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    Bible Study - Thread: the fruit of the Spirit

    1. #11
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      Lämmchen is online now God's Lil Lamb
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      My pastor recently had a message about how we are the feet and hands of Jesus on earth now and he has given us a purpose and work to do. One of my thoughts was that if this is the case I fall far short of the goal. Someone may be tempted when they hear a message like that to think that they simply must try harder. But, the fruit of the Spirit are not created by trying harder. They are created through abiding in Christ as John 15:1-5 says and trusting and obeying the Lord. The Spirit is the one who bears the fruit, not through trying harder.
      I'd like to think that I bear some fruit. It might not be the best or brightest, but it is there. Hopefully one day it will be a more fruitful season for me.
      Our bearing fruit is connected to loving our neighbor. It's not God who needs us to do things...it's our neighbor who is in need. The Spirit surely is having you bear fruit that you aren't even aware of "Lord, Lord, when did we do those things?"
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk

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    3. #12
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      IMO, Christ calls Christians to MANY things..... including moral perfection ("you must be perfect just as God is perfect" "you must be holy just as God is holy"), the "Fruits of the Spirit," the "Great Commission" and above all, the "Great Commandment" - LOVE just as I first loved you; by this will all know you are my own, by your LOVE. IMO, we should - and CAN - grow in these things! And the evidence of this SHOULD and CAN be evident.

      But I think there is a flip side, too. Because we remain sinners in a fallen, broken, dysfunctional world. Sanctification is a PROCESS (a synergistic one at that) that we never "finish" (this side of heaven anyway). Scripture is correct when it says "for ALL sin and fall short." Paul was just being truthful when he (SAINT Paul, lol) admits, "Chief of sinners am I."

      And so two realities exist side=by-side. We must respond to His love, strength and Call becoming ever more Christ like, ever more moral and loving and serving in our daily lives and vocations. BUT also admit with SAINT Paul that we fail more often than we realize and that we are the chief of sinners who stand DESPIRATELY in NEED of His boundless mercy, His amazing grace, His unconditional love.


      And.... from MY limited experience..... sadly..... I don't witness a HUGE and EVIDENT difference in Christians compared to others. It pains me to admit this but I'd hate to be compared to my Buddhist coworker in terms of giving, caring, serving (and maybe outward morality). But I'm pressing forward toward the goal that is EVER ahead of me. And I admit I'm not closer to that goal than a lot of nonchristians known to me, at least as it seems to ME.


      Just MY half cent.


      - Josiah




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      Quote Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
      IMO, Christ calls Christians to MANY things..... including moral perfection ("you must be perfect just as God is perfect" "you must be holy just as God is holy"), the "Fruits of the Spirit," the "Great Commission" and above all, the "Great Commandment" - LOVE just as I first loved you; by this will all know you are my own, by your LOVE. IMO, we should - and CAN - grow in these things! And the evidence of this SHOULD and CAN be evident.

      But I think there is a flip side, too. Because we remain sinners in a fallen, broken, dysfunctional world. Sanctification is a PROCESS (a synergistic one at that) that we never "finish" (this side of heaven anyway). Scripture is correct when it says "for ALL sin and fall short." Paul was just being truthful when he (SAINT Paul, lol) admits, "Chief of sinners am I."

      And so two realities exist side=by-side. We must respond to His love, strength and Call becoming ever more Christ like, ever more moral and loving and serving in our daily lives and vocations. BUT also admit with SAINT Paul that we fail more often than we realize and that we are the chief of sinners who stand DESPIRATELY in NEED of His boundless mercy, His amazing grace, His unconditional love.


      And.... from MY limited experience..... sadly..... I don't witness a HUGE and EVIDENT difference in Christians compared to others. It pains me to admit this but I'd hate to be compared to my Buddhist coworker in terms of giving, caring, serving (and maybe outward morality). But I'm pressing forward toward the goal that is EVER ahead of me. And I admit I'm not closer to that goal than a lot of nonchristians known to me, at least as it seems to ME.


      Just MY half cent.


      - Josiah




      .
      The Bible talks about how God is light. The closer we walk to that light as believers, the more we are going to become aware of our own sinfulness. If I walk in darkness then I am walking in blissful unawareness and ignorance. But, when the light is turned on then I become aware of my imperfections. I think that is where many of us are. We are aware of how far from holy we are, at least in some respect. I think we probably need that. It helps keep us dependent on God and humble. That's far better than to act like a Pharisee and pretend we have already arrived.

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