What is the Fruit of the Spirit?

Explaining The Nine Fruits Of The Spirit And How We Get Them In Our Life

Dan Franklin
May 22, 2022    45m
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Have you ever wondered what the fruit of Spirit is and how we can have it in our lives? The Holy Spirit is not just a force for good in your life; the Holy Spirit is God Himself, and when you are walking in the Spirit, the nine fruits of the Spirit will flow through you into the world. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Intro: [00:00:14] Hey, there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:19] All right, I want us to talk a little bit about before and after pictures. You guys all know what I'm talking about, right? It seems like this was a thing before, but it seems like lately, over the past, I don't know, 5 to 7 years, there's just been this explosion of people who are health coaches and fitness coaches and personal trainers and they're on social media. And on social media, in order to advertise themselves. They frequently will show up before and after pictures of their clients. This is what this person looked like before they started training with me, or going through this diet, or going through this exercise regimen, and then here's what they look like in the after picture. And the after picture is meant to entice all the rest of us to say, if I go with this trainer, if I go with this health coach, if I go with this person, this is what I will look like at the end of this.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:15] Today, we're going to talk a little bit about the after picture. And here's one of the things that I want us all to take in right now, all of us right now are an after picture in process. We all eventually are going to end up at a certain place, and what we're doing right now is going to lead us to what that after picture is going to look like. This applies to your finances, to your personal health, to your decisions, to the way you treat other people, everything that you are doing right now is leading to what that after picture is going to look like.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:57] And here we are in the book of Galatians, and in the book of Galatians, Paul has been walking with us through this concept of what does it mean for us to walk with the Holy Spirit? And he's set up a contrast, he said, alright, there are two sort of forces, there are two paths that you have, you can walk with the Holy Spirit, or you can walk with the flesh. And the flesh being just that part of ourselves that's still broken, and still lost, and even if you're a believer in Jesus, that still craves the instant gratification. And last week, Pastor Troy brought us through the after picture of the flesh. And just imagine something for a minute that this is the picture that Paul wants us to have, he wants us to have it as if we knocked on the door, the flesh opened up the door, and we said, please train me. At the end of that story in verses 19 through 21, Paul says, this is the after picture if the flesh is your trainer, there's going to be orgies, there's going to be drunkenness, there's going to be sexual immorality, there's going to be factions, dissensions, all of that stuff is what you're after picture is going to look like if you walk with the flesh.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:06] And one of the themes that Troy talked about a lot last week is just the idea that some of us kind of think that we can dabble, we're like, I'm not going to go full bore with all of the things that the acts of the flesh talk about, but I'll kind of dabble here and there. What Paul is saying is, that once you dabble, you've given yourself to the flesh as your trainer and that's what you will look like. The list that Troy brought us through last week was not a list of a whole bunch of stuff that Paul is saying don't do these things, it was a list of things that Paul was saying you will do these things if you walk with the flesh.

Dan Franklin: [00:03:40] And then this week, we have the fruit of the Spirit. which is probably one of the most famous passages in the New Testament. And the fruit of the Spirit, once again, what Paul is doing in this passage is not that he's saying, here are nine virtues, try hard to do them. It's not a task list, and I'm going to be saying that throughout this morning because it's very important, it's easy for us, we're going to look at these nine virtues and just say, well, I need to get better at this, I need to find a way to grow in that, I need to work harder at that, it is so easy for us to see this as a nine virtue task list. That's not what Paul is doing, what Paul is doing is saying, if the Holy Spirit is your trainer, this is the after picture, this is what you're going to look like, this is going to be the fruit, the result, in your life. It's not a task list, it's an after picture.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:34] And we got the lead-up, Emilia, when she read the passage, she read sort of the lead-up, she gave us a running start, but we are going to zero in on verses 22 and 23 in Galatians chapter 5. If you have a Bible, if you're using your Bible App, you can go ahead and get there as we're going to focus in on those two verses. And as we do that, here's what we're going to do, we're eventually going to get to this list, to the list of the nine virtues in the fruit of the Spirit. We're going to eventually get there, but we're going to ask three questions, and answer three questions, in order to help us understand this passage,

