2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 7, February 11-17, The Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit
Sabbath, February 11
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” KJV, Galatians 5:22.
Two perspectives on this memory verse: 1) Paul has created a list of fruits since fruit can be singular or plural depending on the meaning intended, or, 2) Paul states the fruit of the Spirit is love, and then gives components or facets of love so that it might be more easily discerned. Here are a couple of definitions for fruit as given by Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “a dish, quantity, or diet of fruits <live on fruit>…. the flavor or aroma of fresh fruit in mature wine <The wine’s fruit is rich in tangerine, apricot, and papaya flavors.>”
“‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. ‘The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,’ whose ‘ways are everlasting,’ changeth not. With Him ‘is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ Isaiah 57:15; Habakkuk 3:6; James 1:17.
“Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love. The sovereignty of God involves fullness of blessing to all created beings.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, 33.)
In Paul’s description of the fruit of the spirit we can also see the Beatitudes of Christ on the mount of blessing, as well as in the spiritual ladder of which Peter wrote. Here is a comparison (with Paul’s description reordered so you can see the similarities):
Matt. 5:3-11 Poor in Spirit, Mourn, Meek, Hunger/Thirst, Merciful, Pure in Heart, Peacemakers, Reviled.
2 Peter 1:5-7 Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, Charity.
Gal. 5:22 Faith, Goodness, Meekness, Temperance, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Peace, Joy and Love.
Our lives are living epistles of God’s character. How we live will preach louder than any sermon.
“Preach in your lives the practical godliness of the faith that you believe. Let it be seen that the truth never degrades the receiver, making him rough and coarse, or fretful and impatient. Make apparent to all your patience, your kindness, your long-suffering, gentleness, compassion, and true goodness; for these graces are the expression of the character of the God whom you serve.”—Manuscript 49, 1907. (Ellen White, Evangelism, 400.)
“The precious blood of Jesus is the fountain prepared to cleanse the soul from the defilement of sin. When you determine to take Him as your friend, a new and enduring light will shine from the cross of Christ. A true sense of the sacrifice and intercession of the dear Saviour will break the heart that has become hardened in sin; and love, thankfulness, and humility will come into the soul. The surrender of the heart to Jesus subdues the rebel into a penitent, and then the language of the obedient soul is: ‘Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ This is the true religion of the Bible. Everything short of this is a deception.
“The youth have not realized that freedom and light can be retained only through self-denial and constant watchfulness and prayer, with a continual reliance upon the merits of the blood of Christ. When the Holy Spirit is breathing upon the soul, the will and the powers of the man must respond to Its influence. Those who abide in Jesus will be happy, cheerful, and joyful in God. A subdued gentleness will mark the voice, reverence for spiritual and eternal things will be expressed in the actions, and music, joyful music, will echo from the lips; for it is wafted from the throne of God. This is the mystery of godliness, not easily explained, but nonetheless felt and enjoyed. A stubborn and rebellious heart can close its doors to all the sweet influences of the grace of God and all the joy in the Holy Ghost; but the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. The more closely we are connected with Christ, the more will our words and actions show the subduing, transforming power of His grace.” (Ellen White, Vol. 4, Testimonies for the Church, 625, 626, emphasis added.)