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SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
The Doctrine of Good Works
The Fruits of the Spirit
The Origin of the Seed Within the Fruit (John 14:22-15:27)
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.
Hear the Word of the LORD:
Joh_14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
Joh 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Joh 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Joh 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Joh_15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
Joh 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
Joh 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
Joh 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Joh_15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
Let us stop here in the reading of the LORD Jesus’ Word.
What we find here in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ is an exposition on what we call the Doctrine of Good Works. Many of us known the term ‘good works’ as well as the related and inseparable doctrine of ‘the fruits of the spirit’.
It is a dangerous thing to venture into subject studies within Holy Scripture, especially for those who are novice, or unlearned on the very basics of the Christian Faith and Verity.
The accurate division of the Word of God is not a light task to be taken at a whim, it is for this cause I am much more comfortable and seasoned in the skill of exegesis and exposition, as we usually perform at bible study times during our Holy convocation.
I place this warning here, because it is always on the comprehension, systemization and application of subjects where error is encountered in the studies of men.
And very much so the reality of the doctrine of the fruits of the Spirit is the reason for the differences of opinion among the People of God, therefore this introduction is not only a warning of error but it is also the explanation of the necessity for a knowledge of it.
Men who say they believe in Sola Scriptura, the bible as the infallible rule of our faith and verity, still differ on doctrines. Because doctrines are systems of thought, they are a set of matched gears which operates with in the life and lives of believers as expressions of ones held faith and theology.
And so Doctrine cannot be ignored: as a matter of fact you will have doctrines wither you like having them or not, and the lack of a firmly held doctrine on the essential matters of faith and your faith’s relationship to unity, and unity’s relationship to community will render people un-able to be bound in a common faith.
Like the doctrine of brotherhood which we discussed in our 1 Timothy study: those of faith which are closer to you should be on the same branch as your self and therefore closer in the house hold of faith, and those who are on another branch will be related trough the vine of Christ, our common communion, but they will have doctrine which is less related to your own.
Therefore the necessity arises in the course of the lives of believers, that a minister must serve the table of the Lord by setting forth healthy doctrine, to nourish up those who he serves.
Healthy doctrine like healthy foods should be pure and full of nutrition which should strengthen the body.
Which is what I intend on doing in this subject study of doctrine.
The young foremost, and others young in “the faith” are in need of understanding on particular matters of the doctrinal system which our unit of believers is devoted to, and there must be a fitting time to fortify that knowledge.
In order to do the best job we can at isolating the elements of a particular doctrine we must recognize that a doctrine is comprised of exegetical and expository reading of particular part of scripture which deals with the same concept and an application of it.
Like all good doctrine, one doctrine must be able to smoothly mesh with all the other doctrines held, this is a concept called in Latin ‘tota’ scriptura or ‘all of scripture’: ones understanding Grace, must mesh with ones understanding of faith, and ones doctrine of Grace and faith must mesh, and not mush with the understanding of the doctrine of good works; there is an order and a balance, there is an hierarchy, so to speak in doctrinal concepts, a hierarchy in terms of God’s Glory of Lordship and with that archetype leading the balanced way for the large gears to drive the many small gears to keep a smooth function of the whole system. (looking at all the gears is a way to describe Systematic theology, that is knowing what gears contact other gears in your knowledge of God and how Power is transferred (so to speak) to the machine and from gear to gear.
And so in looking at The Knowledge of the fruits of the Spirit and the Doctrine of Good Works we must first recognize the preeminence of YHWH and His Lordship, the Sovereign rule over the ages and the world held by Father, Son and Spirit. It is that Lordship’s ability and decree to give the free gift which we call Grace, which is the doctrine that says, “God can and does save whom he will by his own good pleasure”, and this Doctrine of Grace and it’s preeminence over faith, that is God gives all saving faith from his own storehouse of Grace and faithfulness which he alone generates of his own Lordship of himself.
I’ve said before, that Grace is God’s faithfulness, and Our faith is believing in God faithfulness to us.