Dan Franklin: [00:05:05] I'll put them up on the screen so that we can see them. The three questions are this, first of all, we're going to look to answer the question, who is the Spirit? Secondly, we're going to look to answer the question, what is the fruit of the Spirit? And third, we're going to look to answer the question, what is the fruit of the Spirit? Yeah, some of you right now are like, there's an editing problem here. There's not, we're going to answer what is the fruit of the Spirit in two different ways, and it's going to make sense when we get there.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:36] We're going to start with the question, all right, who is the Spirit? Throughout this whole time, Paul has been saying, walk by the Spirit and this is the fruit of the Spirit. Let's just pause, it won't be the first time in this series that we've talked about this, but let's just pause and talk about who is the Spirit that Paul is talking about. And I'll just ask all of you, who is the Spirit that he's talking about? He's talking about the person that we normally call the Holy Spirit. God is one God, and he is three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You see this throughout the New Testament, that there's no passage that says this is the Trinity and this is how it all works. But you see this constant refrain in the New Testament, you see it in Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28, verse 19, right after he says, "Go and make disciples of all nations." He says, "Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." And we see several passages in the New Testament that have that that triad, that three statements about who God is.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:41] The Holy Spirit is not your conscience, God's given you a conscience, that's a blessing, that's not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not just sort of a force for good that you feel in your life, the Holy Spirit is God Himself. That's why throughout the New Testament we read things like, don't grieve the Spirit, or don't quench the Spirit, or the Spirit's going to teach you, and the Spirit's going to remind you. Because the Spirit is personal, not just an empowering force in our lives, but a real divine person.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:17] And by the way, sometimes we can start to think that the Holy Spirit didn't show up until the New Testament. If you read the Old Testament, you see a lot about the Holy Spirit. And here's what normally happens with the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, that there's somebody that is called to do something big for God and the Holy Spirit comes upon that person to prepare them to do it. So you read about the Holy Spirit in passages like Judges 15, where Samson needs to take on an entire battalion of Philistines, and the Spirit of God comes upon him, and he wins a battle that he had no business winning. You see, it happened in passages like First Samuel chapter 10, where Saul has just been anointed to be the first king of Israel, and the Spirit comes upon him, and he starts to prophesy. And we know that this was not a normal activity because it says that people were looking at Saul and saying is Saul a prophet now? What's going on? What was going on was that the Holy Spirit had come upon him and empowered him to do something that was divine. You see it happen with prophets, you see it happen with kings, you see it happen with warriors, you even see it happen with builders of the temple, you see the Holy Spirit come upon them to empower them to do something that they never would have been able to do on their own.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:40] By the way, in the life of Jesus, he constantly references that everything that he's doing is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever looked at the life of Jesus? And people are like, you should be more like Jesus. And you're like, yeah, but he's Jesus. Like, I'm me, he's Jesus. Yes, you're correct, he is Jesus. Jesus lived his life of faith and obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit, in the same way that we're called to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:13] In fact, something, I don't know if you've ever picked up on this, there's this weird passage in the Gospels about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the slandering of the Holy Spirit. And here's basically how it happens, Jesus was casting out demons, and some of his opponents, some of the religious leaders said, you know what, when he casts out demons, he's not doing that through God's power, he's doing that through the power of Satan, he's casting out demons by the power of Satan. And Jesus' response is to say that when you said that you just blasphemed, or you just slandered, the Holy Spirit. Now just follow the logic on this for a minute, he says, you slandered the Holy Spirit when you said that I cast out demons by the power of Satan. What does that mean about whose power was actually casting out the demons? It was the Holy Spirit. He's saying you're taking something that the Holy Spirit did, and you're saying it's Satanic, you're slandering the Holy Spirit. When Jesus did miracles, and when Jesus cast out demons, it was because the Holy Spirit was empowering Him to do so.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:26] And then in Jesus' ministry, he said something profound to his disciples in John 14. He said, "The Holy Spirit has been with you, but He will be in you." Some of you know this, he's been with you, he's been around, and he empowers you, and sometimes for a set time, he'll come upon you to equip you for something, he has been with you, but he will be in you.