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Word of the Week- Fruit of the Spirit, Self-Control

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23).

In past essays, I explored the previous characteristics in the verse, from the first, joy, to gentleness, the second to last. Now we look at self-control.

In a previous essay it was noted that the 9 characteristics Paul outlines in the verse can be grouped by three threes. Continue reading “Word of the Week- Fruit of the Spirit, Self-Control”

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Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Warren Wiersbe notes the triple triad within the verse. The first three characteristics of the fruit are love, joy, and peace. Those reflect the Godward aspect of Christian life.

The next three are patience, kindness, goodness; characteristics reflecting the manward aspect of Christian life.

Faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are aspects reflecting the selfward part of the Christian life. Below, Wiersbe’s longer explanation:

When a person lives in the sphere of love, then he experiences joy—that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances. (A case in point is Paul’s experience recorded in Phil. 4:10–20.) This “holy optimism” keeps him going in spite of difficulties. Love and joy together produce peace, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). These first three qualities express the Godward aspect of the Christian life.

The next three express the manward aspect of the Christian life: long-suffering (courageous endurance without quitting), gentleness (kindness), and goodness (love in action). The Christian who is long-suffering will not avenge himself or wish difficulties on those who oppose him. He will be kind and gentle, even with the most offensive, and will sow goodness where others sow evil. Human nature can never do this on its own; only the Holy Spirit can.

The final three qualities are selfward: faith (faithfulness, dependability); meekness (the right use of power and authority, power under control); and temperance (self-control). Meekness is not weakness. Jesus said, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29), and Moses was “very meek” (Num. 12:3); yet no one could accuse either of them of being weak. The meek Christian does not throw his weight around or assert himself. Just as wisdom is the right use of knowledge, so meekness is the right use of authority and power. The Bible Exposition Commentary, Warren Wiersbe

The word gentleness as it is used in the verse means ‘derived from the root pra-, emphasizing the divine origin of meekness (“gentle strength”) which expresses power with reserve and gentleness.’

Gentleness, ladies, does not mean doormat, but restrained power combined with kindness, peace, and the other characteristics of the fruit. That’s why the fruit of the Spirit is one fruit displaying many aspects, not many fruits.

Wiersbe again with the reason the Spirit grows the fruit in us:

We must remember that this fruit is produced to be eaten, not to be admired and put on display. People around us are starving for love, joy, peace, and all the other graces of the Spirit. When they find them in our lives, they know that we have something they lack. We do not bear fruit for our own consumption; we bear fruit that others might be fed and helped, and that Christ might be glorified. The flesh may manufacture “results” that bring praise to us, but the flesh cannot bear fruit that brings glory to God. It takes patience, an atmosphere of the Spirit, walking in the light, the seed of the Word of God, and a sincere desire to honor Christ.

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Posted in theology, word of the week

Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

kindness here in Greek (xrēstótēs) means a useful kindness, referring to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). Hence 5544 (xrēstótēs) is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). With the believer, 5544 /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness”) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty). Strong’s.

Continue reading “Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness”

Posted in theology, word of the week

Sunday Word of the Week- Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22).

The fruit of the Spirit is singular. It’s all one fruit. It’s not like the believer works on love one month and then patience the next and then moves on to self-control. It’s all one, and the one is love. If one loves the Savior, they will be joyful, and that joy will permeate all that he or she does, including relationships with believers and non-believers. Same with peace. Peace will characterize their relationships, and patience will be a hallmark of relationships, and so on. Continue reading “Sunday Word of the Week- Fruit of the Spirit: Patience”

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Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Joy

By Elizabeth Prata

On Sundays I usually post a theological word with its definition, then an explanation, and use it in a verse. I also use a picture to represent the concept. This is my effort to maintain a theological literacy among the brethren and between generations, something I believe is critical. We have to know what we believe, why, and know the words to express it. Words like Justification, Immanence, and Perspicuity have all been a Sunday Word of the Week. Continue reading “Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Joy”

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Word of the Week: Angel

By Elizabeth Prata

The thread of Christianity from generation to generation depends on a mutual understanding of our important words. Hence the Word of the Week. Past Words of the Week have included Justification, Transcendence, Immanence, Propitiation, Sanctification, Glorification, Orthodoxy, Heresy, Omniscience, Aseity, Immutability, and more. I then went to a series examining each of the 9 characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.
Continue reading “Word of the Week: Angel”

Posted in theology, word of the week

Word of the Week: Glorification

By Elizabeth Prata

The thread of Christianity depends on a unity from one generation to the next of mutual understanding of our important words. Hence the Word of the Week.

People sometimes get these mixed up: Justification-Sanctification-Glorification. The previous weeks’ links for Justification and Sanctification are below. Justification is the moment when God declares a sinner righteous through the atoning work of Jesus. It is the judicial act of God, by which he pardons all the sins of those who believe in Jesus. Picture a courtroom, the judge bangs the gavel in the verdict then says, ‘You’re free to go.’…

Sanctification is what happens over the rest of our lives on earth. We are being made holy by the work of the Spirit and our own efforts to partner with Him in the ongoing growth of resisting sin and pursuing Christ-likeness. In our fleshly lives, sanctification never ends. We’ll never be perfectly holy while we are in this flesh.

Glorification is what happens after death when we receive our new bodies at the resurrection. At CARM.org, glorification is defined

Glorification is the future and final work of God upon Christians where He transforms our mortal physical bodies to the eternal physical bodies in which we will dwell forever.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

We don’t know exactly what our glorified bodies will be like, or exactly when we will receive them, but in the end we will be like Jesus. (1 John 3:2).

Glorification means we will finally be FREE from the power and presence of sin! Can you imagine a brain freed from the darkness of sin and able to behold His glory? Able to sing and praise and worship freed from sinful lips and tongue? Able to commune with Jesus perfectly and to love our fellow brothers and sisters without fault?

All crippling diseases will be gone. All pain and deterioration will be gone. No more tooth fillings, eyeglasses, dialysis, titanium hips, prosthetics… nothing.

Glorification is something we should all be looking forward to as the hope of our reward: sinless bodies that can dwell personally with Christ in perfect worship.

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Further reading:

Blog post: Our Future Glorification

Essay: How does the Bible describe the glorified bodies we will possess in Heaven?

5. Sanctification
4. Propitiation
3. Immanence
2. Transcendence
1. Justification

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Word of the Week: Sovereign

By Elizabeth Prata

In addition to the familiar Bible verses speaking to God’s sovereignty, one of which is at the conclusion of this essay, there is a famous quote from RC Sproul that exalts God’s sovereignty:

If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.

It is a great quote because it speaks to how God created and upholds every single atom in the universe. He is the author, architect, and absolute king over all. Continue reading “Word of the Week: Sovereign”