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Thread: Living Under the Influence (A New Look at the Fruit of the Spirit)

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    Living Under the Influence (A New Look at the Fruit of the Spirit)

    Gal 5:22-26 ...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 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.

    Eph 5:18-21 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.


    The fact that we are not speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord and giving thanks always, is the greatest testimony we are not filled with the Spirit of God, but few are willing to hear that testimony.

    Fruit is that which originates or comes from. It's an effect, result, work, act, deed, advantage or profit of. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Filled means to make full, to fill up, to fill to the full, to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally. To be drunk with wine is to be under the influence of wine. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not us getting more of God, but it's coming completely under God's influence. When we are completely under the influence of God's Spirit the fruit of the Spirit will show itself in our heart and in our life. To know if someone is really under the influence of God's Spirit look for the fruit of God's Spirit in their life.

    We are going to look at the fruit of the Spirit for what it is, the result of being completely under God's influence and control. Even though we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit to manifest the fruit of the Spirit I don't believe the fruit should be thought of as something we need to ask for or the result of God giving us something special. It's simply what happens when a person comes completely under the influence of God and is controlled by Him. To be under the influence of wine you have to drink a substantial amount of it, the more you drink the more influence it has. To come under the influence of God you have to take in and be willing to apply His truth. The reason Christians are not filled with the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, is because there's not enough influence and control of God in their life.

    the fruit of the Spirit – The fruit of the Holy Spirit will be seen in those who think and live by God's truth. The fruit of the Spirit is a result of the knowledge and wisdom of God. Parts of this fruit such as love, joy and peace can be imitated, but the real fruit of God's Spirit cannot be duplicated. The fruit of God's Spirit is essential if we intend to pull down the strongholds of deception built the devil and man's continuing rebellion against God. Now let's examine this fruit as the result of being under God's influence and control.

    love - This word does not speak of a feeling, it speaks of action. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave... We perceive God's love because of what He did, not because of how He feels. We don't experience how God feels, we experience the results of what He did and does. 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us... Love is not what we feel, it's what we do because of the truth given us by God. John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Loving fellow Christians is accomplished by how we treat them and is the result of being influenced by God's truth, not by acting on our feelings. 2 Tim 2:24-26 ...the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. Loving the lost and the deceived is accomplished by seeing God's truth about them, not by acting on our feelings toward them. Real, honest love, based on an influence of God's truth, is something this world isn't seeing and it can make a big difference in our ability to reach others. The only way to show real love to others is to be completely influenced and controlled by God's truth about them.

    joy – Joy is cheerful endurance, clam delight, gladness. Joy belongs to a Christian by inheritance. Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The amount of joy we have is directly tied to how much we are influenced by God and then how obedient we are to that influence. John 15:10-11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. To keep God's commandments is to be influenced by Him and then obedient to Him. That makes it possible, as His child, for His joy to remain in us and our joy to be full. This joy is not the same as happiness though it may lead to it. Happiness is superficial and based on circumstance, real joy is based on the unchangeable truth of God and our obedience to it. This joy can't be taken away by others or by circumstance because it's not based on either. Neh 8:10 ...the joy of the Lord is your strength. The word strength actually means a strong fortress. I will give an example of how this kind of joy makes a big difference. Most people, including Christians, are frustrated and angry because of the actions/inaction of others and/or their circumstance. They believe that change in others or their circumstance could bring joy, but that's an illusion or better said a deception. It's not external changes that are needed it's internal changes. To view others or circumstance as the problem is to leave yourself without hope. Real joy is the answer and the only way to have it is to be completely influenced and controlled by God through His truth.

    peace – Peace is rest, quietness, harmony, security, safety, tranquility. Peace is also said to be ours by inheritance according to Romans 14:17. The Bible says we can have great peace, perfect peace, peace that passes understanding and that keeps our hearts and minds. Ps 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Phil 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Peace is being satisfied with God in everything and at all times, but that comes at the price of being influenced and controlled by God's truth. 1 Pet 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Humbling ourselves under the hand of God and casting all our cares upon Him is the only way to have deep abiding peace. That kind of peace God is unusual and will stand out against the temporary peace found in others, even in other Christians. Great peace, perfect peace, peace that passes understanding and keeps our hearts and minds is the result of being drunk with the influence of God.

