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                              WHAT is the fruit of the Spirit?

                                    "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentle- ness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Galatians 5:22,                                      23.

What are the works of the flesh?

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adul- tery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy- ings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like." Verses 19-21.

    NoTE.—The evils here mentioned are a close parallel to the lists found in Matthew 15:18, 19; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:29-31; and 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

How may the works of the flesh be avoided?

"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16.

THE FRUIT OF LOVE

By what is the love of God shed abroad in the heart?

"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:5.

What is love declared to be?

"And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." Colossians 3:14, R.V.

By what does genuine faith work?

"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6.

What does love do?

"Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins." Proverbs 10:12. "Have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8.

In what way does love manifest itself?

"Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunt- eth not itself, is not puffed up, doth _not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil." 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, R.V.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Of what does the kingdom of God consist?

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteous- ness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17.

    NOTE.—It is the Christian's privilege to have righteousness, peace, and joy—a righteousness which is of God by faith (Romans 3:21, 22); a peace that passeth understanding (Philippians 4:7), which the world can neither give nor take away; and a joy that rejoices evermore (I Thessalonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4).

GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH

What does God's gentleness do for us?

"Thy gentleness hath made me great." Psalms 18:35.

What spirit should we show toward others?

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men." 2 Timothy 2:24.

What does the goodness of God do?

"Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4.

How should we treat those who have wronged us?

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head." Romans 12:19, 20.

How does faith determine our standing with God?

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him! for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6.

MEEKNESS AND TEMPERANCE

How does God regard the meek and quiet spirit?

"Whose. adorning . . . let it be the hidden man of the heart, . . . even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Peter 3:3, 4.

In our Christian growth and experience, what is to accom- pany faith, courage, and knowledge?

"Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance." 2 Peter 1:5, 6.

    NOTE.—One of the briefest and best definitions of temperance is self- control. The word in the text means much more than mere abstinence from intoxicating drinks—the limited sense now frequently given to it. It means control, strength, power, or ascendancy over exciting and evil passions of all kinds. It denotes the self-rule which the overcomer or converted man has over the evil propensities of his nature. Commenting on this passage, Dr. Albert Barnes says: "The influences of the Holy Spirit on the heart make a man moderate in all indulgences; teach him to restrain his passions, and to govern himself."

How highly is he commended who controls his spirit?

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Proverbs 16:32.

FROM CONDEMNATION TO PEACE

What is said of all these different virtues?

"Against such there is no law." Galatians 5:23, last clause.

    NoTE.—The law condemns sin. But all these things, being virtues, are in harmony with the law. They are produced by the Spirit; and the law, which is spiritual, cannot, therefore, condemn them. From what condemnation does the leading of this Spirit save us? "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Verse 18.

To what unity are Christians exhorted?

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:3.

 

SPIRIT of life, and light, and love,

Thy heavenly influence give;

Quicken our souls, our guilt remove,

That we in Christ may live.

His love within us shed abroad,

Life's ever-springing well;

Till God in us, and we in God,

In love eternal dwell.

—THOMAS HAWEIS

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