Posted by: forfreedomalone | 17/01/2014

The wrath of man.

I was pondering the fruits of the Spirit today and looked them up, in Galatians 5, to remind myself of what they are.
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”, is what the list says, but the preceding word is not “fruits” but “fruit”.
Likewise, in verses 19-21, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” are listed as “works” of the flesh.

So we have fruit and works.
Fruit, singular, does not necessarily mean one item, such as one apple, but one kind of item, such as apples. If we have ‘fruit of the vine’, we may have many bunches of grapes, but we only have grapes and not cherries too.
The fruit of the Spirit is varied, as are the sizes of apples in a basket, but it is all from the same source; the same tree, you may say, the Tree of Life.

Likewise, the works listed are not fruit, they are the result of not being attached to the vine. They are the results of effort, not rest. Sin resides in the flesh and the works it brings forth are those listed above.

In the past few days I have been in contact with two Pastors, or Ministers as we call them in the UK, both of whom reach many people with their preaching. They may even be regarded as ‘big’ names in their fields, but they could not been more different.

One talked of the importance of truth being taken to his people, directly spoken, so that they could be set free. He had started or was involved with three churches and had seen miracles. He believed in straight talking and dealing with the issues he saw before him. He had sermons posted on his website and some people following him. This was a big man with great potential to affect the kingdom of God, whose work was being carried out in a prominent place, so we would not miss him and his message.

The other talked of healing hearts and ministering the love of God to those who are in bondage. He listened more than he talked. His manner was gentle, patient and he was kind. He had words of encouragement and no sermons on his website. This minister, is also a big man, but his work is underground or off the map and not very prominent at all. He has started untold numbers of churches, but he never mentioned that.

There were other differences too.
The first was proud, arrogant, abusive, self-righteous, contentious, angry, unteachable, sowing strife and enmity.
The second was gentle, kind, patient, peaceable, full of joy and love.
“By their fruit you will know them”

So we “know” that one, was preaching grace, but was under law, for it produced manifestations which were not fruit of the Spirit. The other, we “know” was preaching and living grace, for it manifest in the fruit of the Spirit.

If you are listening to a minister, week by week, who is not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit in his/her life, consider carefully why you are there.
Neither church building nor miracles are fruit of the Spirit.
“The wrath of man will not work the righteousness of God”. You will not become more like God by being abused or exposed to teaching from people who are in the flesh.

We all slip up, we all err, but when it is a lifestyle there is a problem in the heart of the person who behaves like that. It is not our job to condemn or judge, but we are instructed to cease to hear teaching which causes us to err. That teaching can come from the teacher every bit as much as it can come from what is taught.

If you are not receiving love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness and self control when you interact with those you are allowing to speak into your life, perhaps it is time to reconsider who gets to have that privilege.

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