ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
Remember when you follow along or listen…
Contribute when you can!
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
The Doctrine of Good Works
The Fruits of the Spirit
Joy fulfilled In the Knowledge of His Will
Prayer in the words of Isaiah the prophet
Lord let the eyes of them that see not be dim,
and let the ears of them that hear hearken.
Let the heart also of the rash understand knowledge,
and let the tongue of the stammerer be ready to speak plainly.
Col_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Col 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…
I want to transition these first 3 doctrinal lessons concerning the fruits of the Holy Spirit and of it’s origin in the will of God, and start to bring this essential element of this System into a focus on what are good works. I had chose this introductory text to do this because the apostle Paul in this epistle to the Colossians says a lot of relevant stuff here in connection to the subject matter we have been studying, that of the fruits of the Spirit and now more so as we ask the question more specifically ‘What are Good Works”?
A few high points in this introduction to the Epistle of Colossians is:
v.5. The hope which is laid up for you in heaven, is what we have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel;
v.6. Which has come unto us, as it has come to others united in this same calling
v.6 and bringeth forth fruit in us, since the day you heard that word of truth by the work of the Holy Spirit and this is to know the grace of God in truth: (this is when fruit starts… but is not finished)
v.8that this fruit of truth of the knowledge of Grace, ‘brings forth love of the spirit
v.9 which is’ to desire that we might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding’ (DID You hear that? “to desire that we might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”
v.10 and this desire of being filled with knowledge of God’s will, and his wisdom, and his Spiritual understanding, is a desire to that we ‘ might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God’
v.12-13 because God has made us partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: by removing us by his work and his choice from the power of darkness, he has also translated of μετέστησεν / mete-stesen which literally means in Greek He has changed our standing, place place of our legs into the kingdom of his dear Son rather than leaving them in darkness. See in this change there is no neutral ground, it is either dark or light, their is no grey. Because this is an attestation of God’s work done for us in grace, there is no question as to if we have been translated or not, and this new standing in God’s light is a transforming, life changing light. As when one comes into your room and shines a light. you know the light has come, you know you are standing in a room of light, and not a room of darkness. And this darkness and light is measured by the acknowledgment of the Grace of God found in Jesus Christ and his blood.
v.14-21 In whom we have redemption yes, even the forgiveness of sins: this is the acknowledgment of your past state, the knowledge of how dark that state really was: as stranger to God, and an mental enemy by you wicked works against his ways of truth, knowledge and understanding
v.22 And ye in this primary acknowledgment of your inability to help your self and transform your standing, and therefore the total recognition of you alien enemy state of mind, you can add to it positively now, because of your knowledge of reconciliation he is presenting you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight, unreproveable is ‘with out accusation’ as in a court room for judgment, that is justified.
v.23-27 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Here is a continuance, and indeed a statement concerning that which is done in our deeds, and our works.
That is this, and this simply, is the seed which initiated the Gospel in you, the seed that is nourished and generated by the fruit of the spirit actively being developed on your Christ fed branches, is the power of God the Father and his efforts seen in your life, day in and day our as you repress the desires of the flesh, the former wicked works that haunt you, the wicked works you may begin to covet after? Is that one almighty nurturing act of Grace, continuing in bearing fruit in your life? Is the Hope of the Gospel which is Jesus Christ THE HOPE of Glory the vine you acknowledge to be nothing with out? Not that you have found him, not that you have entered into him, not that you have begged for his mercy, but that he has strengthened you with all power, he has strengthened you according to HIS glorious might, he has strengthened you for all endurance and patience and that is done for his name sake “with joy”. Col_1:11-12
There is a lot to be said here of this little statement “with joy”, because true joy in your heart is an expression of your will, that is what you desire to do, what if you can will do, and where does that wisdom and knowledge of Joy come from?
Look at this statement concerning joy and whose it is and who it is fulfilled in:
Jesus says: Joh_17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word …
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Remember last Sabbath study I said concerning this sanctification or holiness that it is poured into a believer by the Word of God, that God does the work first as Christ gives it?