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:49] And in Acts 2, at the Feast of Pentecost, when all of Jesus' disciples were gathered around and they were praying because Jesus said something about you're going to receive power from the Holy Spirit. After Jesus had been raised from the Dead and ascended, the Holy Spirit came upon all of the people, and they went out speaking in languages that they'd never been taught to proclaim the mysteries and that the message of Jesus to a whole bunch of foreigners who were in Jerusalem at that time. The Holy Spirit is the source of all power, and we as believers in Jesus Christ now live in the privilege of having the Holy Spirit not just occasionally come upon us when there's something that God tells us to do, but day in, day out, living in the reality of the Holy Spirit residing within us. You have, if you're a believer in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit residing within you.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:48] And part of the beauty of this is that Paul says, you can look this up later in Ephesians 1 verses 13 and 14 he says, the fact that you have the Holy Spirit is the proof that you belong to Jesus, the proof that you've put your faith in Jesus, that you've said, Jesus, I trust you to bring forgiveness of my sins, and I trust you to purchase my place in the family of God and to bring me adoption and reconciliation with God. And God gives the Holy Spirit as the seal of that promise to say, you have the Holy Spirit to prove that you belong to Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:25] The person that we're talking about when we say walk by the Spirit, is the person who empowers us to do everything that God calls us to do. And one more thing before going on to the second question, let me read you something that Jesus said to his disciples in John 16 verse 7 when he was telling them, I'm about to leave, I'm going to leave and he was cryptic about it, but he was going to die, he was going to rise, he was going to ascend. He says, I'm going to leave, but the Spirit's going to come. And here's what he says to his disciples in John 16:7, he says, "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." Quick question, how many of you feel like you would be a better Christian if Jesus was always standing right next to you? Yeah, pretty much, like I would never sin, he's right there, I wouldn't do anything wrong, and I'd be able to ask him questions and I'd be able to get his thoughts on things, I would be so much of a better Christian if Jesus was standing right here next to me. Here's what Jesus says, Jesus says, you're better off with the Spirit inside of you than with Jesus right next to you. And if you're doubting this, if you're like, that's crazy talk. Well, first of all, Jesus said it, and so if you think a lot of Jesus, this is what he thinks. Secondly, if you need proof of this, just look at the disciples in the Gospels versus the disciples in the Book of Acts. The Gospels end with Peter pretending he didn't even know who Jesus was, and then Acts begins after Peter receives the Holy Spirit of Him going out and proclaiming to anyone who is going to listen, the glories of Jesus. They went to prison; they went to their own death because the Holy Spirit inside of us is a bigger difference than even Jesus standing right next to us. When Paul says to walk by the Spirit, he is telling us to tap into the one who lives inside of us and can bring greater victory and power than even Jesus if he was standing right next to us.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:46] So that's who the Spirit is, but let's move on to the question, what is the fruit of the Spirit because that's the analogy that Paul gives in this. And even though for some of us, even when Emilia was reading the passage earlier, some of you might have been like rattling it off in your head. Like, I know this, if you grew up in the church, you might have memorized it at some point. Forbearance might have thrown you off, you're like patience, oh, forbearance, different translation. Either way, let's talk about this because just pause and recognize that this is an illustration that he's using, the fruit of the Spirit. It's the illustration of a tree and the fruit that the tree bears. And this is a common thing in the Bible, you will know them by their fruit. A good tree brings forth good fruit, a bad tree brings forth bad fruit, that's a common analogy in the Bible.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:37] What Paul is doing here is highly related to something that our Lord Jesus Himself talked about in John chapter 15. In John chapter 15, some of you will know this, Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches," I'm the vine, you're the branches, that's the illustration, it's a tree and the branches. And then he says, "If you abide in me..." In other words, if you remain connected to me, "...You will bear fruit; but if you're cut off from the vine, you're not going to bear any fruit." He even goes as far as to say, "Apart from me, you can do nothing. You're just a branch cut off from its source of life." This is the analogy, and this is once again why Paul is not giving us a task list. He's not saying, here are nine things that you got to do. What Paul is saying is, if you are connected with the Spirit, this is what you will do, this is the fruit that will come out of your life. It's not a task list, it's an after picture.