2. Read Luke 15: What lessons of love can we pick up from this passage?

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1 Maturity in bearing the fruit of the spirit Bible Study Series Key Passage: Galatians 5:13-26 Introduction It s the desire and ambition of every Christian to live the Christian life efficiently. However, because of our sinful nature, sometimes it becomes very difficult to live it. The Holy Spirit dwelling and working in us becomes the spiritual power we need to live the Christian life and to overwhelm the sinful nature. It s no wonder that the apostle Paul exhorts us to walk in the Spirit and we will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). When we yield to the Spirit, He will in turn bear some fruit in us and that s why it is called the fruit of the Spirit. Two things are important to note here. First, many people wonder and rightly so why the word fruit is used in the singular and not the plural. Interestingly, the same Greek word "karpos" that is used for "fruit" in Galatians 5:25 is the same word used for fruits (Plural) in other texts like Matthew 7:16, 20 and Philippians 1:11. As such, perhaps the fruit of the Spirit should be understood in the sense that the source of the fruit is singular the Spirit as opposed to what we read in the previous verses where there is reference of works of the flesh and not work of the flesh meaning these sinful "works of the flesh" can be produced by any person who is in the flesh. Secondly, the word of must be understood in the possessive form the fruit belongs to the Spirit and not us! Consequently, to bear this fruit we must be connected to the vine as the apostle John emphasizes in John 15:1-9. If we abide in the Spirit we will bear much fruit and in this case we will bear the nine virtues listed in Galatians 5:13-26 that are very key in our Christian lives. The Fruit of love 1. Why do you think love is the first fruit of the Spirit? 2. Read Luke 15: What lessons of love can we pick up from this passage? 3. In what ways is Christ s love for you different than your love for other people? 4. Are there people in your life that seem unlovable? How do you think loving as Christ loves will help us love the unlovable? 5. List some opportunities you have to let the Holy Spirit love others through you. Pray that God will give you the strength and joy to love as he does.

2 Think about it God loves us not because we are lovable but because He is love (Anonymous) The Fruit of Joy 1. Describe someone you know who is joyous. What makes them that way? 2. Read 1 Peter 1:8 9. What does this verse say about joy? 3. Our culture has incorrectly linked joy with the presence of comfort and the absence of pain. The Holy Spirit empowers us to experience a joy that is not dependent on the circumstances of life. Read Hebrews 12:2-4. What does this text teach us about Joy? 4. According to the passage we read in James 1:2-8, how can we count it joy when we suffer? What needs to be our goal for that to happen? 5. What s the difference between joy that comes from God and happiness that comes from circumstances? Joy is the best makeup! (Anne Lamott)

3 The fruit of Peace 1. Read Philippians 4:6-7. What do you think the Bible means by Peace that passes all human understanding? 2. According to John 14:25-27, what is the peace Jesus Christ leaves with us? 3. Based on John 16:33, what should give us peace? Why should the fact that Jesus had overcome the world give us peace? 4. There is a lot of peacelessness in the world today. What do you think is the role of the peace of God in the world today? 5. What kind of things in your life that are making you anxious and worried? How can you let the peace of Christ rule in your heart over these circumstances? Worrying does not take away tomorrow s troubles it takes away today s peace. (Anonymous) The Fruit of Patience 1. Read Exodus 34:5 7. Describe the characteristics of God in this passage. Which ones relate to his patience? What do qualities like compassion, graciousness, love, and faithfulness have to do with patience? 2. According to the 1 Timothy 1:15 16, what is God s attitude toward those who don t believe in him? What should our attitude be? How can we show his patience to them?

4 3. Sometime life gives some unpleasant and ill treatments. We have all known moments of impatience. It s often a feeling of mounting tension and pressure. Sometimes we find it harder to be patient with people, circumstances, or things. What do you think causes this impatience? How can the Holy Spirit make us more patient in these situations? Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. (Joyce Meyer) The Fruit of Kindness 1. What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? Why was that kindness so powerful to you? 2. Read Ephesians 4: What does it mean to build others up according to their needs? 3. Read Ephesians 4:32. Can we be kind without being compassionate? Will it be genuine? Why do we need a heart change of compassion to show true kindness? 4. Read John 8:1 11. What was Jesus point in this story? What kind of similar situations are you in that require you to show such forgiveness?

5 5. Identify some people in your life that you need to show kindness and also come up with kind ways that you are going to use in this. Think about it : Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and blind can see. (Mark Twain) The fruit of goodness 1. Read Luke 10: Why do you think the phrase good Samaritan has been used worldwide to refer to good people? 2. Read Romans 12:2, 9, and 21. What does it mean to hate evil and cling to what is good? Give practical examples. How can we overcome evil with good? 3. Read Titus 3:1 8. What in this passage gives us motivation to be good? 4. Read Romans 12:2. How can we allow God to transform us into good people? 5. It is possible to know what is good without doing it. It is possible to do what is good without being good?

6 Goodness is better than beauty. (Vietnamese Proverb) The fruit of Faithfulness 1. God is also faithful to us in times of temptation. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 1 John 1:9. What does God s faithfulness mean to you? What quality of his faithfulness is most endearing to you? 2. How should the fact that God is faithful affect our attitude? Our behavior? 3. Read Matthew 23:23. Jesus wanted justice, mercy, and faithfulness from the Pharisees. What did they do instead? Why was Jesus not happy about their giving, although it seemed faithful? From this passage, what do you think is basic to our being faithful? 4. 3 John1:1 8. John says to his friend Gaius that it brings him joy to hear of his faithfulness. How was Gaius s faithfulness different than that of the Pharisees? What exactly was Gaius being faithful in? 5. Think about areas in your life that you would like to be more faithful in and also think of practical ways of doing that. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. (Mother Teresa)

7 The fruit of gentleness 1. Read Numbers 12. How do you think Moses gentle attitude affected his future relationship with Aaron and Miriam? What might have happened to their relationship if he d been angry and unforgiving? 2. From the Numbers text above how did gentleness affect the way Moses viewed and evaluated himself? If we see ourselves as gentle, how does it affect our actions? 3. What is the opposite of gentleness? How might those things be destructive? 4. Have you wronged anyone recently by failing to be gentle with them? If so, what can you do to make that relationship better and to display gentleness now? Only the gentle are ever really strong. (James Dean) The fruit of Self Control 1. What are the two warring factors Paul describes in Galatians 5:16 21? How does the Holy Spirit keep us from gratifying the desires of the sinful nature? 2. Read Genesis 39. How is the fruit of self-control exercised in this text?

8 3. What does it mean to be crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20)? What should that look like in my life in relation to self-control? 4. What areas in your life do you need to have the fruit of self-control? You need self-control in an out-of control word. (James Collins)

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