On Sunday I was preaching on 1 Samuel 10:1-16 and focused on the gift of God’s Spirit which was to have not a small impact on Saul. Verse 6 says Saul will be changed into a different person! With the context of ch. 9 behind and ch. 11 in front; we see that Saul indeed was changed from a hopeless handsome into a hero.
In the sermon I sought to show that this same Spirit was on Jesus (Matt 3-4), his disciples (Acts 1), and then to us (Acts 2:38-39)! That is some good news which gives us the very real hope of change within our own lives. I ended with the fruits of the Spirit which we then expect to observe within the follower of Jesus. Following the insight of Tim Keller I sought to show that two fruits, Love and Joy, had opposite fruits and also fake fruits. I didn’t have time to draw this out for all the fruits so here is the set taken from Keller’s study on Galatians.
Love: Joyfully serving another for their good, not to get something in return.
- Opposite: Fear leading to self-protection resulting in the harm of others.
- Counterfeit: Affection shown to others for selfish reasons. Attraction to others for how they make you feel. Helping others to feel good about yourself.
Joy: Delighting in the beauty of God and the salvation he gives us in Christ even in difficult times of loss, disappointment, and pain.
- Opposite: Despair and a lack of hope.
- Counterfeit: Excitement and happiness that exists only when things are good leading to mood swings. Happiness not in God but in what he brings.
Peace: Confident assurance that God is for us, that he is wise, and that he is in control rather than trust in ourselves.
- Opposite: Worry and anxiety.
- Counterfeit: Apathy that does not grieve over the difficulty.
Patience: Suffering joyfully and not becoming angry at God when his timing doesn’t match our own.
- Opposite: Bitterness and resentment toward God that manifests itself in agitation or outright expressions of anger with others.
- Counterfeit: Self-righteous cynicism that pretends concern is unspiritual.
Kindness: Sincere vulnerability that involves empathy, compassion, and help.
- Opposite: The inability to rejoice in the good happening to others.
- Counterfeit: Helping others in an attempt to control other people marked by promotion of self and pride.
Goodness: Honesty, openness, and consistency in all contexts of life.
- Opposite: Hypocrisy, phoniness, and insincerity.
- Counterfeit: Being honest in an insensitive way without love. Insincerity that pretends to be sincere.
Faithfulness: Loyalty, reliability, and courage based on convictions and not on practical benefit leading to loving confrontation when it is right.
- Opposite: Opportunistic living that swings from committed to absent.
- Counterfeit: Being ‘loving’ without any concern for truth. Being loyal out of self-righteous pride leading to an unwillingness to address wrongs.
Gentleness: Not thinking of yourself highly so that you are sensitive to the needs of others.
- Opposite: Thinking you are superior leading to self-absorption and self-promotion that crushes others.
- Counterfeit: Insecurity that is self-absorbed so that words of self-deprecation are said so that others affirm us.
Self-control: Staying focused on the important things rather than what is urgent.
- Opposite: Impulsive living in the moment.
- Counterfeit: Using willpower to stay disciplined resulting in pride over your accomplishment.
The obvious question then is how do I grow in the true fruit of the Spirit? Certainly it’s not complete over night! However, God’s word (gospel revelation), God’s people (gospel enacted in community) and God’s Spirit itself convincing us of sin and the righteousness that we have freely in Christ–will all play a part. His love is to inform my Love; his joy is to inform m joy; his peace my peace; his patience my patience; his for kindness my kindness; his goodness my goodness; his faithfulness my faithfulness; his gentleness my gentleness; and his self-control my self-control. Not only his he the model/example but by deeply experiencing each of these fruits of Jesus towards me I’m going to be changed! Praise God for his Spirit.