July 29, 2018 AM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1855
#1 in series
The Fruit of the Spirit: Love
Galatians 5:22, 23
In this series, we’re going to study nine character traits of people who walk intimately with Christ. These characteristics move us from a life of self-centeredness to being others centered.
“No ethic (character trait) can be imposed on an obstinate will. . . . This (developing a Christian ethic or character) cannot happen except by individual willingness to surrender.” – Donald Guthrie
I. KINGDOM ATTITUDES DON'T JUST HAPPEN
We need to start with the basics:
1) Christianity is not a __.
2) Christianity is a __.
3) Christianity is a new way of __, not a modified way of __.
4) Christianity is __ to do what we cannot do.
5) Christianity is a __ – changed morals, emotions, values, mind, and behavior.
6) Christianity is a __ between ourselves and God.
II. WHERE DO KINGDOM ATTITUDES START?
In a world where people use words but change the meaning, we must understand the divine intent of words like “love.” In the Greek language, three key words were used to speak of love.
1) Eros is not found in the New Testament. It is the word from which we get our word “erotic,” clearly a sexual term. To use the word “love” in a sensual or sexual sense, outside of marriage, is to be completely worldly in our thinking.
2) Phileo, from which we get our word “Philadelphia” or “philanthropy,” is a word related to companionship and friendship. It has connotations of mutual feelings. The problem is that this love is limited, often to feelings and emotions.
3) Agape describes God’s love for us and the love God looks for from us. Agape is the fruit of the Spirit. It is agape that is directed toward God, neighbors, and enemies. It is seeking the well-being of others, regardless of their merit or your cost.
“True devotion...presupposes not a partial but a thorough love of God. . . . When it has arrived at that degree of perfection by which it not only makes us do well but also work diligently, frequently, and readily, then it is called devotion.” – Francis de Sales (1567-1633, “An Introduction to the Devout Life”)