Fruit Of The Spirit | Faithfulness

The Importance of Actions in One's Walk with God

In this sermon, part of the 'Fruit of the Spirit' series, we will explore the significance of actions over feelings in our relationship with God. We will examine Galatians 5:13-26 to understand how our actions reflect our connection to the Holy Spirit. Additionally, we will address the dangers of idolatry and sorcery, emphasizing the need for true worship and reliance on God alone.

Ultimately, our relationship with God is not determined by how strongly we feel His presence at a given moment. Instead, it is rooted in our willingness to follow His teachings and demonstrate our faith through our actions.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no biblical basis for the idea of feeling God's presence.

In today's culture, many people associate spirituality with intense emotions and a strong sense of God's presence. However, when we examine the Bible, we find that there is no explicit teaching that suggests we should rely solely on our feelings to determine our connection to God. Instead, the Bible encourages us to focus on our actions and how they align with the teachings of the Holy Spirit.

Determining our connection to God through our actions

Galatians 5:13-26 provides valuable insight into how our actions reflect our relationship with God. This passage reminds us that as Christians, we are called to love and serve one another. It emphasizes the importance of living a life guided by the Holy Spirit rather than our own selfish desires.
By examining our attitudes and behaviors, we can gain a clearer understanding of whether we are actively walking with God or merely relying on fleeting emotions. Our actions are a tangible expression of our faith, and they have the power to impact not only our relationship with God but also the lives of those around us.

Aligning our actions with the teachings of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in shaping our character and guiding our actions. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, we are empowered to demonstrate the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that are described in Galatians 5:22-23.

It is essential to regularly assess our actions and ensure that they align with these qualities. Are we showing love and kindness to those around us? Do we practice self-control and patience, even in challenging circumstances? These are the indicators of a genuine connection with God, rather than relying on fleeting feelings or emotions.

Living a life of faith in action Distinctive Behavior

Ultimately, our relationship with God is not determined by how strongly we feel His presence at a given moment. Instead, it is rooted in our willingness to follow His teachings and demonstrate our faith through our actions. True spirituality is not confined to a fleeting feeling but is seen in a life lived according to the principles and values taught in the Bible.

Let us remember that actions speak louder than feelings. As we strive to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit, may our actions reflect the love and grace of God, bringing light and inspiration to those around us.

Works of the Flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:13-26 provides us with a clear distinction between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. It serves as a guide for believers to examine their own actions and discern whether they are being led by the Holy Spirit or indulging in sinful behaviors.

The Works of the Flesh

The works of the flesh are characterized as behaviors that are contrary to the desires of the Holy Spirit. They are self-centered, destructive, and rooted in worldly desires. Paul lists several specific works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21:

1.  Sexual immorality: This encompasses any sexual activity outside the boundaries of a committed marital relationship
2. Impurity: Refers to moral corruption and defilement of the mind, heart, and body
3. Idolatry: Worshiping anything or anyone other than the one true God.
4. Sorcery: Involves practicing magic or seeking supernatural powers apart from God
5. Enmity: Hatred, animosity, or opposition toward others.
6. Strife: Engaging in conflicts, quarrels, and disputes.
7. Jealousy: Feeling resentment or envy towards others' achievements or possessions.
8. Fits of anger: Uncontrolled outbursts of rage or wrath
9. Rivalries: Competitive and self-seeking behaviors that undermine unity
10. Dissensions: Causing divisions and disagreements among believers
11. Factions: Promoting the formation of exclusive groups that foster disunity
12. Envy: Desiring what others have and feeling displeasure or resentment towards them
13. Drunkenness: Excessive consumption of alcohol leading to loss of self-control.
14. Orgies: Participation in wild and indulgent celebrations that often involve sexual promiscuity.

These works of the flesh are destructive to both individuals and relationships. They hinder our spiritual growth and distance us from the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, represents the godly characteristics and virtues that are produced by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Paul mentions these in Galatians 5:22-23:

1. Love: Unconditional and selfless love for God and others
2. Joy: Inner contentment and gladness that comes from a relationship with God.
3. Peace: Harmony, tranquility, and freedom from anxiety or conflict.
4. Patience: Endurance, perseverance, and forbearance in the face of difficulties.
5. Kindness: Acting with consideration, generosity, and compassion towards others.
6. Goodness: Moral integrity, virtue, and uprightness in character and behavior.
7. Faithfulness: Dependability, loyalty, and trustworthiness.
8. Gentleness: Meekness, humility, and a gentle spirit in dealing with others.
9. Self-control: Discipline and moderation in thoughts, words, and actions.

These qualities reflect the nature and character of God. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we bear the fruit of the Spirit, becoming more Christlike and impacting the world around us.

By examining our actions and attitudes, we can evaluate whether we are walking in the Spirit or indulging in the works of the flesh. It is essential to recognize any areas of our lives where we may be lacking in displaying the fruit of the Spirit, and strive to align our behaviors and attitudes with God's Word.

The Dangers of Idolatry and Sorcery

In today's society, idolatry and sorcery have become prevalent temptations that many individuals struggle with. It is crucial to understand the consequences of worshiping anything other than God, as it essentially amounts to self-worship.

As believers, we are discouraged from the use of icons, candles, and other objects for prayer, as they are not supported by scripture. These practices can often distract us from building a genuine and intimate relationship with God. Instead, we should focus on cultivating a spiritual connection through prayer, reading His Word, and seeking His guidance.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that practices like fortune-telling, palm reading, and horoscopes are nothing more than fabricated tools with a demonic backing. These attempts to predict the future or gain insight into our lives go against the principles of trust, faith, and reliance on God.

True worship and reliance on God alone are essential for our spiritual growth and well-being. By placing our trust and confidence in Him, we acknowledge His sovereignty and acknowledge that He is the only one worthy of our worship.
By adhering to these principles, we guard ourselves against the dangers of idolatry and sorcery. We protect our hearts from being led astray by false teachings, deceptive practices, and the allure of supernatural knowledge.

It is important to remember that our faith should be guided by the wisdom found in God's Word. We are called to seek His face and build a personal relationship with Him. In doing so, we can discern what is pleasing to Him and avoid the temptations that lead to idolatry and sorcery.

Let us remain steadfast in our devotion to God and resist the allure of worldly practices that seek to distract us from His truth. As we continue to grow in our faith, let us encourage others to recognize the dangers of idolatry and sorcery and strive for a genuine and authentic worship of the one true God.

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