Well the question is do we have joy that we have God’s Word?
With being a fruitful branch of the true vine cared for by the Father:
Can you giving thanks to the Father because He has qualified you to share Christ’s vine of inheritance? Col_1:12
Do you look at the seed of salvation by Grace as a practically worthless part of salvation from darkness, lest you have put something to it?
Or are you confirmed and resolved by faith that without the Grace of God through Jesus Christ You can do Nothing?
Joh_15:5 He is the vine, we are the branches: He that abideth in Christ, and Christ in us, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Jesus Christ we can do nothing.
Because, this is the fruit of the spirit and all of our labor and striving is according to his working, which worketh in us mightily.
Php_2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
And so let this question I am asking you sink in by Paul’s lesson… Do you want to bring forth much fruit? And to what end is that fruit which you desire to produce?
Look deep in your heart, mind and soul, and ask what will you do if god reveals his holy will to you with his wisdom and knowledge?
By this point some one should be saying to themselves, This is a mysterious thing. God is the vine dresser, Jesus is the true vine, we are the branches and the fruit we bear is the fruit of the spirit… what have I to do with this system? This is a mysterious thing.
And the answer to this question :
Eph_1:9 it is God that Has made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
So in this very context Paul confirms your thoughts, on this in Col_2:2-4, saying this knowledge is
“the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
It is true that to our conception of life, is as we say “I will do this or that”, and ” I will do this or that for God” , and to our perception we are willing to do God’s will, and yet without God’s will we could do nothing.
A Mystery ?
Yes, but one we have an answer to that it be not a shut matter for this is the knowledge of the mystery we have opened, like a door once shut to us and darkened to us-now by the might and strength of Jesus we can begin to understand the source of “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ”
Why does Paul tell us this mystery?
because this is …the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Col 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words / that is plausible arguments of logic.
If the Logic of those who are persuading us differently in this world do not start with the Logos,
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God…
If ones Logic does not beginning with the Logos they are lost in darkness, regardless of how plausible their argument may seem to be. And, if your Grace through faith in Jesus is not the root and vine by which you know your reproducing fruit comes from alone, then it is safe to assure you that your fruit is a fruit of death and not of life either.
In other words:
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Plant language, vine language, tree language, having inside you received Christ but walking in him, and yet being rooted in him, standing in the faith we first have been taught, and abounding, while rooted, abounding while established … this is plant talk. Vines and trees put down roots, and they ‘walk’ or spread out while rooted, never moving but growing, when a plant is established or settled then it can abound or grow up ward and out ward and put our branches with fruit abounding with thanksgiving… but it all starts with the Father’s love and care of the true vine you are stablished and settled in. Are stablished and settled in Him? and are you growing?
And so what should this growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ look like?
Well, to start, as we have covered it should begin with Faith, a fruit of the spirit worthy of repentance, and so it should include repentance and the ability to repent. (Mind-change), which affects ones heart and soul and strength.
A top of this fruit as a good work should never be devoid of the simple and most basic fruits of the Spirit Paul enumerated for us:
Gal_5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is:
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
If anything we set out self to do by the grace of God does not have the goal and aim of producing these within it’s rooted walk, simply this becomes according to Gal_5:26 … the desire of vain glory /or conceit, and provoking / that is challenging others, along with envy.
No longer is it life in the Spirit or a walk in the Spirit rather it is a work of the flesh and spawn of death…. a wavering balance.
Let me state the product of the fruit of the spirit like this :
It is the Father’s will to cultivate and nurture the true vine Christ, and it is Christ’s Will to bring forth living branches which are disciples, true Christians and it is will of Christians to bear fruit and the will of fruit is the essence of the will of God, and whole lesson of truth by the Comforting Holy Spirit of God in every word or God.
The whole purpose of fruit is again to serve the Father the answer to the mystery hid in Christ in whom is hid all wisdom and knowledge.
Consider this principle
1Co_9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
1Co 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
The Law of God has this principle: the one who plants the seeds of the vineyards, does so to reap the benefits of the grape for his table and to plant again.
