The Fruit of the Spirit Is Love, Joy, Peace . . .
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 4)
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.(John 14:27)
My young friend Josh Woo is visiting his parents’ homeland of Korea while on summer vacation from his studies at the University of Southern California. Today, I read the email he sends occasionally to friends and family. Over the weekend, he visited the DMZ, that “demilitarized zone” marking the border between North and South Korea, part of the settlement which ended the Korean War in 1953. Josh sent several pictures, including one showing a sign with the number: 21,172.
“That’s the number of days since the Korean War ended,” he said. Then he surmised, “This probably means that in their minds that war is not really over.”
I expect he’s right. What we have here is a truce, an agreement to disagree. For each of those thousands of days, relations between these two nations and its people have been strained.
What we do not have is peace.
The Fruit of the Spirit Is Love, Joy . . .
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 3)
In the 1950s, Frank Lovejoy was a popular movie and television actor. Wonder how someone decided to join those two fruit-of-the-Spirit qualities into one name. And wonder if anyone has tried it with any of the others. Is anyone on the planet named Gentlenessgoodness? Faithfulnesshumility? Probably not.
No question but the first three qualities that make up this Christlikeness–love, joy, and peace–are the best-known and best-loved of the nine. I suspect ten times as many sermons have been preached on these three than all the remaining six combined.
Joy is the flag flown from the castle of your heart to show the king is in residence.
I would have thought C. S. Lewis’ book “Surprised by Joy” dealt with his meeting Joy Davidman Gresham who became his wife. Instead, its subtitle gives it away: “The Shape of My Early Life.” The joy which took this Oxford professor of English literature so by surprise arrived when he put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He had built up such an army of misconceptions regarding the Christian life that when it arrived, he found it to be nothing like anything he had anticipated. He was unprepared for the joy.
“Joy,” Lewis later wrote, “is the business of Heaven.”
The Fruit of the Spirit Is Love
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 2)
This is the second in a multi-part series by Dr. McKeever on the fruit of the Spirit. Read: Part 1.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…. (Galatians 5:22)
Recently in a McComb, Mississippi, coffee shop, a lady whom I had just sketched felt she had to tell my pastor friend and I about her switch to another religious system from the Baptist church of her youth. She said, “Every Sunday the priest preaches about love. No matter what the sermon is on, he manages to mention it in some way.”
We said nothing. And even though I know better, what I felt was, “Oh, great. He mentions love. Well lah-de-dah.” You’ll be glad to know I did not speak that. I’m glad to know I instantly rebuked myself for even thinking it.
The simple fact of the matter is that love is a biggie. Love is the very nature of God, we’re told in I John 4:16. Anyone who takes God seriously is not allowed to cavalierly dismiss the subject as unworthy of their attention.
No New Testament writing is so saturated with love more than the First Epistle of John. It is no stretch to say that those who know the Lord Jesus Christ will themselves be saturated with love.
Counterfeits of the Spirit’s Fruit
The Fruit of the Spirit (Part 1)
This is the first in a multi-part series by Dr. McKeever on the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Half the people I know in church have this list of Christlike qualities memorized. But I find myself wondering if they also know the list of counterfeits which precedes it. In some respects, it’s every bit as important to know the negatives, the dark side, the alternate universe if you will, of those wonderful positives.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Theological Vocabulary Thursday
Libertarian Free Will: Jesus’ Reaction to Jerusalem’s Rejection Reflects the Father’s Reaction
By L. Manning Garrett III, Ph.D., Pastor, East Laurel Baptist Church, Jackson, TN
Regarding last week’s article, “Two Versions of Free Will in Southern Baptist Life,” there were several comments pertaining to my reference to Jesus’ reaction to Jerusalem’s rejection of Him in Matthew 23: 37-39 and Luke 13:34-35. One respondent observed that it is not clear why nonCalvinists think this episode in Jesus’ life counts against Calvinism. I will show why I think this text supports the idea that Jesus believed that the Jerusalemites had libertarian free will — they rejected Him but could have accepted Him.
Calvinist compatibilists will argue that the Jerusalemites are responsible for rejecting Jesus because they were acting on their deepest desire: they wanted to reject Jesus. Further they will argue that the Jerusalemites “could not have accepted Jesus,” while libertarians claim that the Jerusalemites had the real option to accept Jesus but chose to reject Him. NonCalvinist libertarians and Calvinist compatibilists differ with respect to whether or not the Jerusalemites had the real option “to desire to accept Jesus.”