Friday, March 11, 2011
Called for a Purpose
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23
People will endlessly debate the whole issue of election: Who is chosen? Who is not chosen? How are they chosen? But all too often, no one will ever ask why they were chosen. Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain . . . ” (John 15:16). Why were believers chosen by God? They were chosen to bring forth fruit.
And one way to bring forth fruit is by a change in conduct and character. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” In this verse, the word for “love” in the original language is agape, used more than any other word for love in the New Testament. And how we define love? It is joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and so forth. So this verse deals with our attitude toward God, toward ourselves, and toward others.
But is it even possible to know love, joy, and peace in this cynical age? According to Scripture, they should be the present experience of every believer. It is joy, a joy unspeakable, regardless of circumstances. It is peace that passes all human understanding. This all comes as a result of our walk with God.
Then we have patience, kindness, and goodness, virtues that we show toward others. Patience speaks of longsuffering toward others. Kindness speaks of our disposition. Goodness speaks of our words and deeds. Faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control speak of who we are as people.
Believers talk about the power of the Holy Spirit. But we also need the fruit of the Spirit. That is what Jesus is looking for.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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