WHAT A REAL CHRISTIAN LOOKS LIKE – PART 1
Study Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Scripture: Galatians 5:17-22
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,Galatians 5:17-22 KJV
The danger with just coming to church and not knowing what you believe could lead to the tragedy of never being saved. What really makes us different as Christian’s in this Trump era? How do we adjust to unveiled racism and blatant injustices?
If taken to court and accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to find you guilty?
In this lesson 9-part we will learn the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit. In this first lesson we will discover that love is the primary attribute of someone who has truly been born again. The test of the Christian is the ability to also love people that make it difficult to love. This is one of the reasons why we study God’s Word to learn What a Real Christian Looks Like.
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Galatians chapter 5 is a continuation of an argument that arose in chapter 4. Paul was trying to convince the Galatians that being a Christian allowed them far more liberty than remaining under the Jewish law. Paul’s plea to the Galatians can be defined in 5 words, “There is liberty in Christ.” Paul told the Galatians they were no longer bound to the law and that the gospel of Jesus Christ made them free. That is, if one believes that Jesus Christ suffered, bled and died on the cross of Calvary, was buried in a borrowed tomb and rose on the third day with all power in His hands, they were indeed free. However, Paul knew that some of them would take that statement to mean that they could do whatever they liked. Therefore, Paul stopped and explained to the Galatians exactly what they cannot do. He wanted to be clear that the design of liberty was not for them to give passions to the flesh but to serve one another in love. Everything we know is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself.
Paul knew that there are two ways to live life; one is of the Spirit of God and the other is of the flesh. Therefore, Paul said in verse 16 to walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. He is painting two pictures for us here. The first picture is what a Christian does not look like and the second picture is what a Christian does look like.
In verse 17 Paul said that the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that you want to. Paul is saying that you are fully aware of what is right but cannot do it without the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a war going on in our members that you will lose every time unless (verse 18) you are led by the Spirit. In verse 19 he paints a picture of what a Christian does not look like by giving the manifestation of the works of the flesh: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.”
Paul said, “This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you abuse your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. But look what happens when we live God’s way! When we live Gods way He brings gifts into our lives. Paul begins to talk about the Fruit of the Spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit consist of nine attributes that have become visible in the life of a Christian. Often people refer to this biblical term as the “fruits”. However the original translation is singular, which means there is one fruit with nine attributes. Paul explains that this “fruit” only comes as a result of a following Jesus and having a repentant life. The caveat is very clear and it is even questionable whether one that does not bear the Fruit of the Spirit is truly a Christian. The Fruit of the Spirit is indeed the personality and character traits of God. As the Christian grows spiritually eventually they will begin to take on the personlity and characteristics of God. It does not happen over night. Here Paul illustrates the attributes of those who have truly been born again. Let us observe the first characteristic. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love.”
It is important to note that the word Spirit begins with a capitol S. That is because Paul is referring to a person, the second person of the trinity who is the Holy Spirit. Paul gives the first attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit which is LOVE. It is the Greek word Agape. It is a love that always seeks the good will of others. It is a selfgiving love that gives without asking in return. It is a love that is by choice. It describes the kind of love that God has for us.
The Big Idea: When you are a Christian there are certains things that you will dofor people and certain things you will not do to people. None of us have arrived yet but we have to keep on pressing toward the mark of looking more like Jesus. That’s the only way people will know we are Christians, by our love.
- Why are these attributes called the Fruit of the Spirit?
- Why is the word Spirit marked with a capitol S?
- What is the first chararcteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit?
- How does this characteristic resemble God?
- Why do you think it was so important for Paul to teach Christians about love?
Thought – In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.
Make It Plain
- Do you agree with the above statement by C.S. Lewis? Why or why not?
- Would you help someone in need who was wearing a “Trump – Make America Great Again” hat knowing they were insensitive or predjudice towards you? Explain why or why not.
- How do you resemble the Fruit of the Spirit in a racially charged climate?
- Do you pray for people that intentionally do you harm?
- Is there a limit to “love” in this context?
- How does the characteristic of love indicate spiritual growth in your life?
© Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses – CBC – W.A.R. Bible Study 9/15/2020