Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 34
GALATIANS 5:13-23 – PART 2
We’ve been looking at all the wicked ramifications of the old Adam, the flesh, and that which was part and parcel of our past before salvation, and it’s still the mundane living style of the unbeliever, but now we’re ready for the other side of the coin, the flip side. now verse 22.
“But (here we have a total flip side. You talk about something that’s a flip side, this is. This is just a total inversion of all of the activity of those previous verses we looked at in the last lesson. And now we’ll read them all and come back and comment. But) the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Now there are nine fruits listed here, and we’re going to divide them into three segments of three each. So the first part of the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy and peace is the inner results of Salvation in the life of the believer. This is what we can experience just simply as a result of having believed the Gospel for our salvation. I’ve always made the statement that we aren’t saved as a fire escape. We’re not saved just to escape Hellfire, not at all, but we’re also saved to do as Jesus said. “to have life and have it more abundantly.”
We’re going to see in these nine fruits of the Spirit, that this is the abundant life. And that’s why Paul says, “against these things there is nothing that can oppose them.” There is no law that says, “Well there’s nothing good about love, there’s nothing good about joy, and so forth.” No way, these are all attributes of the life that enhance the believer. I always have to look at it this way. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a community where everybody lived this kind of a life, as opposed to living in a community where everybody practices what we saw in the last lesson. Well we see those other practices too often, and it’s pandemonium, the police blotters are full of people who practice those things.
You don’t see people named on the police blotters who practice these fruits of the Spirit in verse 22 and 23, at least not very often. It probably can happen, but it’s not very routine. I feel sorry for policemen and law enforcement in general. Have you ever stopped to think what it would be like to be a policemen and be confronted with this stuff? I mean they’re putting up with all these things that we looked at in the last lesson. They never have to put up with people who are in trouble because of the fruit of the Spirit. OK now here we go.
“…love, joy, peace,…”
These three things that just simply come from within when we’re a believer. We talked about the agape love in our first lesson this afternoon, and the definition of it which is “seeking that other person’s highest good.” Can you imagine living in a family, (we know that would be impossible for a whole community,) but wouldn’t it be great to live in a family where all the members of that family all the way down to the grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren would do everything with the idea that they wanted to bring about their highest good for their fellow family members? Wouldn’t that be something? You wouldn’t find teenagers in the drug culture, because that doesn’t bring about the family’s highest good. You wouldn’t find teenagers dropping out of school, you wouldn’t find members of the family getting into trouble, because love, you see, when you seek the other persons highest good does nothing but enhance the things that are good.
So love is that agape love that comes as a result of the indwelling and outworking of the Holy Spirit, and it’s going to have an effect on our life style. We’re going to be fulfillers of the whole law by virtue of our operating love. Now the next one is joy. We use that word too often time flippantly. But do you know the difference between joy and happiness? Lot’s of people think it’s the same thing, and it’s not. Joy is that which comes from within as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling us, as a result of what God has done on our behalf. We have joy unspeakable because regardless of what may happen to us in this life, we have life eternal. We have the promises of all the things that God has prepared for us. Now that is what precipitates real joy.
Happiness on the other hand is the result of our circumstances. In other words if everything is going well, and you’re healthy, the bills are all paid, and you’ve got a little money in the bank, and you’re driving a decent car, and you have a nice home, all these things contribute to happiness. But you see they are just circumstantial, they have nothing to do with that which is in the inner life. So always remember that. Joy is that which is within whether you have money in the bank, have trials and tribulations, you can still have joy. But you won’t be happy, I mean that stands to reason. When things are going wrong it’s pretty hard to be happy, but you can still have joy. Now one of Paul’s letters is just packed with this concept of joy and rejoice. Who knows what it is? Philippians. All right let’s go and look at it for a moment. Turn ahead a few pages to Philippians, and we’ll just skim through the letter right now. But some day down the road if the Lord tarries we’ll also be teaching it verse by verse. Now right off the bat in Chapter 1 verse 18 we find one. Now I’m not sure that we’ll see them all, but let’s try.
“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”
Now remember the things Paul is talking about just ahead of this verse are that his adversaries were constantly giving him a bad time. This was not a place of happiness for Paul, but he had joy. So he could rejoice even though he had all that opposition. Now come on down to verse 25.
“And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;”
Now listen, were these Philippian believers living in a happy environment? No, but rather they were under constant pressure, and persecution, and yet Paul could say that they had joy because of their faith. It was an inner thing with them. Now moving on into Chapter 2.
“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, (see how all these things fit together?) being of one accord, of one mind.” Now skip across the page to verse 16 and we find another one.
