The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT
Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – PATIENCE #5
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against these things.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]
The Birth of John The Baptist Foretold
Luke 1:5 (NLT) says, “5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.
Let’s meditate on Luke 1:5, talks about a good historian should, and Luke gave his readers the historical setting. The story begins when Herod was king of Judea. This was Herod the Great, confirmed by the Roman Senate as king of the Jews but never accepted by the Jewish people as their king (although half-Jewish, Herod was not part of the royal line of David). For the Jews living in Judea, this was a time of oppression. Although they were not in slavery, they were not completely self-governing either. Herod had expanded and beautified the Jerusalem Temple, but he had placed a Roman eagle over the entrance and also had built pagan Temples. When he helped the Jews, it was for political purposes – not because he cared about them or their God. Evil and ruthless, Herod the Great later ordered a massacre of infants in a futile attempt to kill the infant Jesus, whom some were calling the new “king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2). Herod the Great ruled from 37–4 B.C.
Zechariah was a priest, a minister of God who worked at the Temple managing its upkeep, teaching the people the Scriptures, and directing the worship services. At this time there were about twenty thousand priests throughout the country. Priests were divided into twenty-four separate groups of about one thousand each, according to David’s instructions (1 Chronicles 24:3-19). Zechariah was a member of the order (or division) of Abijah. Each division served in the Jerusalem Temple twice each year for one week.
Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Elizabeth descended directly from Aaron, brother of Moses and Israel’s first high priest (Exodus 28:1). As a priest, Zechariah would have been required to marry a virgin Israelite, but not necessarily one from a priestly family. Zechariah was especially blessed to have a wife with such a background.
Let’s study on Luke 1: 6-7 > Zechariah and Elizabeth both were righteous in God’s eyes. This does not mean that they were sinless, but that they loved God and obeyed Him. But they had no children. To ancient readers, this would have seemed like a contradiction. Children were considered to be God’s greatest blessings. Certainly such God-fearing and God-honoring people as Zechariah and Elizabeth should have been blessed with children. But Elizabeth was barren. Not only that, but Luke adds the detail that they were both very old, meaning that they could not expect any change in their situation. For Elizabeth, being childless in old age would be painful and lonely; but during this time she remained faithful to God.
Luke 1:12-13 says, “Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. “
Let’s observe on Luke 1:12-13 > Angels are powerful beings, certainly awesome in their appearance. No wonder Zechariah was overwhelmed with fear. So the angel’s first words to him were, “don’t be afraid.” While Zechariah had been burning incense on the altar, he had also been praying, most likely for Israel’s deliverance and for the coming of the Messiah. The angel’s awesome words must have astounded him: “God has heard your prayer.” Then the angel made a seemingly unrelated statement: “Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son.” The angel even told Zechariah what to name the baby. John means “the LORD is gracious.” Through the birth of this son, God was gracious to Zechariah and Elizabeth, and ultimately to all people, for this son would prepare people’s hearts for the Messiah.
Paul’s Gratitude for God’s Mercy
1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT) says, “15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in Him and receive eternal life.
Let’s study on 1 Timothy 1:15 > This true saying is a nonnegotiable truth. We are not asked to consider, but to fully accept. We are invited to submit rather than question. This is truth and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Paul summarized and personalized the Good News: our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t come merely to show us how to live a better life or to challenge us to be better people. He came to offer us salvation that leads to eternal life. No matter how entrenched your sin, Our Lord Jesus Christ can save you. Have you accepted His offer?
Although Paul was a deeply religious Jew, zealous for his faith, he realized that in his ignorance, unbelief, and desire to destroy the Christian faith, he was indeed the worst of sinners. We think of Paul as a great hero of the faith, but Paul never saw himself that way because he remembered his life before he met Christ. Paul recognized both that he had been a sinner and that he was now saved by grace. He recognized his past, but did not wallow in it. Humility and gratitude should mark the life of every Christian. Never forget that you too are a sinner saved by grace.