The warrior fights a war offensively, with the intention to get spoils in some way from his battle;
so does the dairy farmer raise the flock or heard to have the milk for his table.
And likewise, the ox that is with you in the field harvesting your crop eats as he goes in payment for his labor, and we are forbidden to muzzle the ox who works for you to preserve this principle.
Did you know this is how the Father feels about his work on the branches of the true vine that bear forth much fruit?
Did you ever consider that the Lord God YHWH almighty creator of heaven and earth, gleans from your fruits of the spirit as he tends your branch?
This is a humbling thought and a high calling in spiritual fruit production- but this is the answer to the shut door of the mystery of God’s will and your joy fulfilled .
As the father God tends the work of his beloved Son , you, He plucks off ripe fruit from time to time and partakes of that which he has roused up by his will and by his power and by his efforts in Jesus Christ.
Just like a vinedresser would do, so does the Father to what fruits you produce for him!
And if that Fruit have not the seed of the Gospel encased in its sweet flesh of works which you have brought forth by God’s power, that seed is not worth planting, even if the flesh of that fruit is sweet. Because, again, it is not a complete fruit.
And so with this pattern of production which we have fully accredited to the work of God, let me introduce you to a theological phrase which is the way other men long before me have spoken of this matter, it is called the “regulative principle of worship”, and the concept is simple ‘The bible, the holy scripture that is, is the source of Churches way to regulate the worship of God.’
In short, “The only true Worship of God is found in offering back to God what he hath first offered to us from his inspired word.”
And so what is this saying?
It is saying that the purity of the fruit is judged by the Word of God, by the holy scripture. The Bible is the revelation of God’s will to a branch on the Lord’s vine
When we acknowledge that everything we have that is void of God’s knowledge is worthless, we should parallel ask what is worth anything to God?
And the answer to the question is the knowledge we have of God’s will is worthy to be the desire of our own will.
And the answer to where we must go as disciples of the Lord Jesus is to the Words of Jesus Christ, that is to the Word of God revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
This is why John boldly says of Jesus Christ:
Joh_1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
To John that true vine was the very manifestation of the Logic of the Living God who made the foreordained covenants of Grace with the Son as well as gave the Law to Moses as a testimony, it was one and the same Lord, and eternal lord who brings forth what will come to pass.
This was a revelation in the manifestation of Jesus Christ born of a virgin the son of God and son of man, but this was not a new Concept which John was proclaiming, that in the word of God was light and life…
It was just now the John could see what other people could not see:
Joh_1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This is why John starts the Epistle of first John thus:
1Jn_1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
See Jesus manifestation is the missing link between the branch and the Father that produces fruit by the word of God.
As John says “That which was from the beginning…the Word of life”
This is no different than what David says in
Psa_119:105 …Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
or what Solomon son David said: Pro_6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life…
As all the holy men of old says concerning the Word, Law, Commandment, precept and judgments of God, in more place than I could recite, which have spoken thus since the beginning.
This is why Isa_8:16 says, Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isa 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Isa 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
And se hear is my final point, when people will not bind the Covenants of Grace up, the testimonies, the so called books of the old and new testaments, and if they will not beside the Gospel, the coming of Jesus prophesied from Genesis to Mary in the word of God, if you will not bind with the faith of Jesus the Law of God as one total lesson for repentance and light an life, your fruit will not be regulated the way God desires, your fruit may not be fit for the masters table, and importantly, for replanting of the next vineyard… rooted and stablished in Christ’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
The total Word of God, is God’s Logic, and as such it is worthy to be called God’s word of life and light to guide our walk.
And here is the produce of not binding up this Testimony and Law, this Law and Gospel as one united word, from the work of the Triune God:
Isa_8:21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
Isa 8:22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
When you forsake the Law and Gospel as the very logic of God’s justice and judgment, there is nothing but hunger, fretting and cursing with trouble, anguish and darkness.
Light of God is judged by the Law of Moses and the Testimony of Jesus:
Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Remember what Paul taught us ? the light and life the fruitful are God’s
Eph_2:10… workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.