Bible Study

W.A.R. Bible Study: The Fruit of the Spirit

adventure backlit dawn dusk

WHAT A REAL CHRISTIAN LOOKS LIKE – Part 2

Study Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23

THIS JOY THAT I HAVE THE WORLD DIDN’T GIVE IT TO ME

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

The world has become all too effective in luring Christians into a belief system that looks and sounds good on the surface but has no intrinsic life sustaining values. We are living in a surface society. We place more emphasis or value on what is seen, heard and felt as opposed to that which is not seen, imagined and believed. The world has a way of presenting a superficial surface system and we immediately gravitate to it without examination of truth. If it looks good to us, sounds good to us or feels good to us we don’t take the time to investigate if in fact it is good for us. We get so wrapped up in what is seen, heard and felt that we don’t take the time to examine if what we see, hear and feel is the truth. 

Billboard Biz gives “The Hot 100” songs across the country and in 2014 for weeks the number one song around the world was “Happy” by Pharell Williams. It’s the song the late Congressman John Lewis was seen dancing to on a widely circulated video.  Every time I hear it my head goes bobbing. I get caught up in what is seen in the video, heard on the radio and the heart felt beat that it sends out.  Howbeit, Pharell said something in the lyrics that I just couldn’t take his word for. We can miss a lot when we get caught up with what looks good, sounds good and feels good. There was a lyric that made me say, “Hmmmm!”

Pharell said, “Happiness is the truth.” The critical question for me became “Is happiness really the truth?” Today I want to look at the second fruit of the Spirit and show you how joy steps in where happiness steps out

Dr. Oscar T. Moses

CONTEXT

Paul has been pleading with the Galatians to live as true Christians and for them to actually believe the death burial and resurrection of at Jesus Christ leads to new life. Paul’s mantra throughout this whole chapter is there is liberty in Jesus Christ. Apparently there were some that took the liberty a bit too far. Paul had to make it clear in this chapter what he meant by liberty to paint a picture of what a real Christian looks like as oppose to the professing Christian. 

The problem was many that said they were Christians were not living as Christians. Their lives were void of certain attributes that identified them as Christian. They mirrored the world and not Christ. Therefore, in verses 22-and 23 Paul taught them the attributes of having obtained the Fruit of the Spirit that they might indeed know what a real Christian looks like. This passage could clearly be strongly argued that if one does not obtain at least the first attribute that perhaps they are not really saved. 1 John 3:14 expounds on the belief that the evidence of salvation is love.  “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.[1]

There are attributes that are triggered by the first attribute and without the first attribute it would be impossible to obtain the others. The first attribute is love. Love leads to the other attributes because if you have not love you have not the Spirit of Jesus Christ. 

Paul described the 2nd attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit as joy. Paul uses the Greek word “chara” for joy. It is the noun form of joy that is used 51 times. It means more than just having a warm fuzzy feeling day after day. It is an inner peace and rejoicing that remains despite outer circumstances. Joy can be defined in four aspects.

  1. It is Conditional – Joy is only for the believer. One may appear to experience a since of euphoria that the world offers but it has no eternal value. Joy has nothing to do with satisfying the flesh. The condition in which the believer obtains joy is found in verse 16. You must walk in the Spirit. Joy is God’s gift to believers. 
  • It is Internal: Joy is not effected by external circumstances. It is the sign that your life has discovered its purpose and problems are only apart of the procedure to get you to full productivity. Joy is what will get you through life when life knocks the wind out of your sail. When life became difficult for Nehemiah while building on the wall of Jerusalem he said in Nehemiah 8:10 – “for the joy of the Lord is our strength.”[2]
  • It is Volitional – No one can take your joy from you but you can give it up. For the Christian joy is an option. It is when you have made up your mind to rejoice in the Lord. Paul said in Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” You have to make a choice to rejoice.[3]
  •  It is Restorable – Life happens and sin can cause one to lose their joy. You can lose your joy but you can’t lose your salvation. It is possible to be saved and miserable. That is why David, after sinning and straying from God went to God in prayer, confessed his sins and said in Psalm 51:12-13 – “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” David didn’t lose his salvation but he lost the joy in being saved. We need joy because there is something about God’s joy that makes you want to just take off your shoes and start wiggling your toes. 

Questions

  1. What is joy?
  2. What is the condition for receiving joy?
  3. What is the difference between worldly joy and Godly joy?
  4. Explain what David meant in Psalm 51:12?
  5. What is internal joy?
  6. What does Nehemiah 8:10 mean?

Thought #1 – “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be filled with joy.” Anonymous

Thought #2 – “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. Henri Nouwen”

Thought #3 – “To have joy in your heart, one must know how to appreciate the small things in life.” Anonymous

Make It Plain

  1. What things can you do to you lose your joy?
  2. What is the purpose of joy?
  3. How has COVID-19 affected your joy?
  4. How does doing God’s will increase your joy?
  5. Why should Christians rejoice always? 

©Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses – CBC – W.A.R. Bible Study 9/22/2020


[1] 1 John 3:14

[2] Nehemiah 8:10

[3] Phil 4:4

Categories: Bible Study