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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
(A study on the Holy Spirit)
Dr. Silas C. Nair
Believers are those who are liberated by Jesus Christ. They are exhorted not to be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Gal.5.1). This liberty should not be used as an opportunity for the flesh (5.13). They should walk in the Spirit so that they will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (5.16). They should also be led by the Spirit (5.18). This leading would help them to be on the right track. Since they are already living in the Spirit they should walk in the Spirit (5.25).
It is in the above context that Paul contrasts between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit (5.19, 22).
The gifts of the Spirit or the manifestations of the Spirit (1 Cor.12.8-10) are given to each believer because of his position in the body of Christ. These gifts are for power, serviceand ministry. These gifts in themselves do not make one spiritual. But the fruit of the Spirit are graces that are manifested in Christian character. There may be one or more gifts given to a Christian. But all the gifts are not given to any Christian. The fruit of the Spirit is different. Without the one you cannot have the other.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal.5.22). The word ‘fruit’ is singular. It is like an orange with nine pods. All the nine pods together make an orange.
To illustrate, First Corinthian Thirteen speaks of love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. But what is love?
1. Love suffers long - longsuffering
2. Loving is kind - gentleness
3. Love vaunts not itself - meekness
4. Love does not behave unseemly - temperance
5. Love is not easily provoked - peace
6. Love thinks no evil - goodness
7. Love rejoices in truth -joy
8. Love believeth all things etc.- faith
So to have love means to have longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, peace, goodness, joy and faith.
Works of the flesh (Gal.5.19-21). The word “flesh” (Gk. Sarx) has a wide range of meaning in the New Testament. W.E. Vine analyzes this as follows:
1. The substance of the body whether of beasts or of men 1 Cor.15.39;
2. The human body Gal.2.20; Phil.1.22
3. By synecdoche, of “mankind” in the totality of all that is essential to manhood Matt.24.22; Jn.1.13
4. By synecdoche, of “the holy humanity” of the Lord Jesus Jn.1.14
5. By synecdoche, for the complete person Jn.6.51-57; 2 Cor.7.5
6. “The weaker element in human nature: Matt.26.41; Rom.6.19
7. The unregenerate state of men Rom.7.5; 8.8
8. The seat of sin in man 2 Pet.2.18; 1 Jn.2.16
9. The lower and temporary element in the Christian Gal.3.3; 6.8
10. The natural attainments of men 1 Cor.1.26; 2 Cor.10.2
11. Circumstances 1 Cor.7.28; the externals of life 2 Cor.7.1
12. By metonymy, the ‘outward and seeming” as contrasted with the Spirit Jn.6.63; 2 Cor.5.16
13. Natural relationship 1 Cor.10.18; Gal.4.23
“The works of the flesh” are the works produced by the fallen human nature (Wm. MacDonald). “It is employed with an ethical meaning, indicating that it is the part of man’s nature which seduces to sin- what is often called the carnal nature, the sinful nature within” (Ralph Earl).
Even when a person is born again his sinful nature still remains in him. If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves (1 Jn.1.8). In our conversion our sin nature is not eradicated but a new nature has been implanted in us. This divine nature gives us power to overcome the indwelling sin in us. The works of the flesh are the works produced by the sinful nature. There are 17 of them listed by Paul here.
1. Adultery (Gk. Moicheia). This is unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another. A believer who cultivates friendship with the world is committing spiritual adultery (Cf. Jas.4.4).
2. Fornication (Gk. Porneia). This is any immoral sexual conduct. Taking pleasure in pornographic things (Cf. Ex.20.14; Matt.15.31-32).
3. Uncleanness (Gk. Akatharsia). This could be evil deeds and thoughts and desires of the heart (Eph..3; Col.3.5). In Matt.23.27 it is physical uncleanness and here in Galatians it is moral. In 1 Thes.2.3 it is suggestive of evil doctrine.
4. Lasciviousness (Gk. Aselgeia). The word denotes excess licentiousness or absence of restraint. The Lord said it proceeds from the heart (Mark 7.22). The unbeliever who is “past feelings” commit this sin. “The prominent idea is shameless conduct”.
5. Idolatry (Gk. Eidololatria). This is the sin of the mind against God. It arises from a lack of acknowledgement of God and of gratitude to Him.
6. Witchcraft (Gk. Pharmakeia). Sorcery. “In sorcery the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc. professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the application with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer”.
7. Hatred (Gk.Echthra). This is enmity and is the apposite of love.
8. Variance (Gk. Dichazo). Variance is to divide, metaphorically to dive the father and the son, and mother and daughter (Matt.10.35).
9. Emulations (Gk. Zelos). Resultfulness or envy of another’s success (Rom.13.13; 1 Cor.3.3)
10. Wrath (Gk. Thumos). Wrath is excessive anger whether in words or deeds (Col.3.8).
11. Strife (Gk. Eris). Quarreling or antagonism. A discord. Absence of harmony.
12. Seditions (Gk. Dichostasia). Teachings that are not supported by the Word and divisive (Rom.16.17)
13. Heresies (Gk. Hairesis). “A self willed opinion which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and for the formation of sects”. It leads to ruin (Cf. 2 Pet.2.1)
14. Envyings (Gk. Pathonos). The displeasure produced in one by hearing the prosperity of others.
15. Murders (Gk. Phonos). Killing of another.
16. Drunkenness (Gk. Methe). Impairing one’s mental or physical faculties by excessive use of alcoholic drinks.
17. Revellings (Gk. Komos). Excessive feasting and revelry. A party spirit, which also involves alcohol, sex or the like.(See also W.E.Vine’s expository dictionary).
The Holy Spirit is at war with these acts of sinful nature. This nature should be put to death by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Contrasted to this is the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit is the fruit produced by the Spirit. As believers surrender their life style to the Spirit, He directs and influences their life and by His energy produces the fruit of the Spirit.The fruit of the Spirit is perfectly seen in the character of the
Lord Jesus Christ.
The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit includes;
1. “Love” (Gk. Agape). This is the love of the will and seeks the highest good of another person. This is God’s love (Rom.5.5; Eph.5.2)
2. “Joy” (Gk. Chara). This is joy irrespective of circumstances (2 Cor.6.10). This is joy inexpressible (1 Pet.1.8).
3. “Peace” (Gk.Eirene). This comes from the fact that a person knows all is well between him and his Lord.
4. “Longsuffering” (Gk.Makrothumia). This is the faculty of not giving up under trial. (Eph.4.2)
5. “Gentleness” (Gk.Chrestotes) Not wanting to hurt anyone
6. “Goodness”(Gk.Agathosune) Love for right and hatred for evil. Expressed in acts of kindness (Lk.7.37-50 or rebuking evil Matt.21.12-13).
7. “Faith” (Gk. Pistis). Loyal to a person to whom one has committed himself
8. “Meekness” (Gk.Prautes) Power under control
9. “Temperance”(Gk. Egkrateia). Mastering one’s passions.
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