The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)




Text: Deut. 10:12-13; Micah 6:8

1.  Moses told the Israelites (READ Deut. 10:12-13).
2.  The wise man Solomon later said (QUOTE Ecc. 12:13).
3.  Then the prophet Micah taught (READ Mic. 6:8).

1.  We are reasonably sure that there isn't a true father in the world
     a.  who doesn't have real love and compassion for his children;
     b.  who does not have some goals he has set before them
          1.  in an effort to motivate them to greater heights of achievement
          2.  in their earning of their daily bread.
2.  He wants them to attain a higher standard of living
     a.  that their life will be more meaningful and more productive,
     b.  and consequently, more happy
     c.  as far as the material things of this life are concerned.
3.  If we, as earthly parents are this deeply interested
     a.  in our children’s earthly and materialistic happiness,
     b.  how much more do you think our heavenly Father
     c.  thinks about our spiritual happiness and growth?
4.  We read in the Scriptures that we are all the children of God
     a.  by faith in Christ Jesus (Quote Gal. 3:26-27).
     b.  After we put on Christ, our Lord and Savior in baptism,
          1.  He adds us to His church (Acts 2:47);
          2.  and in the church we are expected to do His will.
5.  We are not really acting like God's children
     a.  if we do not manifest the nature of His dear Son,
     b.  who died and gave Himself for us (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
6.  We read in Rom. 8:9 (READ).
     a.  But how does one show that he has the Spirit of God?
     b.  The Bible answers: by the Fruit we bear.
7.  The necessity of fruit-bearing
     a.  is clearly shown in the New Testament (John 15:2; 4-5).
     b.  Jesus expects His followers to bear much fruit:
           "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
           so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8).
8.  After stating the graces that a Christian must add to his character - his faith,
     a.  Peter says, "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you
          that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of
          our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:8).
     b.  Paul, in speaking of fruit-bearing
     c.  and the blessings that come to the productive Christian, said,
              "But now being made free from sin and become servants to God,
                    ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life" (Rom. 6:22).
9. How can we know when we are possessors of that Holy Spirit
     a.  that God has given to those who love Him;
     b.  and those who are willing to abide by His Word (Acts 5:32)?
10. How can we know that we have that Spirit?
     a.  Well, we read in the Book of Galatians
     b.  that the fruit of the Spirit is made manifest,
          1.  that is, it is made known in our lives
          2.  if we are really those who are possessors
          3.  of the Spirit of Christ (READ Gal. 5:22-26).
11. As we all know, fruit comes from a tree,
     a.  and no one expects to receive apples from a hickory nut tree,
     b.  or oranges from a pecan tree;
     c.  this goes against God's natural law.
12. If we say that we are God's offspring,
     a.  then we should be those who are like His Son in nature,
     b.  that is, those who are fruit producing trees -
          1.  producers of that fruit of the Spirit
          2.  we just read about in the Book of Galatians.
13. As we think about what God expects from His children,
     a.  this lesson will describe the "fruit of the Spirit"
     b.  and give some ideas on how to use this fruit as God expects.




1. The first quality characterizing the fruit of the Spirit is love.
     a.  It is to be expected that love would head the list
     b.  of these marvelous virtues.
2.  Love emanates from the Father,
     a.  and gratitude causes us to respond in like fashion.
                "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
     b.  But do we really love as we ought to,
         1.  or is our love like a faucet
         2.  which we may turn on and off at our own leisure?
         3.  Is our love warm and friendly and consistent?
3.  Love, here, is a translation of the Greek word AGAPE.
     a.  Agape is not merely an emotion,
     b.  but it is a principle by which one lives.
     c.  It always seeks the highest good of others.
4.  To love is to show forth the greatest characteristic of the Christian faith.
5.  The apostle Paul in writing to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 13,
     a.  reminds them that to love
     b.  is the greatest of all spiritual gifts given by God.
6.  The extent of this love is described by John in these words:
                 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither
                 in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18).
7.  Jesus gave a new expression to love.
     a.  He said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one
          another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another; by this
          shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one
          another (John 13:34).
     b.  This is the greatest expression of love, for
                 "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
                 down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).




1.  The next virtue known as the fruit of the Spirit is joy!
     a.  Those who live in obedience to the Gospel
     b.  will deeply, sincerely, and prayerfully delight in the Lord.
2.  Joy is a marvelous quality of the Christian life!
     a.  Joy is the deep happiness born of a father-child relationship.
     b.  Paul exhorted his children in the faith to
              "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4).
3.  This fruit refers to that resultant relationship between God and man
     a.  which is based upon grace
  and appropriated through the obedience of the Gospel (Rom 1:5; Eph 2:8-9).
4.  Joy is not simply an emotion,
     a.  but it is a quality which characterizes the Christian life.
     b.  King David wrote that in God’s presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11).
          1.  The Holy Spirit said through Paul
          2.  that our joy and peace increases as our faith increases (Rom. 15:13).
5.  Joy is exhibited when people obey the Gospel.
     a.  When the Samaritans obeyed the Gospel, it was said,
                    "And there was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8).
     b.  When the Eunuch obeyed the Gospel,
                   "He went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:39).
          1.  On the day of Pentecost, those who GLADLY
          2.  received the Word of God were baptized (Acts 2:41).
6.  LOVED ONES, is there any joy in our lives?
     a.  Do we seek enjoyment in our service to God?
     b.  Do we enjoy things that bring happiness and comfort to others?
     c.  Do we enjoy being in God's service and with His people?
7.  These are all questions that only you can answer,
     a.  but we are sure that you realize the gravity of the answer.
     b.  If you answer in the negative,
     c.  We believe you are in great danger.
8.  Remember, JOY can stand for Jesus first; Others second; and You last.
     a.  Putting this principle into practice
     b.  may sometimes get you into hot water with your physical family.
     c.  Due to the oneness of marriage, this may mean even putting your wife last.