    longsuffering - A disposition to endure long under offense, enduring without complaint. It's a characteristic of God. 2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. A servant of God must endure much to accomplish God's will in their heart and life. To abide the attack of Satan, the resistance of natural reasoning found in the world and even the opposition of family and friends we must be longsuffering. Longsuffering will always be only the result of embracing God's truth, believing what He says. Without God's influence and control longsuffering is impossible.

    gentleness – Gentleness is useful kindness. T\I believe that's true because it takes someone who is gentle to be useful. There are exceptions, but the following is the general rule. 2 Tim 2:24-26 ...the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. Gentleness is the result of being able to have compassion on others. To have compassion on others we must recognize the deception and bondage they live with. That's only possible for those who are being delivered from it themselves through the influence and control of God.


    goodness - Virtue, moral excellence, a disposition to conform to what's right. Disposition is the manner in which the parts of something complex are arranged. So to conform to what's right we have to be arranged properly. It's impossible to understand how that could happen apart from being influenced and controlled by God. Prov 4:18-19 ...the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. Jesus said His people are the light of the world (Matt 5:14). That's not possible without us being consumed by His influence. Evil can be overcome with good. Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Real goodness stands out like light in the darkness, but it only shines through those who are intoxicated with God's influence.

    faith – Faith is persuasion, conviction of truth, believing God. The disciples once made an interesting demand of Jesus in Luke 17:5 ...Lord, Increase our faith. The response of Jesus was interesting as well, Luke 17:6 ...If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. I feel like I have never correctly understood that until now. Faith is part of the fruit of the Spirit, but it's also something we must exercise to have access to God. In the beginning it's small, but as we come under the influence of God it grows. The more intoxicated we become with God's truth the more our faith grows until it becomes great. This matches up with what Paul says in Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Though Paul is talking specifically about the salvation of our soul it has an application far beyond that. Speaking of the gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) Paul said in Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. From be saved by faith to living by faith, that's the only correct path for the child of God. There's a wonderful circular path here. We believe God and as a result we come under His influence. We come under God's influence and as a result we believe Him. The process should continue until we have great faith. The reason it does not is a lack of God's influence in our life.

    Meekness – Meekness speaks of both inward and outward humility, it results from a total dependence upon God. It's seen in Jesus and can be learned by those who are truly His disciples. Jesus said in Matt 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Something of great interest to me is of all we could learn from Jesus, the thing He seems to want most for us is to learn of His meekness and lowliness. Meekness must start on the inside if it doesn't then it's hypocrisy. To learn how to act humble without being humble, at heart, makes a person dangerous and is the result of being deceived. This is a great place to make note of something that's essential to being under the influence of God. We can't be under the influence of God without keeping company with Him. Since He actually lives in His people it's not as hard as it might seem. It's made hard by the other influences we don't want to turn loose of. We will never be truly meek without being intoxicated with Jesus.

    temperance – Temperance means self-control, moderation, the absence of extremes. It's a gross error to think this refers to our own willpower or the ability to make good decisions. It's self-control only in the sense of how others may view our behavior, “he or she has a lot of self-control”. If we think of it as actual self-control then we will take credit for it. Temperance is actually the result of God-control. It's what happens when someone is intoxicated with God's influence.

    The fruit of the Holy Spirit should not be thought of as something we must be God for or things we must make or train ourselves to do. The fruit of the Spirit is what will result from an intoxication with God and His truth.

    5:24 that are Christ's have crucified the flesh – The reasoning and ways of the fleshly nature must die. A characteristic of those who belong to Christ is that the reasoning and ways of the flesh fall by the wayside as they become intoxicated with God and His truth.

    5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory – Vain glory is temporary in nature. All of the success, achievements, recognition, trophies and accomplishments of this life belong at the dump where they can be buried and eventually burn up with all the other temporary things of this world. When our life on Earth is past only what's done for Christ will last and He will be the One to reward us, not others.

  2. #2

    Re: Living Under the Influence (A New Look at the Fruit of the Spirit)

    That post was Godly awesome! Blessings to you!

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