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. 17. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 18. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”
Isn’t that something, and the man himself was under constant pressure. We covered that in 1st and 2nd Corinthians, how he suffered for the sake of the Gospel. He was under trials and tribulations constantly, and yet the man was full of joy and was able to rejoice. Now you see we’re spoiled, and I have to tell the Lord that every once in awhile. I’m so spoiled, and I think you are also. We’ve all got it so good. What if all of a sudden the tables would turn and there would be a knock on our door at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, and someone says, “You’re under arrest.” “For what?” “For being a Christian.” Hey what would happen? I think we’d all almost panic that our world is coming apart, but listen this was routine for these people. They and Paul were under constant persecution, and yet the man could be full of joy. Now remind yourselves of that. If all of a sudden my little world should start falling apart could I still be joyful? Now I don’t expect you to be happy, but we are to be joyful. Now looking at verse 18 again.
“For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” Now come on over to verse 28, and let’s look at another one, and here Paul is speaking of Epaphroditus, his brother in the Lord..
“I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.” Well then come down into Chapter 3.
“Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2. Beware of dogs, (those that would attack them)beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Now come on over to Chapter 4, and I can see them again. My they just jump off the page, you can’t miss them.
“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy (now I’ve always maintained that Paul had a special feeling for the Philippian believers. Remember it was in Philippi that he was sick in bed, almost unto death. And the Philippian believers nourished him and brought him through, so I think he always had a real tender spot in his heart for them) and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Now come on down to verse 4 for another one.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”
See Paul repeats rejoice again, and I’ve always said the repetition in Scripture is for emphasis. The whole emphasis in this entire Book of Philippians is that in spite of their trials and their sufferings they would still have joy. Well now verse 10.
“But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.”
There may be others in Philippians as I have just grabbed them as they jumped off the page at me. But this joy is one of the fruits we saw in Galatians Chapter 5. Now coming back to the Book of Galatians 5:22. First we have love for all that we come into contact with, and especially believers. Love remember is that which seeks the other person’s highest good.Then we can have joy in spite of adversity, or persecution. and the third one is “peace.” Now in order to understand the word “peace” we’ve got to come back to Romans Chapter 5. Remember it’s why peace isn’t listed in the activities of the unbeliever. The unbeliever has never experienced this, and he can have no peace. The Scripture speaks of them like the waves roaring, their lives are filled with turmoil, but look what verse 1 says.
“Therefore being justified by faith, (that puts us back like Adam was before the fall. When we become believers, God reckons the old sin nature, the old Adam dead and gone, and God looks at us as if we’ve never sinned. Therefore since we’ve been declared as if we’ve never sinned, and the slate has been wiped clean) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Now the unbeliever can never experience that peace, in fact Romans 8:7 tells us that the unbeliever is an enemy of God. You see we don’t have to be in a constant turmoil, and wonder,“Oh is God going to zap me? Is God all of a sudden going to disown me? Is He going to cast me out?” No! Because we have that abiding peace with God here in this text and now let’s go to Philippians Chapter 4 and look at the peace of God. Now justification brings about the peace with God, then we’re no longer an enemy. We are now His, and we can enjoy His fellowship moment by moment, regardless of how well we’ve been able to behave, if you want to use that word. We still have that constant fellowship because of our justification which gave us the peace with God. Now here we have the other peace that is spoken of and that is in verse 6 and 7. When someone calls with an urgent prayer request these are the two verses I give them, and you might be ready to do the same. These are the best two verses in all of Scripture for someone in need, and look what it says.
“Be careful for nothing; (or worry about nothing) but in every thing (what ever the need or circumstance) by prayer and supplication (and here’s the secret) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God….”
Never ask the Lord something without thanking Him for it in advance. That’s one of the criteria of prayer. Always thank Him for what He’s going to do with your prayer request. I always tell my classes whether God answers yes, or no, or maybe later, whatever He says, you have an immediate answer in verse 7. The minute you get up from your prayer place you’ve got your prayers answered because of what this next verse says.
“And the peace of God, (now we have the peace with God at the moment of salvation, but now as a believer, and we enter into this Spirit filled walk, now we have the peace of God)which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Whatever the circumstances, God is there calming our situation saying, “I’m in control.” Now we all know that it’s been hot this summer where I live, and I’m getting concerned about grass for my cattle, and the only hope that I have are these promises that I have the peace with God, and the peace of God, and I can take it to Him in prayer. In fact I was talking to one of my neighbors and told him I sure hope it rains before too long, and he said, “Are you praying?” I said, “You bet I am, absolutely, and I’m quite sure that God in His own time is going to answer.” But what ever the circumstance we have that peace with God and the peace of God. Now reading verse 7 again.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, (some of these things we can’t comprehend how He answers. Some times He says no. It may not rain, but whether it does or not what do I have? I have the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, and it) shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
He is the constant, He never fails, He’s always there! Alright now let’s come back to Galatians Chapter 5. So we’ve covered love, joy, and peace. Now the next three are more or less an attitude toward our neighbors, or maybe our families, the people around us, and that is –
“…longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,…”
Another word for longsuffering is patience. Now what do those three lead to? Well that leads to a pretty good happy family environment doesn’t it? If all family members can exemplify these three fruits of the Spirit, patience with one another, gentleness with one another, and goodness, my you talk about family – wouldn’t that be perfect? What a beautiful family relationship we could enjoy if all members of the family would just practice those three fruits of the Spirit.
