Gal 5: 22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When you debate with someone face to face, and look into their eyeballs you can get to know a lot about them.   However when it’s on another media  you can only see the printed word.

Now I mention this because from time to time individuals come across your path that make outlandish claims of being former Christians.  They left because they saw the light and are now happy as something else.  The trouble is that when ask them some simple basic questions about their former faith, they will inevitably have a memory collapse.  They are unable to give clear Biblical definition to what they formerly believed.  Even briefly debating  it becomes clear that there is a lack of understand of a subject, which as former Christians they would have some rudimentary understanding. 

One such individual claimed to be a Pentecostal tongue speaking believer who had received visions, but is now quite content to become a member of the Watchtower.  Yet in discussing with them the simple principles that God is omnipresent, they simply have no clue about it.  There responses were not just gibberish but infantile.   In further debating the question as to the many false predictions made by the Watchtower over the years .the basic response was that people make mistakes.  Again they lacked the basics understanding of the seriousness of false prophecy.  If truth be told I don’t think they cared.  In fact in the face of clear and precise information regarding the lies that the Watchtower has told over the years, there was little if any concern.

Now I mention all this because had they been a true believer certain traits of nature would have manifested.  You see the true believer over a period of time begins to become more and more like Jesus.  We begin to inherit by nature those same qualities which Jesus has.  If those qualities are not within the believer life then it should be question are they a true believer.  Now I don’t mean by necessity that those qualities are all present immediately upon salvation.  But we should be able to look back and see a steady growth.   If such growth is not evident then the question arises are they genuinely saved. 

In the Biblical definition” LOVE” appears first.  Now love is not just a general liking for something.  But it is a passionate love for the truth. 

Ps 51: 16 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

God’s truth becomes our greatest joy.  Nothing less than the whole truth will do.  That means we cannot rest with just any truths thrown at us.  It has to be Gods truth grounded settled and established.  Otherwise we will feel uncomfortable and unsettled. 

From this love comes a joy which is deeply rooted in my relationship with God.  With it comes the knowledge of belonging.  Something that’s says I am welcomed into his family as one of his own.  Out of that relationship comes this spring of joy that bubbles up from a deep well of Gods well being.

When the person I  previously mentioned claimed that they had  now found peace with the Watchtower despite all the false prophecies.  It proved beyond doubt that they were never a true believer.  A true believer would be terribly uncomfortable with error.  Now the other side of the coin is that the true believer having developed a love for the truth will also develop a hatred for deception and lies.  The believer cannot rest and becomes grieved by lies and deceit.  The number of times in debating with people, they will openly and knowing lie. They feel no hindrance or qualms about it.  They may even openly acknowledge that deception is excusable under certain conditions. Yet for the true believer no such exceptions are acceptable.  We just find such acts deplorable and wicked.  A passion for the truth comes from the inward working of the Holy Spirit who continues to work out that love within our lives.  The Holy Spirit is not there to let us get away or excuse us in our frailties, but to change us into the image of the second Adam Jesus.

Many can know about the queen of England, but they have no intimate knowledge of her.  Further more the queen does not know them.  What we are talking about is coming to know intimately the one that the Bible speaks about.  But also even more importantly that he might also know us.  It’s good to know that God has my number.

Rom 14: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The work of the Holy Spirit is to produce within us the nature and qualities that were in Jesus. So they we begin to shine with those same qualities. 

Because the Holy Spirits work is continuous and the change becomes more and more over a period of time, patience is also worked out within the believer’s life.   We may not see completely the finished work but we desire with a passion to be complete within ourselves to be fully conform to the image of Gods son.  Something like a half done cake, almost there but not quite complete.  From time to time we get a glimpse of the eternal glory that will surround us.  Like a darken room where a window is slightly open to let the outer light shine through.  It aluminates the room and in such manner our souls are radiated by its glow.  It speaks of greater things but we have yet to express its fullness.  But we are nevertheless filled with hope that it will come to pass.

Mat 11: 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls

In olden days a young Ox would be yoked to a mature oxen in order to learn from the other.  So we are to be yoked to one who has matured and from him we learn to be meek and lowly.  His example is the one to follow.

Meekness does not mean weakness. Even though Jesus was meek he could still take on the money changers and overturn tables.  There is strength in meekness that comes from submitting our lives to Gods control and acknowledging his rule over us.

Strongs puts it like this

Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).

1 Peter 3: 4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

At every turn who and what we are is the product of the ministry of the Holy Spirit within our lives.  It is he who brings out the characteristics that God wants to see developed. We in turn cooperate with his leading,  and learn from him. Just as the young Oxen learns from the older more mature oxen.

Temperance (self control)  So much of today’s Christology is based on the opposite theology.  The idea that the Holy Spirit goes against the grain.  Seeks to produce a drunken euphoria where men are not in control of their faculties.  This in turn has developed the concept that there can be no move of the spirit without such manifestations.  That is not what the Bible teaches.  Self control is the product of the inner working of the Holy Spirit.

 Strongs says  1) self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)   Anything contrary to this has to be questionable.

As we grow in the knowledge and relationship with God.  Out of this comes an appreciation of how Gods operates.  He is a God of order where chaos goes against his nature.  That does not mean we are unable to express our worship to God is a glorious manner, and expressing great joy in both song and dance.  But even within this there can be clear and precise definitions.  Paul spoke at great lengths about such confusions within the church at Corinth.  The need for reasonable and clear guidelines on how the service should operate.

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