Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Fruit of the Holy Spirt 8/3/2014

Dear friend,

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be multiplied unto you now and always, Amen.

Praise the Lord, I am free, the young boy shouted, Christ has won the victory for me, my name is written in heaven, and I with the Psalmist David, praise His Holy name for delivering me from the bondage of sin and death!!! I am free, I am free, I am free, from the condemnation of the law, for it has been fuflilled in Christ's obedience.

I am free, I am free.......then I thought... Now what do I do with my freedom that God has given to me? .

How do I decide what to do with my freedom? Opening the letter of Apostle Paul to the Galatians, I read:

Galatians 5: 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Well, here is my first clue to my search, for it is written that I am not to use my freedom/liberty to serve my self/my flesh but by love to serve my neighbor. I seem to recall how the Apostle wrote another letter in which he explained very clearly as to what it looks like in real life by love serve one another:

Romans 13: 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

So it is clear that to really love my neighbor is to never work any ill towards him/her, but to honor him/her in their station of life. For example, I will not take another's person's wife or husband for sexual gratification, I will not hurt nor harm my neighbor physically, I will not tell lie about them or I will not seek to get something that is theirs that is not mine. I will love my neighbor by seeking to help them in any way that is possible for me to do, for love seeks to serve and never to try to rule over them or to dominate them.

And I can see that to love my neighbor as myself, it would be like that if I was in some kind of crisis, I would be giving all that I had to help change the crisis for the better. In the same way, when I would see my neighbor in need and it was within my means to help him/her, I would do so as if I was helping myself. And this could refer to someone in my own household, in my church or in my neighborhood.

For if I simply use my freedom to serve myself and not seek to help others, it will not work out too well, for....

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

But rather, I am to live in the dominion and under the good influence of the Holy Spirit, resist the urge to please and to serve myself, for in doing I will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. The urge to serve self is strong, but, Oh Lord, help me to live in your Spirit. I must remember that I am hooked to the vine and all the strength to resist my flesh comes from the Vine. I am not like a branch broken off of an apple tree that is stuck in the ground with the hope the apples will come forth on the tree, for I am connected to the Tree, Jesus Christ.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

For all around me, in the world, from the devil and in my own flesh, (which was crucified on the cross, but does not acknowledge that it is dead), is a war against the new man in the Holy Spirit, trying to gain the power. But thank you, Lord, that you have freed me from the slavish desires to please myself at the expense of everything that is good in my life: my faith, my wife, my family, my congregation, my brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. It is not that those desires to please myself at the expense of others is not present, but through the indwelling Spirit of God I have better desires that allow me to live in true freedom. I am free to live for the benefit of others, first of all which is my family.....

For I have been delivered from the power of sin, the law, which is given to incite passions in myself to the end that I would be brought to despair of my own efforts and look to Christ. For the evidence of a self serving dominate nature is revealed in the following expressions of self love......which are called the works of the flesh....these sins/works listed here are in the area of sex, of religion, of society and in vices relating to drinking which causes drunkenness.


19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

I understand that we are not talking of myself being free of temptations and sins of weakness, but we are talking about being given to live in these things in denial that they are against the law of God which is called sin. It is one things to struggle with an inclination to a particular weakness to sin, but quite another to cast off the truth of God as revealed in His Word to live in any sin.
I can see now how living in these sins is really serving self, for they are all against the Ten Commandments. For they are either violation of the first three which call us to love God or the last seven which call for our love to our neighbor. All sin basically ends up serving oneself and one's own selfish desires, rights and needs.
Paul is clear in saying that one lliving in the flesh and not in the Spirit will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Wow, that is scary......Oh, Lord, help me to live in your Spirit, protect me, keep me and guard me with your power, to have concern for those who are boldly and defiantly living in sin and to pray for them and when appropriate to speak to them in love and in truth.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. {affections: or, passions}
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Now, Lord, after hearing about the warnings of the flesh and how it wants to take control by cutting me off of the Vine, I am gratified to hear about the fruit that comes out of the Vine, through the Spirit. Thank you, Lord, that you have given me love for you, you have given me joy in the forgiveness of my sins, and as a result I have peace. And it is all because you have loved me, it is all because of the joy that was set before you in redeeming me and it is all because of your going to the cross that you are at peace with me.

