Birthdays: Mike Lee – Oct. 24th. – Jim Casey – Oct. 27th.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
The fruit of the Spirit is that fruit of grace planted by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of God’s people in our regeneration and conversion (new birth). The Holy Spirit plants this fruit from the life of Christ who is “the vine” (John 15:1-8; cf., Rom. 7:4). This fruit is the result of His death on the cross to put away our sin(s) by the sacrifice of Himself. It is the fruit of grace, of life, of righteousness from Christ. Although planted within us by the Holy Spirit, this fruit is not yet perfect and complete as it grows and evidences itself within sinners saved by grace. We have to cultivate this fruit with prayer and with the Word of God, but within the limitations of our human infirmities and against the sinful yearnings of our sinful flesh and the evil works motivated by sin and self (Gal. 5:16-21). The fruit of the Spirit in no way or degree makes up our righteousness before God. That place belongs to Christ and Him alone. The fruit of the Spirit, however, evidences and adorns our standing before God in Christ. As we seek to walk after the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, we realize that we are “not under the law” (Gal. 5:18). We are not condemned by the law because there is no condemnation IN CHRIST, and we are not obligated to the law in order to attain or maintain salvation. Christ is the “end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4). So the fruit of the Spirit is not the product of the law but the product of God’s grace in Christ.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
FOR THE UNGODLY!
"Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6
To redeem poor sinners, Jesus came down from heaven, put on the rags of our mortality, agonized, bled, died. Jesus is made His people's substitute, burden-bearer, sin-remover, guilt-sustainer. Their debt is placed to His account. His riches pay the full amount. Sin is removed from the sinner, and placed on the Sinless! Their curse is rolled on Him, and He endures it, until no more remains! God deals with Jesus as the guilty one! He, as spotless Deity, receives imputed sins, and fully expiates them all. In the vicarious victim, God's justice is satisfied, and wrath expires! Jesus, in His life, in the garden, on the cross suffers their sufferings, dies their death, and so becomes their uttermost salvation! His pains are their pardon! His stripes are their healing! His agony is their recovery! "Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6
A GOD THAT CANNOT SAVE
Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.Isaiah 45:20
On almost every hand there is someone wanting to pray for you, put you on their prayer list, and telling you they are praying for you. I desire the prayers of all God's true people and appreciate any of them praying for me! But God contrasts such believing people, calling them "ye that are escaped of the nations" to those who worship idols of their own making and thus "pray unto a god that cannot save." How worthless is a god that cannot save! Oh that men and women could see that a god of their own making is like them and surely cannot save them. Worshipping or praying to an idol, no matter how sincere or confident one might be, does not give a helpless idol any ability! So the one praying and the idol are just alike: "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them." (Psalms 115:4-8)What is the difference between idol gods and the true God? The idol gods "cannot save" and the true God "hath saved us." "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," (2Tim. 1:9) The false god is characterized by inability AND INJUSTICE. He, according to his foolish creators, would take many to heaven who are unrighteous based on something they do or don't do. He would also send others to hell for whom Christ died since he says Christ died for everyone! The One true and living God, follows His exposure of the idol gods with the revelation of His singular, saving Self: "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me." (Isaiah 45:21) All who would "escape the nations" given over to idolatry must be saved by the One "just God and Savior" who saves only in Christ crucified! Christ saved His people from their sins by dying as their Surety and Substitute! Can you hear HIM? "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:22) Stop worshipping and praying to a god who cannot save and look to God in the crucified Christ!