Let’s meditate on 1 Timothy 3:16 > our Lord Jesus Christ came to this zealous persecutor, not striking Him with judgment (as some might expect), but offering Him mercy. Looking back, Paul realized our Lord Jesus’ great patience in dealing with him; and what an example of mercy Paul gave to us! Our Lord Jesus Christ offers us mercy; we too can come to Him, believe in Him, and receive forgiveness and eternal life.
The Future Glory
Romans 8:18-25 NLT says, “18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Let’s observe and study – before Romans 8:18, in verse 17 > Paul stated that believers will share in Christ’s sufferings. He completes that thought with this verse, concluding that the sufferings we now face are nothing compared to the glory He will give us later. The present suffering is temporary, while the future glory is eternal. Paul had written to the Corinthians, “For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Suffering is part of the process of sharing in Christ’s death; it will culminate in sharing His glory.
Let’s observe on Romans 8:19 > Human beings and the rest of creation presently face suffering, and both will be glorified in the future. When Adam sinned, God sentenced all of creation (Genesis 3:17). Since then, the world has suffered decay and pollution, largely because people have forgotten or ignored their responsibilities as stewards of the earth. The created order functions in spite of its flaws. But diseases, deformities, and suffering constantly remind us that all is not right with us or with the world. All creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. This will occur at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when He returns for His people. The entire universe is looking forward to the conclusion of God’s plan.
Let’s study on Romans 8:20-21 > When Adam sinned, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse; that is, to futility, change, and decay. Creation is cursed because it is unable to attain the purposes for which it was made. The perfect order in the world was marred by sin; therefore, fallen people had to live in a fallen world. Yet all creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Revelation 22 describes the future removal of the curse from the earth.
Adam and Eve were the first polluters of the environment when they sinned. Their act of rebellion affected the entire world. It has taken many centuries to realize the interrelatedness of this global village, but the Bible begins with that assumption. Having the same Creator links us with the rest of the created order. But as much as we do personally and corporately to clean up and care for the environment, we must realize that creation will require the same kind of transformation that we require in order to be set straight again.
We can meditate on Romans 8:22-23 > Paul pictures the fallen creation as groaning as in the pains of childbirth. Consider earthquakes, floods, fire, drought, famine, tornado, pandemic (especially what’s going on with coronavirus) – these are surely not what creation was meant to be, but sin and evil now rule. Just as the pains of childbirth end at the birth of the child, so the groaning and pain of the creation will end at the birth of the new earth. Creation groans and longs for its release and transformation into the new heaven and new earth. We as Born-Again Christians also groan to be released from pain and suffering, longing for our own release from the cycle of sin and decay (Romans 8:23). We long for redemption when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us. In this process we are not alone, for the Holy Spirit groans with us, expressing our unutterable longing to God and giving us a foretaste of future glory. But until the time of our release and redemption, we must groan, wait, and hope.
On Romans 8:24-25 > When we put our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, we are saved and we can eagerly look forward to the freedom we will have at our Lord Jesus Christ’s return. We already have the presence of the Holy Spirit, who is unseen, but we must eagerly wait for our new bodies, which are also unseen. Our full redemption has not yet happened; it will happen when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. That is why it is still a hope for us as Born-Again Christian believers. Our salvation is both present and future. It is present because the moment we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, we are saved (Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-11; 6:1-11, 22-23); our new life (eternal life) begins. But at the same time, we have not fully received all the benefits and blessings of salvation that will be ours when our Lord Jesus Christ’s new Kingdom is completely established. While we can be confident of our salvation, we still look forward with hope and trust toward that complete change of body and personality that lies beyond this life.
Waiting for things patiently is a quality that must be developed in us (see Romans 5:3-4; James 1:3-4; 5:11; Revelation 13:10; 14:12). Patience is one of the Spirit’s fruit borne in our lives. It includes fortitude, endurance, and the ability to bear up under pressure in order to attain a desired goal.
Let’s meditate and ask the Holy Spirit to guide, lead, and gives us the wisdom to apply these Scriptures in our lives. Amen!
I hope and pray that we will understand how God thinks and sees us when He created us all.
God bless you all.