Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Monday, September 28, 2015

Bible Study SNIP IT - Exploring the value of God's Spirit as believers

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Week of: October 28, 2015                              pmcrawford1@gmail.com
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Read: Galatians 5:16-26

What is the fruit of the Spirit and how does it grow in me?                                                               By Dr. Charles Stanley

The closer you get to believers who truly walk in the Spirit, the better they look. You don’t get the impression that they’re hiding something. They radiate integrity. You feel you could trust them with your most intimate secret. You may even find yourself opening up to them in a way quite uncharacteristic for you.

Of course, they’re not perfect. You will likely hear more apologies from the lips of those who walk by the Spirit than from any other group. Their sensitivity to the Spirit provides them with an uncanny ability to know when they have offended or hurt someone, and their internal security allows them to respond quickly once they realize their sin or error in judgment. They never feel afraid to admit their faults, yet they always remember they have within them the power to rise above their fleshly appetites and desires.

Specifically, their lives exude nine virtues: love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I won’t give you a blow-by-blow description of each quality, because I think such an elaboration creates a problem.

In preparing to write this, I read from several books that gave expanded definitions of each quality. When I read about kindness, I quickly became preoccupied with being more kind. I began thinking of all the unkind things I had done and said recently. Then I asked God to make me a kinder person. I found myself launching out on a mission of kindness.

When I read about gentleness, the same thing happened. I realized how abrupt and insensitive I can be. So I told God how much gentler I was going to.
                Do you see the problem?
·         “I need to act more loving.
·         “I need to be more patient.”
·         “I need to exercise more self-control.”
·         “I…I…I…I…I…I

I believe Paul listed these virtues and moved on for one simple reason. They aren’t given to us as goals to pursue because you and I cannot produce fruit. The Holy Spirit is the producer; we are merely the bearers. The fruit of the Spirit was never intended to demonstrate our dedication and resolve. Rather, it reveals our dependency on and sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.

Fruit is not simply one mark of the Spirit-filled life, it is the preeminent mark.



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