relationship to God brings joy and satisfaction.

(2) It's example

The greatest example of joy is Jesus. Although Isaiah 53:3 says that Jesus was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," Hebrews 12:2 says that Christ endured the cross "for the joy that was set before him." Jesus had so much joy that it didn't deter Him from paying the penalty for the sins of everyone who ever lived. He never lost the overriding joy in His life while anticipating the cross. And He can offer that kind of satisfying joy to His followers (John 15:11).

(3) Its command

Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice."

(4) Its source

You say, "I would like to rejoice. How can I do it?" You don't try to do so on your own because the Holy Spirit produces it. Romans 14:17 says, "The kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

c) Peace

(1) Its meaning

The peace (Gk. eirene) here spoken of is a tranquility of mind based on a right relationship to God. It has nothing to do with circumstances. The verb form means "to bind together." You experience peace when nothing ruffles you because you know everything is under control. No matter what happens, you know that everything between you and God is right. When you remember that everything God is doing in your life is for your good (Rom. 8:28), that produces peace. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Spiritual peace doesn't necessarily involve peaceful circumstances. However, if you carry a peaceful heart into turbulent circumstances, you'll still experience peace.

(2) Its example

The greatest example of peace who ever lived is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Confidence in the divine assurance of God and His promises supplied peace to Christ in the midst of temptation (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus knew the Father would supply all He needed. The temptation He faced posed no threat to Him because He was convinced of the Father's care. Philippians 4:9 says, "Those things which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace shall be with you." If that's true, then verse 7 will be true: "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." If the God of peace is with you, you will experience the peace of God. Certainly Jesus Christ had that tremendous sense of calm that God was there and working in His behalf.

(3) The command

Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing."

(4) Its source

Although we are commanded to be at peace, it is only the Holy Spirit that can produce it, as Romans 14:17 indicates: "The kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

There's a paradox in the Christian life: Although we are commanded to exhibit spiritual fruit, it can never be produced except by yielding to the Holy Spirit.

d) Long-Suffering

(1) Its meaning

Long-suffering means "patience," "tolerance," or "being slow to wrath." It is the opposite of impatience. The Bible reveals it as a characteristic of God in such verses as Psalm 86:15: "Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." Unfortunately the word long- suffering sounds like merely being able to endure pain for a long time. But it really means being patient.

(2) Its example

Romans 2:4 tells us that God is patient, even though there are those who disregard His patience. Second Peter 3 Peter records how some people were saying that because Christ hadn't yet fulfilled the promise of His coming, life would continue on as normal. But Peter says that the only reason the Lord hasn't come in judgment is that He is "long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish" (v. 9). First Peter 3:20 speaks of the long- suffering of God in the days of Noah before He brought the flood upon that ancient civilization. God's patience is always connected with mercy and should be reflected in the life of a Christian.

The supreme example of patience is Christ. Consider how patient He was with all the things He endured during His ministry. In Timothy 1:16, Paul spoke of Christ's example of patience: "For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting." In great patience the Lord Jesus waited while Paul spent a portion of his adult life persecuting Christians. But Christ eventually redeemed him to make the Apostle a prime example of His patience.

(3) Its command

There are several passages that command Christians to be patient. Colossians 3:12 says, "Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering" (Gk. makrothumeo = `patience'; cf. Eph. 4:2-3; 2 Tim. 4:2).

(4) Its source

The source of patience is the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 3:16 tells us that Christians are "strengthened with might by [the] Spirit in the inner man." Paul prayed that the Colossians would be "strengthened with all might ... unto all patience and long-suffering" (1:11).

e) Gentleness

(1) Its meaning

Gentleness means "tenderness." It is a characteristic of God and does not imply weakness. David said of God in 2 Samuel 22:36, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." It was also a characteristic of the Apostle Paul. He told the Thessalonians, "We were gentle among you" (1 Thess. 2:7). Such gentleness, however, is not lacking in conviction. It allows for indignation when appropriate.