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:45] And I want us, before going through these nine virtues, I want us just to tap into how significant what we're about to see is. You know we just talked about, the Holy Spirit is empowering warriors to win victories and prophets to declare mysteries and kings to rule well and all of these miracles to happen, all of that is the work of the Spirit. And when Paul has a captive audience, when he's here in Galatians 5 and he's talking about what is it going to look like, what is it going to look like in a person's life and in the life of a church if the Spirit really has full reign, what is that going to look like? I want you just to take in, that he doesn't talk about miracles. He doesn't even talk about spiritual gifts, even though in other passages he does. He doesn't talk about healings, he doesn't talk about speaking in tongues, he talks about character virtues that will flow out of us. And I think that there is a lesson for us in this, the main evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work is not that some miraculous sign happened, it's that we are transformed from the inside out.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:58] If we were thinking of the impact that we as Life Bible Fellowship Church are going to have on our community, and we're like, what would it be that would just utterly transform things where people would be coming to faith in Jesus, and they would be convinced that God is at work among us? What Paul is saying is, that the main way that that would happen is not through a miraculous healing, the main way that that would happen is through people who are so utterly transformed from the inside out, that other people are saying there's got to be something divine going on there. Don't look at these nine things that we're about to look at and just say, all right, that's fine, but let's get on to the real work of the Spirit. This is the real work of the Spirit, and it's not that he doesn't do miraculous things, but it should strike us that what Paul wants to emphasize when he says, here's how you know the Spirits at work, he emphasizes transformed character.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:56] Now, a couple of things going in before we get to the list. The first is this, there's going to be a temptation when we look at these nine virtues just to say, like, all right, but I kind of do these things already. Some of you are going to think, yeah, I'm a pretty loving person, I'm not a person of conflict, I'm pretty patient. And you're going to sort of go through and you're going to be like, all right, is that it, is that all that's going on here? Some of you are going to be tempted to do that.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:22] So here's what I want to say, a few things. The first thing that I want to say is this. everybody, including non-Christians, sometimes lives out these nine virtues that we see up there. I'm not going to pretend for a minute, we all know, we know non-Christians who do love people, they don't have the Holy Spirit, that's not the fruit of the Spirit. We know non-Christians who are patient sometimes. And so, all right, here's part of what we need to recognize, part of the thing that sets us apart as believers, as those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is that God is bringing a sustaining capability of living these out, as opposed to being able to do it in quick spurts and then getting resentful. Have you ever been in a position where you've been working really, really hard to be loving towards someone, and then eventually you got to the point that you were just like, what's in it for me? That's very normal in the flesh, the Spirit empowers us to keep going, to sustain this in shocking ways. And again, just think of the analogy here, that that's what we're dealing with, we're dealing with this analogy. And I think actually we have something that happens in our lives that helps us see the desperate need that we have for the Holy Spirit. And that's that almost all of us have a cell phone, and almost all of us have experienced the sheer panic when you start to get a low battery. Now we all have a threshold, I don't know what yours is, but we all have a threshold where when the battery power gets down to a certain point, we start to get really tense. Some of you live on the edge, you're like 5% is your...I don't know how you live with yourselves, I'm like, I swear if my cell phone gets below 60%, I'm like, Oh my gosh, where is a charger? We need to make sure that this is ready, I don't know when I'm going to need it. I don't know when I'm going to need to, in an emergency way, to stream an episode from Netflix, like I need to be ready for whatever is going to come, I need to find a charger desperately. And then you get to the point that it's like low power, do you want to switch to low power mode and you're like fine low power mode, but nothing works great in that and everything's slower.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:43] How many Christians today are living in low power mode? Just think about that for a minute. How many times have you just run out of steam because you're in low power mode and you're like I just need to be more patient? No, do you know what you need? You need to plug into the Holy Spirit. Those are the moments when you should say when was the last time I charged? When was the last time I had a meaningful time with the Lord that just filled up my soul? When was the last time I read the Bible? When was the last time I took a walk and just prayed through things? We need to be connected to the source, otherwise, we're going to be people who have quick spurts and then a lot of resentment. If we do that, we're going to resemble the world. But the sustaining power to keep loving, to keep being patient, to keep being faithful. even when it doesn't seem to be paying off, that is the work of God through the Spirit.