Therefore the basics of the doctrine of Faith Is paramount to understanding the doctrine of Good works as it is like the conduit by which the Spirit places the seed of love into our hearts and minds and souls and all of our strength (Deu_6:4-5) to allow us to hear the Living God’s Name and Word. This was represented in John 14-15 in our introduction, the Lord tells his disciples that he will manifest himself to them by love 14:23 is the answer to 14:22, Judas says “how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” , and Jesus answers ” If a man love me, he will keep my words”.
And then in Joh_14:26 Jesus talks about the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in his name, and that comforter or Holy Spirit shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever Jesus Christ have said.
Notice that Jesus tells us that his manifestation which his disciple can see and hear, but that the world can not see and hear is his words, which are his fathers words, which a man loves and keeps, and this love is comforting it is work of Jesus and the Holy spirit together and that work of Comfort is the love of the word of God, the teaching recieved by it and the remembrance of it.
Jesus manifests himself to us through the comfort of the holy spirit, and therefore we continue even in the doctrine of Good works to fortify Jesus choice of his disciple, not of the disciples choice of Jesus. Therefore it is by Grace we are saved , and nothing we have done , can do, or will do to save ourselves for we are but branches upon the vine of Jesus Christ.
Even our faith by which we understand grace is a gift of God, it is thus part of the package of grace- through the gift of Faith we can achieve any level of Good or any form of work that is beneficial to the Lord’s will and therefore able to be called ‘fruit’ produced of the Spirit of God, the Holy or the separating Spirit and therefore we can easily classify all good Works wrought by the Holy Spirit parts of Sanctification or Holy living.
I hope we can here see from the words of our Lord that he is the vine and we the branches, and if we be branches not attached to the goodness of the vine we have no fruit, and branches with no fruit are worthless. It is Jesus and the Holy spirits work that makes us worthy to bear fruit, it is his seed that is in us and manifest in our fruit, our works.
When we are discussing a biblical concept, though we should know what a fruit is, and we have examples of fruit in our mind, there is one concept which must be so to get the biblical idea of fruit across:
Hear the Genesis Law of creation :
Gen_1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Please notice that fruit is a concept of ‘fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself’.
By this law of creation we both understand the reality of fruit and reproduction, that kind is begat after kind because the seed of the tree is passed on through the reproduction of fruit which has a seed within it to generate it’s own kind.
So remember this, If Jesus is the vine or tree and we are the branches as his disciples, “for without him we can do nothing.”, we must be the ones who love his word and learn from it and remember it and keep it, then we are his conduits to generate fruit, and he only generates good fruit to resemble the kind which first it was.
Joh_15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
And so in asking any question regarding Good Works, we are asking a question regarding a Fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit or produce of our selves, we must make this distinction- fruits of our own self and of the way of our nature or flesh is in darkness :
Php_1:9-11 … our love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; when we approve things that are excellent; when we are sincere and without offence even till the day of Christ; in that we Be filled with the fruits of righteousness or Justice, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Why do we need these things called fruits of righteousness which are not of our selves but are jointly and inseparably by the Holy spirit and Jesus Christ (not of our selves) and this fruit of righteousness is not to our own glory but unto the glory of and Praise of God.
Here is why we need to be filled with fruits of righteousness which come by Jesus:
Eph_5:8 For we were sometimes darkness, but now we are light in the Lord: therefore we walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Now see what this fruit of the Spirit helps us to do as it is goodness and righteousness and truth:
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
and as a repercussion:
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Notice that as Jesus had used the fruit analogy to describe our relationship to him and the spirit, so here does Paul do the same. Teaching us an identically parallel to Jesus lesson, that the Love a man has for the word of God and it’s lessons and truth that comfort him proves or tests what is acceptable to the Lord and drives us further from the world which hates the Father who had sent the son, the darkness which hates the light.
Hear the Law of the Lord Spoken to Moses for our edification and instruction :
Deu_22:9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.
Here we see the correlation to the analogy of fruit, yet it is not without understanding that genesis Kind after kind, trees and vines bearing fruit which has its seed within its own self, that we can comprehend the allegorical as well.