(2) Its example

Second Corinthians 10:1 says, "Now I, Paul, myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ." Paul saw tremendous gentleness in Jesus. Christ's gentleness was demonstrated when he picked up little children, blessed them, and said, "Permit the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not" (Mark 10:14). Jesus also expressed gentleness when he said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matt. 11:29).

(3) Its command

We are commanded to be gentle. Second Timothy 2:24 says, "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men."

(4) Its source

James 3:17 implies that gentleness comes from the Holy Spirit. It says, "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, [and] gentle." Gentleness comes from God through the Holy Spirit.

f) Goodness

(1) Its meaning

Goodness refers to moral or spiritual excellence. God is good. Psalm 33:5 says, "The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD." Nehemiah 9 talks about His "great goodness" (vv. 25, 35). David anticipated that God's "goodness and mercy" would be with him throughout his life (Ps. 23:6). In Psalm 27:13, David said, "I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."

(2) Its example

The goodness of God is further exemplified in the life of Christ. When a rich young ruler came to Him and called Him, "Good Master" (Mark 10:17), "He said to him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but ... God" (v. 18). Christ was assuming the character of God.

(3) Its command

We are commanded to be good in Galatians 6:10: "As we have, therefore, opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

(4) Its source and power

Although we are commanded to be good, that quality is produced by the Spirit. We cannot produce goodness on our own because in our own flesh "dwelleth no good thing" (Rom. 7:18). However, in 2 Thessalonians 1:11, we are told that God will "fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness" in us.

g) Faithfulness

(1) Its meaning

Faithfulness means "trustworthiness, loyalty, or steadfastness." God is faithful. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "It is because of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness."

(2) Its example

As God in human flesh, Christ is to be trusted for His faithfulness. When He ascended to heaven, angels told the disciples, "This same Jesus ... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Do you think He will keep His promise? Revelation 19 reveals Christ returning to earth on a white horse, identified as "Faithful and True" (v. 11). He will keep His word.

(3) Its command

First Corinthians 4:2 says, "It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

(4) Its source

Only the Holy Spirit can produce faithfulness in you. In Acts 6:5, the church in Jerusalem chose Stephen, "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Spirit," to administrate care for the widows in the church. Those two qualities go together.

h) Meekness

(1) Its meaning

Meekness is the only quality in the list that is not characteristic of God's essence. No Old Testament Scripture reveals God as meek. To be meek is to be lowly or humble. Obviously God is neither lowly or humble because of who He is. In the New Testament, meekness is described by three attitudes:

(a) Submissiveness to the will of God (James 1:21)

(b) Teachability (James 1:21)

(c) Consideration (1 Pet. 3:15)

(2) Its example

Second Corinthians 10:1 states that Jesus was meek. (His meekness was a manifestation of His humanity.) In Matthew 21:5, He rode into Jerusalem "meek, and sitting upon an ass."

(3) Its command

First Timothy 6:11 says, "Follow after ... meekness." Colossians 3:12 says, "Put on ... meekness."

(4) Its source

Only the Holy Spirit can produce meekness. Galatians 5:23 tells us meekness is the fruit of the Spirit.

i) Self-Control

(1) Its meaning

Self-control is the ability to keep one's self in check.

(2) Its example

Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

(3)The command

Peter exhorts us to add self control to our knowledge (2 Pet. 1:6).

(4) Its source

Self-control is produced only the Holy Spirit.

All of the fruit of the Spirit is commanded of the believer, produced by the Holy Spirit, and exemplified by Jesus Christ.

3. The purpose eliminated

Paul ends his listing of the the fruit of the Spirit with this statement: "Against such there is no law" (v. 23). He is saying that if you're in the Spirit, you don't need the law, which had one purpose: restraining sin. As the flesh produced evil, the law helped to restrain it. In the case of the Christian, the law is unnecessary because the Spirit more effectively restrains the works of the flesh.

IV. THE CONQUEST (vv. 24-25)

A. God's Part (v. 24)

"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."