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:39] So let's move on from the question, what is the fruit of the Spirit? To the question, what is the fruit of the Spirit? And here's how this is going to work, the first time we asked the question, what we were basically asking is, what is this analogy? Alright, a tree and its fruit. Alright, not a task list. If I want to see the fruit of the Spirit in my life, the main command is not to be more loving, the main command is to walk by the Spirit, and this is the after picture. And now we'll go through these nine virtues one by one, just sort of highlighting what each means. And again, you can see them up there, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and we'll take them one by one.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:23] We start with love, which is not an accident, it's not random that love comes first. In fact, just back in verse 14, just a little bit earlier in this same chapter in the Bible, Paul said, "Love is the fulfillment of the whole law." In another passage in Colossians chapter 3 verse 14, Paul wrote, "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Love comes first because even with these nine that we're going to talk about in a way, they all fit under the umbrella of love. And love is not just warmth towards others, love is not simply politeness, love is life-giving sacrifice for the benefit of others.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:19] In fact, Jesus, some of you will remember this, Jesus defined love in John 15:13 when he said, "Greater love has no one than this, then that he would lay down his life for his friends." And then Jesus even went beyond that because he talked about in Matthew chapter 5, they were called not just to love our friends, but to love who? We have to love our enemies. He says, "Pray for those who are persecuting you." This is another part of the mark here, you might be like, I know non-Christians that don't have the Holy Spirit and they still love their families. All right, fine, but still in sustainable ways, I have my doubts because I know myself. One of the things that the Spirit does is he takes all these virtues, and he spreads them, there's a spreading where it's not just the people near us that are kind of deserving and kind of treating us well, also, it spreads to people who are even our enemies.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:21] When Paul is talking about the fruit of the Spirit, he says, do you want to know that the Holy Spirit's at work, do you want to see the after picture, you're looking at a person who is fixated on the good of others. Who's not consistently saying what's in it for me? Or How do I get my way? But is constantly just marked by the idea of saying, how can I be praying for others? How can I be helping others? What is it that they need? Somebody that if you're spending time with them, they're constantly asking about you to the point that you get to the end of the conversation and you're saying, we didn't even talk about you, we only talked about what I'm going through, that's what it looks like when the Spirit has full reign in the area of love. The fruit of the Spirit is love.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:03] The fruit of the Spirit is joy. Now, let's talk about joy for a minute, because some of us as Christians, we have a weird relationship with joy. And some of you are even thrown off with the word happy up there because you're like, no, I learned this, joy and happiness are two different things. I don't want to step on that too much, but I'm going to step on that a little bit right now. And here's why, in English, they are not two things, they are the same thing. In Greek and Hebrew, they're not two different things, they're the same thing. There's no biblical, meaningful distinction between happiness and joy. I mean, just try for a second to be like, how would I describe somebody who's joyful? You'd be like, well, somebody who's really...It's somebody who's really happy. And I think sometimes the reason why we try to make this differentiation is we say, well, what happiness is based on your circumstances, but joy is not based on your circumstances. And here's what I want you to hear, first of all, happiness, joy, I don't think that there's a distinction, it's the same thing.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:03] Secondly, joy is based on your circumstances. There's no passage in the Bible that says, rejoice, don't worry about why. When we're told to rejoice, there's always a why, the why is just deeper than our immediate circumstances. Probably at some point over this last year, you were sick or injured, you're sitting at home, and you were sick and you're like, this stinks, it's no fun being sick. But some of you experienced that even being sick, you still had joy. Now, it wasn't joy in being sick. of it was joy and being sick, I don't know, let's talk afterward because that's strange. Like there's nothing to be happy about in being sick. being sick is not a good thing, it's a mark of the fall. it's something that when Jesus renews all things, it's not going to be a part of reality anymore. You don't get happy about being sick, but you can be happy still while you're sick. Because you can be sitting there and saying, my circumstances are that I'm sick. Or you could be sitting there and saying, my circumstances are that I'm somebody who's sick, who is forgiven of all of their sins, who has heaven waiting for them. who has God as my Father, the Spirit indwelling me, Jesus as my Savior, a church family, a warm bed, cool water, all these, but those are my circumstances and that dwarfs this one temporary circumstance of being sick? People who are filled with joy are able to be happy even when plans go wrong, because their core circumstances are solidly in place, even when the temporary circumstances aren't.

