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Lesson: Love, Joy and Peace
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ~ John 13:35
Fruis of the Holy Spirit man holding apple In Lesson 1 of your Fruits of the Holy Spirit Bible Study, we discussed the purposes for developing spiritual fruit. We learned that these Fruits are outward signs of an inward change in your life. Although they do not appear over night, they are proof that you are God's work in progress.
But, Galatians 5 is not the only place in the Word that we see references to these signs that God's holy hand is at work.
We are going to engage in what I like to call a Bible Scripture Study - Scouring the scriptures for all that God has to say on a subject. It's time to discover what else God's Word tells you about each of the 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
A Closer Look At Each of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit
But the Holy Spirit
produces this kind of fruit in our lives:
There is no law against these things!
- Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Christian Love Fruits of the Holy Spirit rocks in heartBy this shall all men know
that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.
The Greek word used in Galatians 5, and again here in John 13, is Agape.
This is the kind of love that God loves us with - It is self-sacrificing. It is unconditional.
And, let's face it, it is impossible for any human to achieve on their own. It can only be developed as a Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
But, Jesus says that developing this kind of love in your heart is the only way the world will be able to identify you as His. In Matthew, Jesus explains that Agapao (the verb form of Agape) is the actual basis of Christianity.
I could write an entire study on the importance of the fact that Jesus uses the verb form here - And how that shows us that love is an action word. In fact, agapao is so vital to so many areas of your daily life, I ended up spending a full 2 hours teaching on it in our Fruits of the Holy Spirit online Bible class! Bible study online Christian smiley
Jesus tells us that everything God calls us to boils down to this:
You must love the Lord your God
with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.
A second is equally important:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
The entire law and all the demands of the prophets
are based on these two commandments.
-Matthew 22: 36-40 (NLT)
There is no wonder why Paul lists love first in his description of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Christian Joy Fruits of the Spirit happy man on beachThere are two kinds of joy. The fleeting joy that the world gives. And the lasting joy that God's Spirit provides.
The joy that we find in this world is allusive. It is like chasing a mirage.
People spend years thinking that when they finally get that promotion, or when they eventually get out of debt - They will be happy.
And, yet, when they finally reach the place where they thought they would find happiness, they only experience more longing.
Why? They foolishly thought that they were the source of their own joy.
But, your Heavenly Father doesn't want His child sitting around "grieved and depressed." That's why God's Word says that He's given you the very joy of the Lord to be your strength and stronghold (Nehemiah 8:10 -AMP).
So, while the world is searching for happiness, the Holy Spirit is sprouting seeds of joy and gladness inside of you. And this Fruit of the Holy Spirit is God's gift, to be your strength in times of turmoil.
Christian Peace Fruits of the Holy Spirit Father and child's handsThere are two kinds of peace that we have as Christians. We have peace with God, and we have the peace of God. Let me explain the difference.
You will learn in a future lesson about the Holy Spirit in the Old testament that, before Jesus, we were not allowed to be in the presence of God. But, through Jesus' sacrifice, our peace with God was purchased.
THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified
(acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God)
let us [grasp the fact that we] have
[the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)
-Romans 5:1 (AMP)
In addition to Jesus' death buying you peace with God, it also serves as a cleansing sacrifice to allow you into the presence of the Lord.
With the Holy Spirit now living inside of you, you are able to experience the peace of God. This is the kind of peace that the Fruit of the Holy Spirit manifests.
We are told in Philippians how to receive this peace for ourselves.
Don’t worry about anything;
instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
In our Spirit Controlled Life Bible Class, I called this scripture your "Peace Treaty." You are promised a peace that exceeds your understanding. That means, it is a peace that does not make sense to us mentally. In times when we should be pulling out our hair and biting our nails, we feel an overwhelming peace in our spirits.
I think that, more and more, bearing this Fruit of the Holy Spirit is something that Christians struggle with. I find so many Believers who are struggling with fear, doubt, stress and anxiety. But, you don't have to live like that. God's Holy Spirit can set you free from the bondage of your thoughts and give you a peace that passes all understanding.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit Bible Scripture Study
1. Why do you think that it is significant that Jesus uses the action verb Agapao to describe the kind of love that the Holy Spirit wants to develop inside of you?
2. Why do you think God tells you that His joy is what acts as your strength during trying times? Can you think of a time when His joy kept you strong?
3. Why do you think so many Christians today struggle with receiving and maintaining God's peace? Do you feel that you have a problem maintaining your