Welcome to another segment of My Thoughts as we are in the fifth segment of our six-week Grace series. In this week’s segment, Grace Produces Good Fruit, I would like you to be aware of something today. Satan, although defeated at the cross, is a cunning adversary. He gets people to depart from the simplicity of the gospel into works. Because he knows many believers are sincere in wanting to please God.
Our segment’s key verse comes from 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Pride Removed Us from Grace
Satan knows people have enthusiasm or zeal for God, but he also knows we have something called pride. So what does Satan do? He takes advantage of our pride and misdirects zeal by using the law. Satan tells them, “You want to be in right standing with God? Here are His laws to obey and obey perfectly.”
Paul talks about this misguided zeal in Romans 10:1-3, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
No Righteous in the Law
The same thing still happens today. Many believers are trying to please God and become self-righteous trying to keep the law. They don’t understand God makes an individual righteous or in right standing with Him solely by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). They reject God’s way and cling to what they think puts them in right standing with God, which is their obedience to old covenant law.
Yet the irony of it all in trying to keep old covenant law to be righteous or in right standing with God, they produce works of the flesh in Galatians 5:18-21 such as adultery, fornication, hatred, heresies, and drunkenness. Why? Because in 1 Corinthians 15:56, “the strength of sin is the law,” and in Romans 7:5, the law arouses or stirs up the sinful passions within our flesh.
Fruit Under the Spirit
Galatians 5:22–23 lists the fruits of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Notice Paul mentions the fruits of the Spirit only in the fifth chapter. In the first four chapters, he talks about grace, contrasting it with the law, and contending earnestly for justification by faith.
Why? Because those Christians of the church in Galatia were going back under the law because they were being fooled by false teachers. Paul essentially brought them back under pure grace, before talking to them about the fruit of the Spirit.
Can you see how the fruit of being under grace is the fruit of the Spirit? Notice how Paul calls it the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. What’s the difference between “works” and “fruit”?
- Works are a result of self-effort that comes from being under the heavy demands of the law.
- Fruit is a result of life!
Just as a tree will naturally produce good fruit when it is well watered and receiving the right amount of sunlight, so a Christian will produce good fruit without self-effort when he or she is well watered by the word of His grace and exposed to the sunshine of God’s love.
If you want to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, make sure you are hearing the unadulterated grace of our Lord Jesus reminds you that you are justified by faith in the Lamb Who died for you. It will help you to build your life upon the solid Rock of Christ and the firm foundation of His finished work.
Contend earnestly to hear and to live by the real gospel, by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). It will usher you into the promised land, for the gospel is the power of God unto your salvation in every area of your life, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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