Dan Franklin: [00:28:49] The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. And when we think of peace, harmony would probably be a good word for us to think of. Alright, harmony, because first of all, if we think of inner peace, we could just think of like, well, it's when I don't feel all this internal conflict like I'm at odds with myself or things like that. And then it can also go into saying, well, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ because of His sacrifice we're not at odds with God. He's our father, and we're his children? And then it could go even further than that because most times in the New Testament that the word peace is used, it's not referring to inner peace, it's referring to harmony with one another.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:30] That's probably what Paul means here actually, is harmony with one another. What Paul is talking about is the kind of person who is led by the Spirit, that the Spirit has left his mark on their lives, is the sort of person who is an agent of harmony wherever they go. You can be an agent of harmony, or you can be an agent of conflict and chaos wherever you go. Think about that, you probably all know certain people that if you work with them, and they show up, you're just like, oh, boy. Like, get ready, we're just going to need to weather this, hopefully, they'll be gone in a couple of hours, and they'll be back in their office. But while they're out here, we've just got to kind of walk on eggshells, we've got to be very careful, you never know what's going to happen.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:21] Some of you even have that in your home life, where you are just sort of like, okay, like maybe they'll be back in their room soon. Here's what I want you just to think about right now, what Paul is saying is the person who is marked by the Holy Spirit, the after picture is of someone that wherever they go, they're emanating harmony and they are an agent of harmony. And this means much more than the idea that, well, you're just sort of quiet and mousy and you're not making problems. He's not talking about a passive agent of peace; he's talking about an active agent of peace. You also probably know those people that if you work, when they walk into the office, you just sort of feel this sense of like everything's going to be okay. And I think, frankly, we probably all want to be those people that when we go home, everybody just sort of relaxes and says it's going to be okay. And part of what I want to say even in this is that when I'm talking about the home, I'm not talking about this just in terms of mom and dad, although there's a big burden for us in that, I'm talking about this in terms of kids and brothers and sisters and teenagers, I want you all to know you have the capability of within your home being an agent of peace that's going to be a blessing to everyone. That when you walk out of your room, or when you get home from school, that everybody in the home just sort of feels like it's going to be okay, there's going to be harmony. The person who is marked by the Holy Spirit is an agent of peace.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:52] Love, joy, peace, forbearance. And forbearance is sometimes translated as patience, and I love this because here's what the literal Greek word means here, what the literal Greek word means is anger a long way off, that's why I have the word long-tempered here. Now just follow me on this, the word doesn't mean anger is nowhere, there are appropriate times to get angry about injustice and about wrongs in the world, but that anger is a long way off. And one commentator used the word that I have up here now, he said we have a word for short tempered, for somebody with a short fuse. He says forbearance is long-tempered, it's not that the anger is not there, but it's going to take a long time to get to that anger.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:39] And before I say anything else, I just want to pause and say the same word for forbearance is used about God's attitude towards us. Did anybody just feel a wave of relief wash over you right there? Like, thank God that he is long tempered with me. Long tempered, some of us, there were different ones of these that when I was preparing, I was like, some of these are going to stand out, I think there's probably a lot of us that this one stands out to. For men and women, but just in conversations with men, man, anger is a way that the enemy really gets us as men. And the idea of having a long fuse, some of us are like, gosh, what would that be like to not just sort of be snapping off when something goes wrong, but to have me be the kind of person that it takes a lot to get there. That people are like, oh, no, no, like it's there, like, eventually, they will get upset, but it takes a lot to get there.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:38] I want to share a quick story. I didn't think of this until it was too late to ask this person's permission, but the person I'm about to talk about is part of our church family. It's a positive story about them, but I'm not going to say their name. But I was having a conversation with them, this was probably like five years ago, and I'd known him for at that point like five years, so I felt like I knew him pretty well. And he talked about how God had really led him through victory, over anger in his life. And honestly, when he said it, I kind of scoffed. I was like, you're not an angry guy. I was sort of like, what, at one point were you on the freeway and you honked and then you were like, oh, I shouldn't have done. It was just like, You're not an angry guy, some of us really deal with anger. And so I sort of wanted to shrug it off like, yeah, okay, I'm sure you used to be really angry. And he said, No, I used to be a really angry person, he said I used to get into regular physical fights with my brother. And I was like what, when you were nine? Like, come on, like who didn't have physical fights? And he said, no, when I was in my twenties. And I was like, Whoa! That's anger unchecked when you're at that point and that's happening. And the thing that stood out to me so much about it, was like I'm talking to this person who's telling me about this, and to me, it just seems silly. I'm like, there's no way that actually happened. It was hard to believe he was ever that guy, because of who he is now. Are you seeing the picture right now? This is the after picture.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:14] And the deal with the fruit of the Spirit, this is powerful that Paul uses this analogy. Because if you go and plant an apple tree and the next day, come out and be like, apples are growing on my tree, you don't, it's gradual. So even with this, the idea is not like, hey, we're going to walk by the Spirit, so this week, if you walk by the Spirit, we're going to come back next week and none of us will recognize each other, that is highly unlikely to happen. But for my friend that I'm talking about right here, if somebody who only knew him a couple of decades ago ran into him now, he would be unrecognizable because of the fruit of the Spirit in his life. Forbearance, are you somebody who's long tempered?

