1. In discussing "the fruit of the Spirit", the nine graces are often divided into three groups...:
a. Those graces which turns one's thought toward God...
1) Love (for love is of God)
2) Joy (for we rejoice in the Lord)
3) Peace (for from God comes the peace that surpasses understanding)
b. Those that directs our attention to our fellowman...
c. Those which refer more directly to oneself...
2) Gentleness (meekness)
2. Our previous study focused on the first triad of graces...
a. Love - active good will, toward God and man
b. Joy - gladness, delight, which is inexpressible and full of glory
c. Peace - harmony, concord, that surpasses understanding
[We now turn our attention to the second triplet of graces: longsuffering, kindness, and goodness]
A. THE LONGSUFFERING THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, makrothumia ('patience' in the NASB)
a. Literally, it means being "long-tempered" (the opposite of short-tempered)
b. "patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs" - Thayer
2. "Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish. It is the opposite of anger and is associated with mercy, and is used of God." - Vine
3. The purpose of God's longsuffering - cf. 2 Peter 3:7-9
a. That we might have salvation! - 2 Peter 3:15
b. That we might be led to repentance! - Romans 2:4
c. That those who fear Him and keep His commandments might delight in His lovingkindness, even though they have sinned - cf. Psalm 103:8-18
-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of LONGSUFFERING in their lives
B. LONGSUFFERING IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. Necessary if we desire God to be longsuffering toward us - cf. Matthew 18:32-35
2. Necessary to maintain the unity of the Spirit - Ephesians 4:1-3
3. Necessary for preachers and teachers of the gospel - 2 Timothy 2:24-26; 3:10; 4:2
4. Developed through love and prayer - cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a; Colossians 1:9-11
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to LONGSUFFERING?
[When one possesses the quality of longsuffering, kindness naturally follows...]
A. THE KINDNESS THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, chrestotes - this word describes "the sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of temper which puts others at their ease, and shrinks from giving pain" - Plummer
a. It therefore describes a quality that makes other people feel at ease when with you
b. They know you will be kind, or gentle
2. In the Septuagint, it is used of God more than anyone else
a. Where it is often translated as 'good' - cf. Psalm 106:1; 145:9
b. Referring not to God's moral goodness, but rather to His kindness, expressed in His mercy
3. In the New Testament, we read of the kindness of God-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of KINDNESS in their lives
a. In nature, even to ungrateful and evil men - Luke 6:35; cf. Matthew 5:45
b. In the giving of His Son, in whom we have salvation - Titus 3:4-7
c. Even in the ages to come - Ephesians 2:7
B. KINDNESS IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. Is part of the Christian "garment" we are to put on - cf. Colossians 3:12
2. Should characterize our treatment of one another - Ephesians 4:31-32
3. Do we act with kindness toward others?
a. So that others are "at ease" in our presence?
b. So that others feel they can draw close to us?
4. Or do we with sharp words, cold shoulders, or arrogant condescension discourage others from feeling comfortable around us?
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to KINDNESS?
[Putting the spirit of kindness into action is the quality of goodness]
A. THE GOODNESS THE SPIRIT PRODUCES...
1. Greek, agathosune - active goodness, benevolent - Complete WordStudy Dictionary
a. "It is more than chrestotes, gentleness, kindness, a mellowing of character." - ibid.
b. "It is character energized, expressing itself in agathon, benevolence, active good." - ibid.
2. Barnabas was a good man - Act 11:24
a. He was happy to see the progress of others; i.e., he was not envious - Acts 11:23
b. He was an encourager of others - Acts 11:23
c. He was liberal with his good words, which is how he got his name - cf. Acts 4:36
d. He was generous with his possessions - cf. Acts 4:32-37
3. Dorcas was a good woman - Acts 9:36
a. She was "full of good works and charitable deeds"
b. Even in her death, her goodness was being felt - cf. Acts 9:39
-- Those "led by the Spirit" will produce the fruit of GOODNESS in their lives
B. GOODNESS IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN...
1. Those led by the Spirit of God will produce the quality of "goodness" - cf. Ephesians 5:8-9
2. We have been created in Christ for this very purpose! - Ephesians 2:10
3. We should do good unto all men, especially their brethren - Galatians 6:10
4. The Scriptures furnish us completely for this task - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
-- Do we manifest that we "walk by the Spirit" in regards to GOODNESS?
1. Again we note the contrast between the Spirit and the flesh...
a. Those who walk by the Spirit experience longsuffering, kindness, and goodness
b. Those who indulge fleshly lusts experience contentions, envy, and selfish ambitions
2. Which would you rather have...?
a. A life developing longsuffering, kindness, and goodness, with the help of the Holy Spirit?
b. A life devastated by contentions, envy, and selfish ambitions, due to your own fleshly lusts?
-- Don Treadway, September 2009 --