Now the last three fruits of the Spirit are pretty much tied to our association with God Himself.
“…faith, 23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
And the first thing that God looks for is what? Faith. Let’s look at that for a moment in the Book of Hebrews Chapter 11, and verse 6. I think that’s why it’s listed first. Also in I Corinthians Chapter 13 the love chapter how does God end it?
I Corinthians 13:13
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity,…” You see faith has to be the first one. Do you see that? But here in Hebrews let’s look at verse 6.
“But without faith,…”
Remember my definition of faith? Taking God at His Word! Believe it from cover to cover. Now granted not all of the Bible is written to us Gentile believers. When Leviticus Chapter 5 says, “That anyone who has touched something unclean has to go through the rites of purification, and has to bring a particular offering,” Hey we don’t do that. Well why not, it’s in the Bible. See that’s what people like to say a lot of the time. “Well it’s in the Bible.” Well if that’s the case you’d better go back and practice Leviticus. Then these same people don’t know what to do with it. You have to realize that the Bible is for us, but it’s not all to us, and that makes all the difference in the world. The secret of being able to separate the Scriptures is to see what was written to the Gentile Body of Christ, the Church, us today, and that all comes from the pen of the apostle to the Gentiles, the apostle Paul. But a great majority of the Bible was written to the Nation of Israel, the Jews, and even the Jewish believers in the Four Gospels. So you’ve got to be careful in how you rightly divide the Word of God. Now looking at this verse in Hebrews again. .
“But without faith it is impossible to please him…”
In other words there is no way you can get to first base with God unless He sees faith first. How you might say, “What about a sinner seeking salvation?” The first article of faith for a lost person seeking salvation is Romans 3:23.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
And we have to believe what the Bible says, and that is “all have sinned, and come short…” Now that’s the first step of faith for the unbeliever. “Yes Lord I’m a sinner, I have fallen short!” Then the next step of faith is to believe the Gospel for salvation, that “He died for you, was buried, and rose again the third day.” But that’s all taken by faith. And that is the key, and without it –
“…it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Now back to the Book of Galatians. I see we’ve only got a couple of minutes left, and I was wanting to finish Chapter 5 today. Now the next one after faith is –
Now I’m afraid that a lot of people think to be meek is to be a milquetoast. Someone who never has enough gumption to ever take up for himself. But that not what meekness means in Scripture. The best way to explain meekness in Scripture is to look at Moses. Now was Moses a milquetoast where everybody walked on him? No. Moses was a leader, Moses was a man who was highly educated in all the schools of Egypt. He was a military leader. I think he was a civil engineer. Moses did everything, but what does the Bible call him? “The meekest man that every lived.” Moses’ attitude was such that God could use him, he was pliable, he was someone God could mold, and Moses became a great man because of him being meek. To be meek you have to be pliable and useable. Now the next one is –
Do you know what real temperance is? You know we think of in America at least, is the fight against alcohol, whisky and so forth as being temperance. No, temperance goes across the whole of human activity. And it merely means maintain a balance in whatever you do. This is something that is well pleasing in God’s sight. We don’t slip over to the far right or to the far left, but by the basis of the Word of God, you maintain a balance. And all nine of these fruits of the Spirit, Paul says –
“…against such there is no law.”
Who can fault someone who is the epitome of these nine Graces. Well no one can! You show me a person with these nine Graces and I’ll show you someone who is to be envied.
PLAN FOR HEAVEN
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what Law: of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.”
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”
I Corinthians 15:1-6
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
MANIFOLD RESULTS OF SALVATION
THE GOSPEL – Our Position – I Corinthians 15:1-4
JUSTIFIED – Romans 3:24
REDEEMED – Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7
SANCTIFIED – I Corinthians 1:30
FORGIVEN – Colossians 2:13
BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT – I Corinthians 12:13
GLORIFIED – Romans 8:17
INDWELT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT – I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19
IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS – Romans 1:18; Isaiah 61:10 (clothed with garments of salvation, covered with the robe of righteousness)
QUICKENED – New Creation (Made Alive) – Ephesians 2:1
ADOPTION – Joint Heirs – Romans 8:14
TRANSLATED and DELIVERED from Power of Darkness – Colossians 1:13-14
RECONCILED – II Corinthians 5:18
ETERNAL LIFE – Ephesians 2:5-7