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  1. EATING ROTTEN FRUIT?
    14 Jun, 2018
    EATING ROTTEN FRUIT?
    I love this time of year because I love fresh fruit—cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, strawberries—I love them all!However, every so often there’s a rotten piece in the package.I generally either cut away the bad part or just throw the whole thing away.No one likes to eat rotten fruit.  The passage I want to consider this week has to do with fruit—not the fruit of our lives, but the fruit of our mouth.It is found in Proverbs 18:20-21: With the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach
  2. THE SEAL OF GOD
    11 Jun, 2018
    THE SEAL OF GOD
    The final symbol we will examine in this series is the Holy Spirit as the seal of God.  Just as a shepherd brands his sheep with his own seal, so the Lord places a seal upon us to mark His ownership in our lives. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB) In Him, you also, after listening to the
  3. Gentle as a Dove
    04 Jun, 2018
    Gentle as a Dove
    The symbol of the Holy Spirit that we will cover this week is that of the dove.    All four gospels confirm this symbolic picture for us at Jesus’ baptism: After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water ; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matt. 3:16-17 NASB) Although closely related, there is a marked
  4. THE FIRE OF GOD
    28 May, 2018
    THE FIRE OF GOD
    The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost not just like wind but also as fire!  When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place…. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 NASB) John the Baptist anticipated the coming of the Holy Spirit when he taught the multitudes about
  5. SPIRIT WIND
    21 May, 2018
    SPIRIT WIND
    This week as we continue our study of the symbols of the Holy Spirit, let’s examine the Holy Spirit as the wind of God.  The Greek and Hebrew words translated “spirit” (ruach in Hebrew and pneuma in Greek) are also translated “wind” or “breath.”    In fact the Greek word pneuma is translated: Spirit                           111 times Holy Spirit                  89 times Spirit of God               13 times Spirit of the Lord        5 times Spirit of Truth             3 times Spirit of Christ
  6. THE WATER OF THE SPIRIT
    14 May, 2018
    THE WATER OF THE SPIRIT
    This coming Sunday we will celebrating Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came in power to the believers in the Upper Room.  This was not the first time we see the Holy Spirit working in Scripture. In fact, He was involved from the very beginning: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.  Genesis 1:1-2 (NASB) Although the Holy
  7. YOUR MOTIVATIONAL GIFT
    30 Apr, 2018
    YOUR MOTIVATIONAL GIFT
    The last category of gifts the Apostle Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 12 are called “effects” which are given by the Father. They energize us or bring about a certain effect. They are listed in Romans 12:3-8: For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have
  8. THE FIVE-FOLD GIFTS
    23 Apr, 2018
    THE FIVE-FOLD GIFTS
    The second category of gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 is the ministries (diakonia) that Jesus gives to the Church.  This category of gifts is very different from those given by the Holy Spirit.  They are listed for us by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.  Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." ……. He who descended is Himself
  9. MANIFESTING THE SPIRIT
    16 Apr, 2018
    MANIFESTING THE SPIRIT
    If you have read anything about the three kinds of gifts God gives (Motivational Gifts, Ascension Gifts, Gifts of the Spirit), you will know the Gifts of the Spirit has produced the most dissension within the Body of Christ.   These gifts seem to be foolishness to the natural mind, but to those who are spiritual, they are an imperative part of the witness and ministry of the Body of Christ.  They should not just be tolerated, but desired.  We would be presumptuous to believe that we could
  10. THREE KINDS OF GIFTS
    09 Apr, 2018
    THREE KINDS OF GIFTS
    Many Christians become perplexed when they begin to study gifts in the New Testament.When we look at the lists of gifts in various passages, we find that these lists differ.Confusion arises when we assume that we are only talking about one kind or category of gift.After a careful look at the Word, we find that this assumption is not correct.Paul helps us sort this out as we read a portion from his letter to the Corinthians: Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be
  11. SELF MANAGEMENT OR SELF-CONTROL?
    04 Apr, 2018
    SELF MANAGEMENT OR SELF-CONTROL?