Dan Franklin: [00:35:57] Love, joy, peace, and forbearance, but will actually take the next two kind of in tandem, because kindness and goodness are similar. In fact, I don't know if you're this way, every time I read this list and I'm like kindness and goodness, it's Paul kind of stretching here, those sound like the same thing. And they're similar because they're both related to the idea of generosity, and with kindness, the emphasis is sort of on generosity when it's not requited. When you're being generous, not just with money, but sort of generosity of spirit with somebody who's not giving you that same generosity back, that's kindness. And then goodness is related to generosity also, but goodness also has the idea of being just morally admirable, that people admire you because of the way that you live, that you're easy to admire.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:50] Now a quick just kind of qualifier on this, if you walk with Jesus, according to Second Corinthians chapter 2, to some people you will be the aroma of life and they'll be drawn towards you, and to other people, you'll be the aroma of death and they'll be repelled by you because of the way that you're living. So the qualifier is, that there were people who were opponents o Jesus and he lived perfectly, so the idea of being easy to admire does not mean that everybody in your life will admire you.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:20] Quick story. A couple of decades ago, Karina and I were in student ministry, and there was this, I think at the time he was an eighth grader, there was an eighth-grade guy in our group that brought a friend. His friend's name was Ryan, he was totally unchurched, and didn't know anything about Jesus, and he brought him to youth group. And by the way, everything I'm about to tell you should be a little bit of a commercial, too, if you're in the high school group, bring your friends, you never know what God's going to do. And for all of us as adults, bring your friend, you never know what God's going to do. This kid didn't know the Gospel, didn't know anything, but came to faith in Jesus. He heard the Gospel the first time he was with us, and then sort of thought it over, he didn't just instantly embrace Jesus, but he embraced Jesus and man, his life changed. And his best friend was this gal who occasionally came to the junior high group, but she wasn't really that into it, she was still more in the atheist camp. And there was one time where Ryan came to me, and he said, I'm having a lot of conflicts with my friend with this girl, and could we do a phone call where you're helping us through this? So we had really great technology in the early 2000s, so we did this three-way phone call with the three of us. The only reason we could do it is because they were both in one home on different phones in the home, so that's how advanced we were. And we're talking, and they're talking about the different conflicts that they're having and all of the conflicts that they're having are because there are things that Ryan no longer feels comfortable doing that he used to do. There are ways that he used to talk, but he's not talking anymore. And at one point, this gal just said to me, she said, he's a completely different person. He's a completely different person, I can barely even recognize him. And she's seeing this as a problem, and I'm just smiling. I'm like, he's a completely different person the Holy Spirit has gotten a hold of his life. And even though she was looking at this like, I don't know what to do, this was a sign that he had become an admirable person because the Spirit had led him to this newness of kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:23] Faithfulness means that you're a person of your word, that if you say that you're going to do something, people know it's going to get done. This is why faithful is even used as a way that we talk about marriage, that you're faithful to your spouse because you're keeping your vows to them, are you a person of your word.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:40] And the last two go in tandem also, with gentleness and self-control, because both of them have to do with restraint. Gentleness is actually related to the Greek word for tame, like with an animal. And it has to do with the idea that the way that you treat other people, you're restrained. They might deserve an attack, but you're restrained with them. And by the way, another quick note, gentleness is another characteristic used of how Jesus treats us, breathe another sigh of relief right now. Restrained towards others.