1.  Peace is the next piece of the Spirit's fruit.
     a.  Peace is the absence of discord;
     b.  peace is found when one force works with another force
          1.  in sweet and unbroken fellowship.
          2.  Paul said, "And the peace of God, which passeth all
               understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through
               Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
2.  You see, our lives are surrounded by subtle foes seeking to gain entrance.
     a.  At the door are temptations, errors, deceptions, fears, and alarms.
     b.  But within the heart of the faithful Christian,
     c.  peace is pictured as a sleepless sentinel and guard.
          1.  When there is peace within,
          2.  there is perfect harmony between the soul and the Lord.
3.  How then can we achieve peace with our fellow man?
     a.  Is it possible for us to live peaceably with men today?
     b.  God's answer is YES.
4.  Not only is it possible, but it is also a command.
     a.  The Hebrew writer said, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness,
                    without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).
     b.  And again, "Be at peace among yourselves" (1 Thess. 5:13).
5.  To achieve peace we must have a genuine, deep-seated desire for peace
     a.  and a fervent motivation for it.
     b.  We must endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3).
                  "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace,
and things wherewith one may edify another" (Rom. 14:19).




1.  The apostle further admonishes us that if we be led of the Spirit
     a.  we should be longsuffering, not quick tempered and impatient,
     b.  not too easily upset or too easily provoked.
          1.  But we should be patient and enduring
          2.  in trials and tribulations and afflictions,
          3.  that we might prove ourselves to the Master.
2.  When we have the love of God in our life,
     a.  the joy of the Lord in our walk,
     b.  and the peace of God in our heart,
     c.  then we will have great patience with man.
3.  Longsuffering enables us to endure hardships
     a.  and much injury without provocation.
     b.  Peter wrote of God's longsuffering when he said
              "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
                   slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any
                  should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9).
4.  As God's children, we too must be longsuffering.
     a.  Paul wrote, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering,
                      forbearing one another in love.  Endeavoring to keep..." (Eph. 4:2-3).
     b.  Let's follow Paul's advice and put on this fruit of longsuffering (Col. 3:12).




1.  The Holy Spirit next reminds us to be gentle.
     a.  Gentleness is the sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of temper
     b.  which puts others at ease, and shrinks from giving pain.
2.  We therefore must not be overbearing and arrogant
     a.  in our dealing with our fellow-man.
     b.  Paul says that the servant of the Lord must be gentle to all men (2 Tim. 2:24).
3.  No wonder the writer of old times said, "A soft answer turneth away wrath:
                    but grievous words stir up anger" (Prov. 15:1).




1.  God also wants all of His children to be good,
     a.  and always seek and pursue goodness.
     b.  However, without a Divine standard
     c.  there can be no good or goodness.
2.  It is sad but true that many walk in error
     a.  while attempting to live a good life,
     b.  but at the same time ignoring God's Book of divine instructions.
3.  Jeremiah said, “The way of man is not in himself; It is not in man that
                    walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
4.  Thus, the word of God “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105).
5.  When a man's heart is in tune with God's wishes and will,
     a.  it can be said of him, "A good man out of the good treasure of the
                    heart bringeth forth good things" (Matt. 12:35).
     b.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if every person in the church of Christ
          1.  could be looked upon by the world
          2.  and recommended by them as being good?
          3.  What a wonderful testimonial this would be.
6.  We believe that we get to be good by doing good or being benevolent.
     a.  We cannot do good if we are lazy, slothful,
     b.  and unconcerned about our fellow-man
     c.  and his physical, as well as spiritual needs.
7.  The early Christians showed forth their faith by their goodness of action.
     a.  They sold their goods and possessions
     b.  and distributed them among the needy (Acts 2:44-45).
8.  Cornelius was a good man,
     a.  who prayed to God with all his house
     b.  and gave much alms to the people (Acts 10:2).
9.  There was a woman named Dorcas who lived in the city of Joppa.
     a.  This good woman made clothing and gave them to poor people.
     b.  It was said of her that she was full of good works and alms deeds.
          1.  How wonderful she must have been
          2.  for Peter to have had such compassion on her
          3.  to have raised her up from the dead (Acts 9:36-43).
10. So we see that the Scriptures are full of the work of good men and women,
     a.  who not only said that they loved God,
     b.  but demonstrated their love and goodness in their lives.
11. Every Christian should so live that what Paul said of the Romans
     a.  could be truthfully said of each one of us.
     b.  Lets read it together in Romans 15:14 (READ).
12. So as we have opportunity, "let us do good unto all men, especially unto
                    them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10).