And, Lord, thank you, that you have also given me patience, kindness and goodness, imperfect for sure on my part, but yet you have downloaded the fruit of your Spirit into my being so that through me would flow the fruit that flows from heaven's endless supply of grace toward us through Christ Jesus. Just as the sap flows through the branches of a tree into the branches, in the same manner, your fruit flows into me and through me in order to demonstrate your patience, your kindness and your goodness to those around me. Dear Father, please help me to be patient, help me to be kind in my approach to my family, to my congregation, to my neighbors everywhere. Help me to look upon people not in their flesh, but in their redeemed state through Christ. Help me to demonstrate your patience, your kindness and your goodness, remembering that it is your kindness that leads them to repentance.

Dear Father, thank you for laying the fruit of your Spirit out so plainly and in a systematic manner. For you first taught me of yours and mine relationship in love, joy and peace, then you taught me of the relationship between my neighbor and I and now you wish to help me to consider my own heart in the last three aspects of the fruit of your Spirit.

For your faithfulness never fails, you were the meekest of all men in that you came to serve us and you had tremendous self control. Again, Lord, thank you for downloading the fruit of the Spirit into my heart and being, so that whatever faithfulness, meekness/gentleness and self control that is in me is of you and not of myself. I am all of the opposites, for of myself I am unfaithful, not gentle and out of control. Help me to draw strength from You, the Vine, Jesus Christ.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (no conflict with the law)
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Now I understand, Lord, what it means that there is not any conflict with the law, in the sense that love is the
fulfilling of the law. Perhaps it will take some explaining here, but in essence if I go back to what Paul said in verse 13 about not using my liberty to serve myself, but by love to serve my neighbor, it all makes very good sense. For in the fruit of the Spirit I see my relationship to You, Lord my relationship with my neighbor and my relationship with myself. I first am in right standing with You, Lord, then with my neighbor and then my ongoing work of grace in myself is explained in verses 22b and 23. He then goes on to remind me of the importance of the affections and lusts of our flesh being crucified, in other words, put to death. I recall again other places in the scripture which can help me understand hthe meaning of verse 24..

KJV Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
ESV Romans 6:11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus
KJV Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.


I have always struggled with this concept, of what is said in verse 24. But yet according to the scripture I/we are dead to sin (Romans 6:2) and I/we are to reckon/consider ourselves dead to sin. (Romans 6:11) and I/we are to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies, that I/we should obey in in the lusts (6:12)

An illustration from a brother has helped me understand this over the years in that our flesh is like a big snake that has been shut up in a house with the door locked. He cannot get out to roam freely but while in the house he uses his tail to wreck a lot of things in the house.

So it is a mixed bag here considering the thought of our flesh being crucified with Christ and our ongoing battle with it wanting to rise up and get the upper hand. I understand, and I hope you do to, that your flesh died on the cross with Christ, but yet when we feel the motions of sin stirring and wanting to rise up, we think: "How can it be dead with what I feel?" Think of it as a bee which has had its venom removed. It can sting you and I all it wants but it has no power to harm us for its power behind the sting is gone.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Since I live in the Spirit, in other words, that is who I am in Christ, I am to walk in the Spirit, wanting to esteem my neigbhor better than myself, to consider her/his needs before mine rather than seeking my ways and in so doing provoking her/him. Living in the Spirit I am satisfied with who God has made me, appreciate my fellow believers and help them in their giftedness so that collectively we will serve all neighbors for the glory of God in the salvation of their souls.

Well, friend, thanks for listening this morning.

a friend in Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 03 Aug 2014 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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