The Fruit of the Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

When we walk in the Spirit, its fruit is visible to all. The opposite case occurs when we walk in the flesh. Not in vain did the Lord say that by their fruits you will know them. In the case of the fruit of the Spirit, all will know that we walk in the Spirit when love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control are visible in us. Certainly, taking into account the pressures of the world, only walking in the Spirit can see such fruit.

It is fitting that we look, in all its context, at what Paul wrote in Galatians concerning the fruit of the Spirit. Paul emphasized the abysmal differences between walking in the Spirit and being guided by the flesh. Galatians 5:16-18 says, I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Paul then enumerates the works, that is, the fruits of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of the works of the flesh, Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

When Paul says that there are also things like these that are works of the flesh, it means that the list goes on. The most striking of the contrast between the two lists is the following, Paul says in verse 19: Now the works of the flesh are obvious; while in verse 22 it says: But the fruit of the Spirit is. Nothing in the Bible is written by chance and everything is important. They are two lists that present several things each one; but one of them has the verb in the plural and the other in the singular. There are works or fruits of the flesh, but only a fruit of the Spirit.

What does all this mean? He who walks in the flesh does not necessarily practice each and every one of the works of the flesh. Simply carry out only one of them to walk on the flesh. It is probable that someone says, I do not walk in the flesh because I am not homicidal, nor drunk, I am very faithful to my partner and I cannot stand the sexual deviations. But if your religious beliefs attach more to traditions of men than to the Bible, you walk in heresies, which are works of the flesh and not of the Spirit.

In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit, being one, all its components must be present so that we can say that we walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. That means that one should not miss one of the list: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control. They are nine elements, all are important and none should be missing. How difficult it is to achieve it! Of course it is when we do it in our forces. But remember that this is the fruit of the Spirit, therefore, it is only possible to achieve it when we are truly guided by the Spirit and not by our own being. God bless you.

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Perfecting the Good Work

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

Receiving Jesus Christ and being born again does not automatically make us a finished product. Rather we can say that we are material in process. Until the coming of our Lord, we will be in constant perfection. What Paul says in Philippians 1:6 is that he who began in us the good work will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. Who began the good work in us? It was the Holy Spirit who began in us the good work of bringing us out of the darkness and bringing us into the light.

As I stated earlier, we are not a finished product but a material in process while we remain in this body. Every process of industrial transformation begins with the introduction of the raw materials and the supply of energy to carry it out. The raw materials of our spiritual transformation is ourselves and the Holy Spirit functions similar to energy, He is already in us, as 2 Timothy 1:14 says, That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

We are therefore the temple of the Holy Spirit, as 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? And we have been sealed in him, according to Ephesians 1:13, In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

The Holy Spirit, by dwelling within us, will reveal to us the mysteries of God. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. We could have our own ideas about God; but only the Spirit of the same God reveals the truth about Him.

The Holy Spirit will perfect the good work in us, He will enable us through His gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 tells us about the gifts of the Spirit, But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

The final product of our development will be seen through results. Those results are what the Word of God calls the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. To this Ephesians 5:9 adds, for the fruit of the Spirit[a] is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. Showing fully the fruit of the Spirit is a process that will last until our Lord returns with glory and power. God bless you.

Rivers of Living Water

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 7:38-39

Believing in Jesus brings many benefits. However, these benefits do not necessarily imply an earthly life of material abundance without problems. The great promises of Jesus to those who believe in Him are focused on eternity, but there are others we receive in this world. One is the promise in John 7:38: out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. The explanation of John 7:38 is in the next verse, i.e., John 7:39: But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Jesus promised that His disciples would receive the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 He said to them: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. This promise was fulfilled in the disciples at Pentecost, but the Holy Spirit continued to be received by believers today. In Acts 2:4 says that the first believers in Jesus received the Holy Spirit: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

The rivers of living water ran inside the disciples gathered in the upper room of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The languages they spoke before many witnesses were the first outward manifestation of those rivers of living water. Another manifestation of the rivers of water of life is found in Acts 4:31: And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Under the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to preach the gospel without fear but full of courage.

And the Holy Spirit empowers us to preach, as says 1 Peter 1:12: To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us[a] they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into. Knowing this truth should be sufficient reason to preach the gospel to every creature as we have been commissioned. The Holy Spirit gives us power to witness and who gives conviction of sin that we hear preach.

Another tangible manifestation of the rivers of water of life is prophecy. In Acts 19:6 says: And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. In 2 Peter 1:21 again the intervention of the Holy Spirit in prophecy is emphasized:  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God[a]spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The gifts of the Spirit are those rivers of living water that run inside those who believe in Jesus. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 lists them: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. If you have believed, then these rivers should flow from you. God bless you.

The Holy Spirit Convinces Us of Sin

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.

John 16:7-8

The natural human tendency is to justify their behavior. It is unlikely that someone will recognize his or her faults when confronted. What most people do is to present an explanation in their favor in which they don’t acknowledge their guilt. That’s why we are not able to recognize and confess our sins. Only the intervention of the Holy Spirit gives us conviction that we are sinners who need to be redeemed.

