I am very grateful to having been given the opportunity to lead a bible study and lead a ministry. Through it I have been learning a ton about how truly self centered I am, and how much I desire the approval of others. I’m thankful that I am in an uncomfortable situation right now, because I think that means God is growing me.
We’ve just finished our first month of our study through the Fruits of the Spirit and this last week we hit Ecclesiastes 1, as we try to make it through the whole book this year. I just wanted to share a couple things that I’ve been learning as we study through these truths.
The first is that in Gal 5:22, Paul lists the fruit of the spirit, which we are all probably familiar with, but the interesting thing here is that Paul uses the singular noun Fruit, in the Greek, and then goes on to list 9 different fruits. I was listening to Tim Keller preach on this text and he makes the point that because of that, we as Christians, are growing in all the fruits at once, not just one or two. He cites Jonathan Edwards monumental work “Religious Affections” in expounding upon this notion. Edwards says that a great many of the Fruits can be faked, but one evidence of true Religious Affections, or we could say conversion, is that we are growing in all the areas.
I think that is a pertinent question for all of us to be asking. Are we growing in Love? Peace? Patience? Joy?…If not, are we viewing Jesus Christ correctly? Are we seeing his magnifying beauty in light of the ugliness of our sin? In truth, the root of all the fruits is the Gospel. The more we gaze and wonder at the glory of the Cross of Christ the more we become like Him. It is an interesting study given Ecclesiastes chapter 1, which teaches that life itself is meaningless without God. And so maybe it is not so much the “work” that we are doing, but more so, the work God is doing in us!