If you are a Christian, your flesh was crucified the moment you believed in Jesus Christ. It's a dead issue. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ." Your old life is gone. God crucified your sinful nature with its passions and desires on the cross.

B. Man's Part (v. 25)

"If we live [by] the Spirit, let us also walk [by] the Spirit."

Since God has paid the penalty for our sinfulness, we ought to be consistent in living the life He has enabled us to live.

Focusing on the Facts

1. Because of the impossible standard that God requires, what is the only was a Christian can fulfill God's plan for him?

2. Who is the spiritual battle in the universe primarily between?

3. Why must Christians rely on divine resources to withstand the forces of Satan?

4. What does James 4:7 tell believers they must do before resisting the devil?

5. When a Christian walks by the Spirit, will he manifest all the fruit of the Spirit? Explain.

6. What does spiritual fruit indicate?

7. What are some examples of action fruit in the New Testament?

8. What paradox of the Christian life is seen by comparing Galatians 5:22-23 with 2 Peter 1:5-7?

9. Describe the character of biblical love.

10. What is the expression of Christian love evidence of in 1 John? What are two things that could rightfully lead a person to question his salvation?

11. How did Jesus demonstrate the greatness of His love, as implied in John 15:13?

12. Why was Jesus not deterred from paying the penalty for the sins of mankind (Heb. 12:2)?

13. What is the biblical definition of peace?

14. What supplied peace to Christ in the midst of temptation?

15. How is God patient toward mankind, according to 2 Peter 3:9? What other divine attribute is connected to God's patience?

16. Why did Christ patiently show mercy toward Paul while he was persecuting the church (1 Tim. 1:16)?

17. Does gentleness lack in conviction? What does it allow for?

18. What does Paul command "the servant of the Lord" to be like toward "all men" in 2 Timothy 2:24?

19. How did the angels at Christ's ascension imply that He would be faithful (Act 1:11)?

20. What is the one spiritual fruit that is not an attribute of God?

21. What three attitudes are descriptive of meekness?

22. Why is the Mosaic law unnecessary for the Christian?

23. Explain the cooperation between man and God in conquering the flesh.

Pondering the Principles

1. Have you recognized how impossible it would be to live the Christian life apart the Holy Spirit? Maybe you have never realized all that the Spirit does for you. Match the following verses with the appropriate ministries of the Spirit in the life of a believer:

a. He bestows spiritual gifts.                              John 16:12-15

b. He guarantees the believer's glorification.   Romans 8:26-27

c. He teaches us.                                                Galatians 5:22-23

d. He guides us.                                                  Acts 1:8

e. He prays for us.                                               Ephesians 1:13-14

f. He fights the flesh.                                            Acts 16:6-7, 10

g. He produces spiritual fruit.                             Galatians 5:17

h. He sanctifiesus.                                               2 Thessalonians 2:13

i. He empowers us for service.                          Romans 8:16

j. He provides assurance of salvation.              Romans 12:3-8

Praise God for the Holy Spirit enabling you to live a life that is "acceptable unto the Lord" (Eph. 5:10).

2. Galatians 6:10 says, "As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (NIV). How would you rate your desire to help others? Do you look for opportunities to help your neighbors, friends, and relatives who don't know Christ? Or, do you avoid interacting with them? If so, why? Did another Christian's good works and character lead you to Christ, causing you to glorify Him (Matt. 5:16)? Commit yourself to doing good deeds as a foundation for evangelism. Furthermore, assuming you are a member of a local church, make sure you are actively involved and available to do good to that family of believers.

3. Read how Jesus' exhibited self-control in Luke 4:1-13. Who was Jesus being led by (v. 1)? What demonstrates that Jesus' desire was not self-gratification? Whose authority did He submit to (vv. 8, 12)? Although He was victorious over Satan's attack, did that mean victory was complete (v. 13)? Self-control is a spiritual quality that often alludes us. Do you find it easy to do what you want to do and disregard God's will? When faced with a situation that demands self- control, always consider how God would have you respond and ask Him to enable you to follow the Spirit's leading. Our life's motto should be, "Not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42; NIV).