Let us try to understand how the Holy Spirit works to convince us of sin. According to the English Bishop Edward Reynolds (1599-1676): “This is the way the Holy Spirit: first to convince of sin, then justice and reveal refuge in Christ. Law is the precursor which prepares place and welcomes the soul to Christ.” Conviction of sin is possible by the revelation of what it means to sin, which is reached only through the Law.

It is obvious that God’s Spirit will use the Law to give us conviction of sin. Therefore, avoid mentioning it in preaching is not going according to the desire of the Spirit. In this sense, the English preacher Charles Spurgeon said: “Trying to win a soul to Christ by maintaining that soul in ignorance of any truth is contrary to the mind of the Spirit.” The biblical truths must be trumpeted, disseminated, shared not let them rest in a book propped open on a table and which nobody reads.

Reveal biblical truth might not be an easy task. The problems may occur on the road; but the Spirit is responsible for overcoming them. English theologian John Owen (1616-1683) said: “When the Holy Spirit intends to regenerate a person, He removes all obstacles, overcomes all resistance and opposition, and infallibly produces the intended result.” If the Spirit moves us to share Bible passages that confront the sinner, we should not fear because He supports us.

I know that my messages are not liked by everyone. There will be people who will be upset by them. Even I have received requests that do not send more. What I do before such a request is to exclude the applicant from the list of those receiving the messages. I will not stop writing them just because someone is upset by them. The desire of God’s heart is that no human being should perish, but that all should come to repentance of sins and we become Him. Therefore, these messages are not to promote myself, but to give prominence to Him.

Following the same line of thought, the American evangelist Dwight L Moody once said: “When the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, or people converted or become angry.” If these messages are inspired by the Holy Spirit, the conviction of sin will be their driving force. Those who will be touched immediately by such conviction undoubtedly will be converted to Christ because they find no other option to save. Others may feel angry, but God remains God and His Word will remain forever. God bless you.

The Comforter

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:16-17

When Jesus Christ would return to the Father, he gave a beautiful promise to His disciples a Comforter. Jesus’ love for them was so great that He would not leave them alone. That same Comforter received by the Lord’s closest followers is available today to anyone who believed in Him. The Son of God is at the right hand of His Father seated on His throne until His triumphant return. However, here on Earth, every son and daughter of God have dwelling within him or her the Spirit of truth.

The word comfort means giving comfort or encouragement to someone to withstand a sad or adverse situation; ease the pain and distress of a person; help someone through good words and caresses to withstand distress. In this regard, a comforter animates us, gives us courage to resist the evidence, we are relieved of pain and anguish because he helps us and gives us words of encouragement. That’s just the kind of Comforter that Jesus prayed to the Father to give us.

The modern world distorts things and has given a different from what things are conforming to God’s direction. Likewise they call “making love” to have sex, in Spanish language, the word meaning as comforter in English is used today referring as dildo, a sexual object used for female masturbation. I clarify this so that one who is not familiar with the Bible and is fluent in both languages will not be confused with modern distortions in the use of the word translated into Spanish for Comforter.

The biblical Comforter is none other than the Holy Spirit, just as described in the Word of God. In John 14:26 we read: But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you. Our Comforter not only encourages us, gives us courage to resist the trials, relieves us the pains, helps us and gives words of encouragement, but also teaches us all things and reminds us all that the Lord has said.

The Comforter testifies about Jesus, as John 15:26 says: 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 bear witness of me. This biblical verse is very interesting because it clarifies to those who deny the divinity of the Holy Spirit. If our Comforter came from the Father, He has the same attributes as He and the Son, who proceeds from the Father also.

Jesus gives his disciples an explanation of the appropriateness of the Comforter to come. Says John 16:7-11: Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. Let celebrate that our Lord has sent us the Comforter. God bless you.

Receiving Power from on High

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8

Before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave instructions to His disciples: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The expansion of the Kingdom of God is the Earth requires the manifestation of His power. And only from above, from heaven itself can come enough power to testify about Jesus Christ by miracles, wonders and signs. It is not enough to preach the Word of God, but it is necessary to be anointed by the Holy Spirit, who is responsible for giving us the power from on high.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus gave a demonstration of power. When the disciples of John the Baptist went to inquire about Jesus, His response was to show examples of power. Luke 7:22-23 says: Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

He is expected that the gospel is preached in the same way. We are not to make less. Jesus predicted that His followers would do even greater works than He. John 14:12 says: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. Jesus was not going to stay all the time on Earth; but the needs continue to exist. Therefore, after Him, Christians should have the power to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast demon.

The gospel of power does not come from our skills or because we have acquired a couple of doctorates in theology. The disciples received the power at Pentecost through the Holy Spirit. Thus, a simple fisherman like Peter was able to preach a strong message so that made thousands of people came to the Lord, with a word he made a lame walk and he healed the sick with his shadow. It was impossible that the same Peter who denied the Lord three times or cower to walk on water to do many miracles, wonders and signs if he had lacked the power from on high.

Similarly, Paul spread the gospel among the Gentiles by that same power. He himself says in Romans 15:18-19:  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Today it is necessary that the gospel be taken to the nations with power. The hearts of many people have been tightened so that there are those who think they are more powerful than God. On the other hand, many Christians have settled only go to a temple to hear a sermon. We seek the power from on high. God bless you.