1.  Another characteristic of the Christian fruit of the Spirit is faith.
     a.  We read in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is the substance of things hoped
                    for, the evidence of things not seen."
     b.  This means we cannot always see everything that God is working out for us,
            1.  but by faith we can believe that He is doing all things for our good,
            2.  even in our trials and afflictions,
            3.  and the obstacles that Satan puts in our paths.
2.  We must continue to have faith in God that He will deliver us.
     a.  For faith is absolutely necessary in order to please Him (Heb . 11:6)
     b.  Faith is the foundation upon which all the Christian graces rest (2 Pet. 1:5-7).
          1.  We are to add to our faith, v k t p g bk 1.
          2.  For again, “If these things be in you, and abound, they make
                              you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the
                               knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:8).
3.  The dictionary defines faith as "unquestioning belief in God."
     a.  We cannot say that we have faith if we do not obey God's will.
     b.  We cannot obey His will unless we are interested in the work of His church,
          1.  and we cannot do the work of His church
          2.  unless we are willing to cooperate with His leaders,
          3.  those who God has put here to look after His work.
4.  Loved ones, we have every reason to be faithful.
     a.  We have the Bible, the perfect Book.
     b.  It is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16).
     c.  It cannot be destroyed, because it lives and abides forever (1 Pet. 1:25).
5.  It instructs us of our origin, our destiny,
     a.  and how to live and please God in this life,
     b.  that we might be saved eternally (Matt. 7:21-23).
6.  Our faith comes as a result of what is heard;
     a.  and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17),
     b.  One day we will be judged by this same word (John 12:48).




1.  God also expects us to exhibit meekness in our daily living.
     a.  To be meek does not mean to be afraid
     b.  but rather to be able to endure injury with patience
     c.  and without resentment.
2.  An attitude of meekness is one of mild forbearance and gentle kindness.
     a.  It is an attitude devoid of harsh intolerance and bitterness.
     b.  We MUST put this fruit into our lives, for Jesus said,
                  "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5).
3.  Meekness is clearly related to humility.
     a.  It accepts the inevitable trials and misfortunes of life
     b.  without a murmur.
4.  Jesus is our perfect example.
     a.  He was "meek and lowly in heart" (Matt. 11:28).
     b.  Before dying on the across, He said,
                                         "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
     c.  This should be our attitude in our dealing with our fellow-man.
5.  Can we humble ourselves enough to do this great act of obedience to God
     a.  and manifest this noble fruit of the Spirit of Christ?
     b.  In order to be pleasing to Him, we must find in our hearts the will
     c.  and the ability to carry out this command of our Lord Jesus Christ.
6.  And then all people, both within and without the church,
     a.  will be able to examine our lives
     b.  and to take note that we possess meekness.




1.  Finally we are asked of the Lord to be temperate.
     a.  What does this mean?
     b.  This means to keep within limits -
     c.  not extreme or excessive but moderate.
2.  This means to use self control.
     a.  Jesus said, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself,
                    and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).
     b.  We must keep our passions, our bodies, out thoughts, our motives, and our tongues -
     c.  in short, the entire man - under control.
3.  All would agree that none of us are perfect,
     a.  and that we are all creatures
     b.  who by nature are weak and subject to make mistakes.
4.  Even so, we must not "sell out" to the devil.
     a.  Some Christians will "sell out" for another puff or chew from their tobacco cancer stick.
     b.  Some will "sell out" for another drink of whiskey to get drunk.
         1.  Some will "sell out" for another lustful moment with the opposite sex
         2.  (or today with the same sex).
     c.  Some will "sell out" for another prideful moment in life.
5.  You see, the devil goes on the assumption
     a.  that every righteous person has his "sell out" price.
     b.  But he's wrong, as proven by Job.
6.  We should strive to be of the caliber of Job,
     a.  for we realize that God expects and, yes, demands that we improve as His children
     b.  and grow up into full adulthood in His kingdom.
7.  We can do this by concentrating, not on others, but on ourselves;
     a.  for in the final judgment we must stand individually before our God
     b.  to give account of our deeds (2 Cor. 5:10).


1.  Nine things have been studied as the "fruit of the Spirit."
     a.  These are not nine different kinds of fruit,
     b.  but rather nine elements in one fruit.
2.  This fruit will be perfected
     a.  only when each of these nine elements
     b.  is present in its proper proportion.
3.  These nine things are said to be the fruit of the Spirit
     a.  because the Spirit through the Word of God
     b.  is striving to build them into our character.
          1.  The Spirit dwells in us.
          2.  He operates on us through the truth of God's Word.
4.  We suppose we could sum it all up by saying
     a.  that what God really expects from us is to love Him.
     b.  If we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15)
          1.  and these things we have mentioned will just naturally follow,
          2.  and we can truly call ourselves God's children.


Return To: Lessons for Spiritual Growth

Return To Home Page