Dan Franklin: [00:40:14] And then self-control has to do with the idea of being restrained toward temptations. Can you walk up and see that temptation towards instant gratification and keep walking? Or every time you're presented with it, are you just easy pickings for the enemy? This is the after picture, not the task list, this is the after picture. And in fact, if you have an open Bible, there's one thing that Paul says after this list, he says, "Against such things, there is no law." Which is a weird thing to say, because you're like, of course, there's no law against faithfulness, you don't even need to say it. But what Paul is doing is he's talked about the Spirit and the flesh, and he's also talked about the Spirit and the law. What Paul is saying is you don't get this just by following rules, you get this because the Holy Spirit has transformed you from the inside out.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:17] Now here's the deal, we're going to have an opportunity to respond to this, and after I explain what we're going to do, I am going to invite the band to come back out here. But let me just explain this, so here's the deal, it would be easy for us to look at this and say, all right, I got nine things, now I'm going to kind of do some self-evaluation. So I'm going to look at these, maybe three of them, I'm like, yeah, I'm doing pretty well there. Three others, I'm like, I'm not doing as well as I'd like. And three, you're like, I'm stinking it up there. And so the whole point, what I need to do, is I need to bring my averages up in some of these areas where it's low. It would be very natural for us to say, all right, look at this list of nine, identify the one you're bad at, and then spend this next week trying to get better at it. That would be if this was a task list, but it's not a task list, so we're going to do something different.

Dan Franklin: [00:42:07] And in fact, as I'm explaining this, I want to invite any pastors, elders, and prayer team members to go ahead and come up and come to both sides of the stage right now. And if you start to see us being overrepresented on one side or the other, let's spread it out. I also just want to invite, if you look up there if you're a Bible study leader, a Celebrate Recovery leader, Exit 83 leader, and you're like, I think they could use a few more people, go ahead and join them up there because we would love to have a lot of people here.

Dan Franklin: [00:42:35] Here's what we're going to do, I am going to ask you to look at this list and say which one am I grieved that the gap is large between who I meant to be and who I am right now? Where am I grieved over the gap, just saying I want to be that person with the long fuse, but I'm not. I want to be an agent of peace, but I'm an agent of drama. I want to be somebody with joy, but people are constantly telling me, like, yeah, you just bring the room down, you find the negative and everything. In what area are you grieved over the gap? And instead of saying, hey, next week, be more patient, next week be more joyful, find a way. What we want to do right now is we want to bring our issues to the source and say, God, please through your Spirit, bring this newness. I want the joy, and I don't have it, please bring the joy. I want the forbearance, and I don't have it, please bring the forbearance. I can't do it, but you can do it.

Dan Franklin: [00:43:43] And these prayer team members are up here because during this next song that we're going to sing, which is about the idea that God is the way maker who paves the way for us, at any point during this song, I want to invite you just to come out of your seat and come to one of these members of the prayer team. And you don't have to say much, all you can say to them is, you know what? I want more joy. And they're just going to pray with you. I want more forbearance. I want more faithfulness. I just, I want this so badly, only God can do this.

Dan Franklin: [00:44:11] And here's the deal, you can do that in your seat, God is with you. But we're a family, we are a church family, and there's something powerful about having two prayers going up instead of one prayer going up, and you saying out loud, I want more of this.

Dan Franklin: [00:44:26] So what I'd love to happen during this next song, I'd love to see a line, I'd love to see our prayer team members get overwhelmed. In fact, some of you might have noticed on the way in, that we removed the front row. Some of you got here and we're like, oh, my gosh, where do I sit? But we removed the front row because we said we want to see God do something, and we want to just prepare our space because we believe that God wants us to be a church where we look like that after picture, and that's only going to happen if we are desperate enough for the Holy Spirit that He works this in our lives. So let's respond now by crying out and singing to the way maker, and let's respond by at any point during these songs coming straight to one of these prayer members and crying out to the Holy Spirit for new life.

Dan Franklin: [00:45:11] Let me just briefly pray for us, Father, please do a deep work by your Spirit. Lead us to be people who shine your light brightly and lead us to be people who experience the joy and the freedom and the newness of your Holy Spirit in us. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848