    The final aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control or as the King James Version translates it “temperance.”  Temperance can be a misleading term because today we associate it with sobriety.  The Temperance Movement which began in the 19th century almost exclusively dealt with banning alcohol. But the word translated “self-control” in most of our bibles is the Greek word enkrateia which means “possessing power, being strong and having mastery or possession of.”  It is a compound word en
  12. A SEAT AT THE TABLE
    26 Mar, 2018
    A SEAT AT THE TABLE
    One of the most beloved paintings of all time is DaVinci’s “Last Supper.”  It is the painter’s impression of what Jesus’ final Passover meal with his disciples looked like.  DaVinci is a Renaissance painter and portrayed Jesus and the disciples sitting around a table as was used in his day.  However, we must be reminded that paintings are not photographs and this portrayal his far from accurate. In Jesus’ day, they did not sit on chairs around a table like we do, but reclined on couches which
  13. GENTLE AND MILD?
    19 Mar, 2018
    GENTLE AND MILD?
    The eighth characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is often translated “gentleness.”  The Greek word is praotes which means “meekness” or “forbearance.”  This is why the King James Version translates this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit as “meekness.”  Meekness or gentleness is often confused with weakness. However, the Greeks described meekness as a strong-willed horse restrained by its rider.  It is power under control. Gentleness is the ability to accept God’s dealings in our lives by
  14. GREAT FAITHFULNESS
    12 Mar, 2018
    GREAT FAITHFULNESS
    The last three aspects of the fruit of the Spirit are inward fruit which enrich ourselves in our relationship with God.  It has been translated “faith” but is more accurately “faithfulness.  Both terms come from the same Greek root.  It is the Greek word pistis.  Faithfulness is a confidence which produces fidelity.  It generates not only reliability, but sincerity.  It is reflected when we remain steadfast to our own values in every circumstance of life as well as in our relationship with God.
  15. DOING THE RIGHT THING
    05 Mar, 2018
    DOING THE RIGHT THING
    We use the term “good” all the time.  Something tastes good.  We have a good friend.  He does a good job. That was a good sermon. I read a good book.  The definition changes, depending on the context.  So goodness can have different connotations.  It can mean something that meets your expectation.  It can reflect morality as defined by God.  Or it can mean that I derive some benefit from whatever is good.  Goodness is the sixth facet of the fruit of the Spirit.  It is closely related to the
  16. TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS
    26 Feb, 2018
    TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS
    The fifth characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit is the Greek word chrestotes.  It is translated as “gentleness” in the King James Version and as “kindness” in many newer translations. This can create confusion as to what this word actually refers to.  The literal meaning of this Greek word is “useful” or “profitable.”   Kindness in the original language doesn’t refer to a weak person, but to someone who has a  “a forgiving disposition.”  This is the focus of chrestotes. The Apostle Paul
  17. LONG TEMPER
    19 Feb, 2018
    LONG TEMPER
    We have been exploring the facets of the fruit of the Spirit. The first three – love, joy and peace – are God-directed.   As we continue, we want to be reminded that the next three of these graces are man-directed.  So we must consider their meaning and function as it relates to our relationships with others. The first fruit listed in this second group of three is “patience.”  We often misunderstand this word in this context. But the word rendered “patience” in Galatians 5 is the Greek word
  18. Perfect Peace
    12 Feb, 2018
    Perfect Peace
    All you have to do is turn on the TV to find that peace is lacking all over the world.  Generally speaking, most people think of peace as a lack of hostility, harmony and tranquility among men.  But as we have already established, the first three fruit of the Spirit are “God-toward” rather than directed toward man.  If this is the case, we need to explore further what the peace fruit really is. In Greek, the word for peace is eirene which has many meanings including:” tranquility, health,
  19. The Fruit of Joy
    05 Feb, 2018
    The Fruit of Joy
    As we have already established in last week’s post, the fruit of the Spirit is the different facets of God’s character which is demonstrated in the life of a believer who is controlled by the Holy Spirit.  We know that the primary evidence of the fruit of the Spirit is love. The second dimension is closely related to it – that is joy (cf. Galatians 5:22). Joy is something that most everyone desires, but few experience.  We often substitute true joy for happiness. Happiness is dependent on

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