Follow Along with the entire Sermon Series: The Jesus Adventure
The Way of Life will conclude the series we’ve been calling, The Jesus Adventure. It began in January looking at Jesus’ proclamation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” The kingdom of God is the world put right. Jesus’ real presence in the world brings the kingdom of God into our experience when we repent (turn away from our personal kingdom building) and follow him into the kingdom he has prepared (by believing the gospel, which is his life, death and resurrection that works our forgiveness and eternal life). Therefore, we are called to repent and believe. We are equipped by the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus. We are sent out into the world as living testimonies that the kingdom is present and accessible to all by faith in Jesus. And we are restored again and again as we fail to follow consistently. To embed the pattern of Called → Equipped → Sent → and Restored we have explored The Way of Worship, The Way of Wisdom, The Way of Service, and The Way of Fellowship. Now it’s time to put all the pieces together and see what it looks like in The Way of Life. In this series we will explore the fruit of the Spirit listed by Paul in his letter to the Galatians, Chapter 5, Verse 22-23: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Sunday, October 6 – Attributes are words that describe something. When you take all God’s attributes together you quickly discover that God is completely and remarkably different. There is nothing, or no one like God. He is one of a kind. The Bible uses the word “holy” to capture the one-of-a-kind uniqueness of God. At the very core of His being, the defining attribute of God is love. In the beginning God created us male and female in his own image (Genesis 1:27). That means that we were created to reflect the character and attributes of God. The fruit of the Spirit make up the attributes of God. The holiness of God was placed in us when he created us. And first on the list is love.
Sunday, October 13 – “The fruit of the Spirit” is singular, not plural. This is not a potluck where some have love, others have joy, and still others peace. The attributes listed in Galatians 5 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) are all different dimensions and aspects of THE fruit of the Spirit. This Way of Life series is like holding a diamond up to light and looking at one brilliant facet after another, each reflecting the light of the gemstone. Joy is often confused with happiness. But happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is the ability to have hope, confidence, and courage, regardless of the circumstances. The joy we have comes from our identity and ultimate security in Jesus Christ.
Sunday, October 20 – “The peace of God that passes all human understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting.” These are the words often spoken at the end of a sermon as a blessing on the message that has been delivered. Peace with God is the mighty work of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that is proclaimed in our preaching. The peace of God is the frame of heart and mind that let’s us approach the Jesus Adventure with humble, bold confidence. The peace of God comes as you believe more and more that “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 ESV).
Sunday, October 27 – On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Thesis to door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. That set off what has come to be known as the Reformation of the Christian Church. Today we celebrate that momentous event by continuing our study of the fruit of the Spirit with a look at patience. Patience is the ability to remain poised, even when life is not going the way you want and expect it to go. It is not simple stoicism, which is only a human determination to turn off one’s emotions and not allow anything to bother you. The one who is patient feels frustration and anger but has learned that God’s ways are not our ways, neither are his thoughts, our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
Sunday, November 3 – On the Jesus Adventure we are equipped by the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus in every facet of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22). Right in the middle is kindness. Kindness is practical generosity, not just the feelings of love, but putting your time and talent and money where your heart is. Kindness in the Bible is an attitude that sees every human being as unrepeatable miracle of God and invests in his or her wellbeing. Kindness is meeting a person’s real needs through your deeds.
Goodness and Faithfulness
Sunday, November 10 – Goodness and faithfulness are very closely linked to one another. Goodness is consistency. Faithfulness is dependability. Both are characteristics of a life of honesty and integrity. God alone is the source of all truth and our struggle to live with integrity, to be consistent and dependable in all circumstances, is born out of our inability to fear, love, and trust in Him above all things. On the Jesus Adventure we learn again and again to be honest with ourselves and remember that God’s love for us in Christ is the one consistent, dependable truth that heals our lives and makes us whole again.
Sunday, November 17 – Gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit is the same word Jesus uses in the Beatitudes when he says, “Blessed are the meek.” Far from being weak, meekness or gentleness, is the strength to suffer insult and injury in this life and not retaliate in anger, not become vengeful and bitter. Such strength is only possible to one who knows who they are, where they are going, and what their purpose is. Who are we? Dearly loved and forgiven sons and daughters of God. Where are we going? We are following Jesus as he seeks to make things right in this world through faith in him until he comes again we will enter the perfectly restored New Heaven and New Earth. What is our purpose? We are sent to be lights shining in the darkness of this present age beckoning and guiding all to come follow Jesus.
Sunday, November 24 – Self-control is the last on the list of the fruit of the Spirit. Sometimes it seems like it’s the last to show up. But remember that the fruit of the Spirit is singular. They all work together. Self-control is power and mastery over yourself. It is sometimes confused with simple willpower. However biblical self-control comes not by making yourself the master of your life, but making Jesus your master. On the Jesus Adventure, self-control grows as we spend more and more time with Jesus in the word and surround ourselves with friends following Jesus too.