GOODNESS IS CARING HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT OUR MORALITY
The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT
Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – GOODNESS #1
“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]
In Luke 3:7-9 NLT says, “7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
In verse 7, John was the first prophet Israel had heard in over four hundred years. When news spread that a prophet was preaching in the wilderness, crowds came out to hear him, and apparently many also believed his message and came for baptism. This sample of his preaching sounds harsh; Matthew tells us that John spoke these words specifically to “Pharisees and Sadducees,” distinguished men who had come to John not to be baptized but simply to find out what was going on (Matthew 3:7). John called them a brood of snakes (our Lord Jesus Christ also used this term, see Matthew 12:34; 23:33), conveying how dangerous and cunning these religious leaders were and suggesting that they were Satan’s offspring (see Genesis 3; John 8:44). John asked them, “Who warned you to flee God’s coming judgment?” The Jews, and especially their self-righteous religious leaders, applied God’s judgment to the Gentiles; John warned that judgment was coming on them. John’s astonishing frankness made him popular with the people but unpopular with the religious establishment.
In verse 8, Confession of sins and a changed life are inseparable. Faith without deeds is dead (James 2:14-26). Those who believe must also truly turn from sin, proving by the way they live that they have really turned from their sin and turned to God.
In James 2:14-26 NLT says, “14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”
The Jews thought that as descendants of Abraham, they were guaranteed God’s blessings and that the promise given to the patriarchs was guaranteed to all their descendants, no matter how they acted. John explained, however, that relying on Abraham as their ancestor would not qualify them for God’s Kingdom. John probably pointed at stones nearby and said, “God can change these stones here into children of Abraham.” John may have used a play on the Aramaic words for “stone” and “children” in making his point that God can make a nation for Himself from whomever He chooses.
God’s message hasn’t changed since the Old Testament – people will be judged for their unproductive lives. Just as a fruit tree is expected to bear fruit, God’s people should produce a crop of good deeds (Luke 3:8). John said that people who claim to believe God but don’t live for God are like unproductive trees that will be cut down. The ax of God’s judgment is poised and ready to do its work, cutting down those trees that do not bear good fruit (see Psalm 74:5-6; Jeremiah 46:22). Not only will the trees be chopped down, but they will be thrown into the fire, signifying complete destruction.
In these GOODNESS Series of Podcast, we will learn the PURPOSE of this fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT:
Learn To Care How God Feels About Our Morality (see last week of Podcast Goodness #1)
To Have The Desire For Holiness – Podcast Goodness #2
To Know That God Implanted Righteousness Into Our Lives Through Our Lord Jesus Christ – Podcast Goodness #3
Learn To Imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ – Podcast Goodness #4
The Virtue Of The Written Word Of God – Podcast Goodness #5
To Be Contented With God’s Commandments – Podcast Goodness #6
Interpretation: What do these passages mean to you?
Application: How do the meaning of these passages apply to you or to your situation?
Suggested Prayer:Father God, we come into your presence in Jesus name, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for Your agape love and for the Holy Spirit as our Helper and Comforter. We cling, yield, plug-in and tune-in to you Holy Spirit to help us to understand God’s Words, receive Your divine revelation, know the Truth, and obey them, in Jesus name, Amen!
God bless us, our families, and our loved ones!
Donations for Author’s Books
This book, "From The WORDS And THOUGHTS To The SWORDS And BATTLEGROUNDS" is planned and designed with three goals in mind (thought):
• To help us become more like our Lord Jesus Christ - so much like Him that our family, loved ones, friends, and others in our lives can see Him manifested and reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes.
• To help us surrender and submit to God and resist the devil.
• To help us be always victorious in our lives by winning the spiritual battles.
Author's next book is coming soon, entitled, "From The BATTLEGROUNDS and WARS To The OVERCOMING And VICTORIES"
Elias A. Busuego, Jr., PhD, DTM is self-described as “proud of the only two women in my life – my wife and my daughter (with her husband and one grandson & one granddaughter). I am also proud of my three sons: John and his family (two sons & 1 daughter); Christopher and his family (with his wife and one grandson & one daughter); and Elias Jr. IV and his family (with his wife and one son & one daughter), who are all serving in the U.S. military.” The author states that he read the Bible back-to-back, and learned the history behind it, but did not understand its deeper spiritual perspective until he experienced of being Born-Again, born in spirit.