It is forbidden by the law of God to hybridize or miscegenate seed in agriculture, as it is in the human kinds as well. Yet when we move this to the allegorical interpretation in application to fruits and works we see a strict prohibition with mixing the word of God and the fruit by that word with the works or unfruitfulness of darkness.
Notice: Paul does not even call the works of darkness fruit, but he calls it unfruitful. And it you notice that is also what the Law of the Lord said of miscegenated kinds: “the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.”
When you cannot plant the seed and get the same kind as you had planted, in biblical thought you have defiled that fruit or separated that fruit in confusing or mixing its kind.
And it is for this very cause we, as branches of the vine are to purely love the word which we are born again by
1Pe_1:23 … not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
Must understand that the Gospel of Grace and salvation, that is truly believed is the seed of the word of God that is planted abroad, which comes through the preaching the foreordained precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, his death and resurrection. That is it, that is th purity of the seed, and as his vine grows and we are branches to that vine we must then produce fruit that has with in it that gospel message able to be preached in every work we do
This is the
1Pe_1:25 The word of the Lord (which) endureth for ever…
When he manifests himself to us, and we are comforted by his love through the work of the Spirit in our love for his word which first teaches grace and salvation from our unfruitfulness and darkness, it then progresses in lessons from the same word now engrafted in our heart by faith, and the remembrance and keeping of His commandments we will produce fruit, good works that come from God and from His word- we will keep his commandments by Love, this is the next generation of fruit we are to bear unto God, which contains the seed of the Gospel in our works which is part of our walk in the Spirit as spoken of by our Lord:
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 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
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.
(Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is:
longsuffering /leniency/ patienceG3115 ,
gentleness / graciousness / kindness G5544,
faith / belief,G4102,
Meekness / gentleness,G4236,
temperance / self-control G1466 )
This should be noticed that here in this walk of the spirit in which are manifest the fruits of the spirit of God, we are specifically declared two things which cause us to notice a connection to the Law of God
- if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law
- against such (the fruits of the Spirit) there is no law.
Now these fruits are produce of the spirit, they are pure, holy and sanctified, and they are a course of walking, a way or road we are called to walk in which is not like the way of flesh, the way of darkness, which resemble all of those sins which God’s Law, his very word had dealt with for all eternity. But what we are told here is that Gal 5:18 … if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Therefore we will not love or desire these “works of the flesh”, because they are under the Law as condemned.
And here is why:
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Here is the summary I want to leave with you:
- Jesus Christ manifests himself to his own disciples by giving of his Love to men who are by nature sinners and unable to support them self or comfort themselves.
- Men who are destine to receive the manifestation of Jesus become uncomfortable with the world, its darkness, its corruption and its sin and its death.
- The initial comfort of the Holy spirit, the comforter comes in the message of salvation as the father and the son abide with us, which comforts us from the death of this world and all of its passions.
- And though we be in the world we are not part of the world which hates God and his word, for we know this because we are part of the work of the father who is the husbandman and part of the vine who is the son as we are the branches to bring forth fruit for his kingdom.
- The Spirit is the Comforter, a Spirit of truth that leads us in goodness, righteousness
Goodness and righteousness and truth are fruits of the spirit to give us the ability to prove what is acceptable unto the Lord.
- The Lord only accepts that which he has planted and is not mixed or defiled, and only branches which bear his kind of fruit.
- Disciples are branches bearing the fruits of the Spirit in accordance with the Gospel and the Commandments of God which we love.
- All fruits of the spirit which come of the Law of God resemble Christ’s kind and the father’s kind, these fruits are never contrary to the Law and commandments of God, but walk and work according to them among the branches who are disciples, these should flourish:
longsuffering /leniency/ patience G3115 ,
gentleness / graciousness / kindness G5544,
faith / belief,G4102,
Meekness / gentleness,G4236,
temperance / self-control G1466 )
- No Law will contradict these among brethren in Christ nor will the commandments of God cause “vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”