The Fruit of the Spirit 1

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This is the first of a series of presentations about the development of Christian character, based on a study of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. The presentation was prepared by Dr Kevin Smith, Vice-Principal of the South African Theological Seminary.

The Fruit of the Spirit 1

  1. 1. Love: The Essence of Christian Character The Fruit of the Spirit 1 By Kevin G. Smith
  2. 2. Lesson Outline1. Christian character defined2. Christian character developed3. Christian character cultivatedLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  3. 3. Point 1 CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DEFINEDLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  4. 4. Christian Character DefinedWhat is Christian character? • The Bible gives a simple answer to that question: Christian character is Christlikeness!Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  5. 5. Christian Character Defined1. Jesus Christ is the model of Christian character.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  6. 6. Christian Character DefinedRomans 8:29 2 Corinthians 3:18For those God foreknew And we, who withhe also predestined to be unveiled faces all reflectconformed to the likeness the Lord’s glory, are beingof his Son, that he might transformed into hisbe the firstborn among likeness with ever-many brothers. increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  7. 7. Christian Character DefinedEphesians 4:11-13It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to beprophets, some to be evangelists, and some to bepastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people forworks of service, so that the body of Christ may be builtup until we all reach unity in the faith and in theknowledge of the Son of God and become mature,attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  8. 8. Christian Character Defined1. Jesus Christ is the model of Christian character.2. Love is the supreme manifestation of Christian characterLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  9. 9. Christian Character DefinedThere is one quality that sums up andincorporates all that God wants us to be—love! Love is the one quality that definesChristian character. All other virtues arejust expressions of love.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  10. 10. Love is like Joy the hub of a Self- control Peace wheel with all the other virtues Gentle- Love Patience radiating out ness from it like spokes. Faithful- Kindness ness GoodnessLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  11. 11. Christian Character DefinedJohn 13:34-35 Romans 13:8-10A new command I give you: for he who loves his fellowmanLove one another. As I have has fulfilled the law. Theloved you, so you must love commandments … areone another. By this all men summed up in this one rule:will know that you are my ‘Love your neighbour asdisciples, if you love one yourself.’ Love does no harm toanother. its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  12. 12. Point 2 CHRISTIAN CHARACTER DEVELOPEDLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  13. 13. Christian Character DevelopedThe New Testament consistently describes theprocess of developing Christlike character by usingthe agricultural metaphor of fruitbearing. Webecome Christlike as the Holy Spirit producesspiritual fruit in our lives. The fruitbearing image iscentral to the Christian understanding of characterdevelopment. Fruit stands in contrast to works inthat works are the result of our efforts while fruit isthe result of God’s activity in us.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  14. 14. Christian Character DevelopedThe Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:16-18 1. The two natures So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  15. 15. Christian Character DevelopedThe Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:19-21 1. The two natures The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity 2. The old nature and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  16. 16. Christian Character DevelopedThe Fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23 1. The two natures But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness 2. The old nature and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who 3. The new nature belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  17. 17. Christian Character DevelopedThe Fruit of the Vine John 15:4-5Jesus used the illustration of the Remain in me, and I will remain invine and its branches to drive you. No branch can bear fruit byhome the same point that Paul itself; it must remain in the vine.made in Galatians, namely, that Neither can you bear fruit unlessChristian character is not you remain in me. I am the vine;something we produce by you are the branches. If a manourselves but something that remains in me and I in him, heChrist produces in us as we allow will bear much fruit; apart fromhim to work in our lives. me you can do nothing.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  18. 18. Christian Character DevelopedWe must remain in him He must remain in usJust as the branches must The indwelling Christ must beremain in contact with the given room in our lives tovine, so we must maintain our transform us from the insiderelationship with him if we are out, making us more liketo produce fruit. himself (Gal. 2:20).Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  19. 19. Point 3 CHRISTIAN CHARACTER CULTIVATEDLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  20. 20. Christian Character CultivatedWe develop it by cultivating our relationshipwith Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to workin us. We do not focus on developing the fruit ofthe Spirit. We focus on Jesus Christ and the HolySpirit automatically produces fruit in our lives.There are two things we must do to fertilise thesoil of our hearts so that the fruit of the Spiritgrows abundantly.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  21. 21. Christian Character Cultivated1. Fellowship with “Spending time with God God is the single most important key to developing godly character.”Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  22. 22. Christian Character Cultivated1. Fellowship with 1 Corinthians 15:33 God Do not be misled: ‘Bad2. Fellowship with company corrupts good character.’ believersLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  23. 23. Christian Character Cultivated1. Fellowship with Hebrews 10:24-25 God And let us consider how we may spur one another on2. Fellowship with toward love and good deeds. believers Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Love: The Essence of Christian Character
  24. 24. CONCLUSIONLove: The Essence of Christian Character
  25. 25. Conclusion1. Christian character defined: Jesus Christ is the model, and love the supreme manifestation.2. Christian character developed: the biblical model is one of fruitbearing.3. Christian character cultivated: We can cultivate the soil of our hearts through fellowship with God and others.Love: The Essence of Christian Character

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