Since he was Born-Again on March 17, 1972, he started understanding the Passage and/or Scripture on John 3:3-7 NLT.
These are most of his favorite verses. In John 3:3-7 NLT says, “3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again? "Jesus replied, “I assure you; no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’
In John 3:5 – This statement has perplexed and divided commentators for many centuries. Some traditions have taught that the water denotes physical birth (referring to the “water” of amniotic fluid or even semen) and Spirit to spiritual birth – in which case our Lord Jesus Christ would be saying that a person has to have two births: one physical and the second, spiritual. This view builds upon the preceding context when Nicodemus referred to physical birth. It also points to the parallel our Lord Jesus Christ makes in verse 6. According to this position, our Lord Jesus Christ would have been granting the Pharisee’s point in order to highlight the nature of the second birth as spiritual. Two strengths of this interpretation are that it avoids making the physical act of water baptism a necessity and that it avoids bringing almost a “third birth” idea into the discussion. If water doesn’t refer to natural birth, say its defenders, then our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be saying that a person must be born of their parents, born of water, and born of the Spirit.
Other traditions have taught that the water refers to baptism and the Spirit to spiritual regeneration – thus, our Lord Jesus Christ would have been saying that a person must both be baptized and receive the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. This view is at times influenced by the belief that the sacrament of baptism is itself a requirement for salvation.
A parallel view makes water refer to baptism but places the emphasis on teaching two steps of baptism; one by water, the other by the Spirit. For support, these views point to the larger context in John where John the Baptist and water baptism are mentioned just preceding the events in Cana and following this encounter with Nicodemus. They also rely on the tendency of previous generations of Christians to equate the mention of water with baptism. But in the first seven chapters of John, water appears in some way (naturally or symbolically) in each chapter. To associate water and baptism too closely makes baptism a higher priority than the Scriptures give it. Here, for instance, if our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking of two completely separate acts, two baptisms, it is odd that the rest of the discussion between our Lord Jesus Christ and Nicodemus never again refers to the subject but revolves entirely around the work of God’s Spirit.
Still other traditions have taught that our Lord Jesus’ reference to water is not physical in either the sense of birth or baptism. The term water is simply another description of the Spirit – or the Spirit’s activity of cleansing and giving life (see John 7:37-39).
In John 3:6 – Humans can produce only more human beings; this answers Nicodemus’s question in verse 4. Only God the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. At the same time God puts His Spirit into us, we are given a new regenerated human spirit. It is God’s Spirit, not our effort, that makes us children of God (John 1:12). Our Lord Jesus’ description corrects human hopes that we might somehow inherit goodness from parents or earn it by good behavior, church background, or correct associations. At some point we must be able to answer the question: Have I been born of the Spirit?
In John 3:7 – Our Lord Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus that evening has been heralded to all the world ever since. Both Jew and Gentile have heard the divine mandate: You must be born again. Without the new birth, one cannot see or enter into the Kingdom of God. In those words, millions have heard our Lord Jesus Christ speaking directly to their hearts and our hearts. Behind our Lord Jesus’ challenge is His invitation to each of us –” You must be born again; allow me to do that for you.”
Since he was born again on March 17, 1972, he started also understanding his other favorite Passage on Romans 12:2 NLT.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
When Elias offered his entire self to God, a change happened in his relation to the world. As one of Born-Again Christians, he believes we are called to a different lifestyle than what the world offers with its behavior and customs, which are usually selfish and often corrupting (Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:14).
He commented that Born-Again Christians are to live as citizens of a future world. There will be pressure to conform, to continue living according to the script written by the world, but Born-Again Christian believers are forbidden to give in to that pressure.
But refusing to conform to this world’s values must go even deeper than the level of behavior and customs – it must go to the transforming of the way we think.
In Elias testimonies as a Born-Again Christian believer, he emphasized that born-again is an experience and he experienced a complete transformation from the inside out. And the change must begin in the mind, where all thoughts and actions begin. Much of the work is done by God’s Spirit in us, and the tool most frequently used is God’s Word. As we memorize and meditate upon God’s Word, our way of thinking changes. Our minds become first informed, and then conformed to the pattern of God, the pattern for which we were originally designed. When we as Born-Again Christian believers have had our minds transformed and are becoming more like our Lord Jesus Christ, we will know what God wants and we will want to do it for it is good, pleasing to God, and perfect for us.
It is from those gleanings that he was able to write this book.
View all posts by Elias A Busuego Jr PhD DTM
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