For the last couple weeks at South Side, we’ve been talking about how God wants us to measure true spiritual development. As we said last week, there are so many different measuring systems that churches & Christians in America use to measure spiritual success, growth, and spiritual maturity! The one thing I’ve noticed about most measuring systems used today is that the word of God nor Jesus never used them for spiritual growth and spiritual maturity.
So how should we measure true spiritual development? It’s simple, and it’s by “fruit.” The Apostle Paul gets more specific in Galatians 5:22-23 when he gives us a detailed list called “The Fruit of The Spirit. Paul writes in this passage “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” In the last couple weeks, we have covered the first trio of “The Fruit of The Spirit” which were love, joy, and peace. We explained how “The Fruit of The Spirit” in the original language works like building blocks, and that you can’t have the next one unless you attain the previous one listed. Unconditional love must occur before joy, and after joy then we can experience peace. If you look at the lack of joy and peace in this world it is directly correlated to a lack of unconditional love. Imagine right now how different the world would be if humanity would accept Christ, and then totally surrender their souls to the work of the Holy Spirit and love unconditionally. I guarantee there would be a whole lot more joy and peace in the world immediately!
This week at South Side we are going to unpack the second trio of “The Fruit of The Spirit” which are patience, kindness, and goodness. As we develop upon the foundation of love and there are so many character traits that God wants to develop in us. Today, let me ask you how patient are you? How much patience do you have while driving, in a restaurant waiting for your food, waiting on someone to meet you? How patient are you as you wait on your next amazon package, or with you children, your spouse, your friends, or your co-workers? We love for others to be patient with us, but how patient are we with others? Would your immediate family say that your temper is on a long fuse or on a short fuse? Americans are not very patient, and this mindset has infiltrated the American church. I read recently about a church in Florida that promises a 22-minute service. They offer fast music, quick prayers, and an 8-minute sermon. For those of you that attend South Side don’t get any ideas of this ever happening!
In our series this Sunday we are also going to unpack what kindness and goodness mean from the original Greek language. Now I don’t know how you feel, but to me the world just seems to lack kindness more than ever. Kindness has become a rare commodity. Please don’t get me wrong there are still many kind people, but in my life I’ve personally seen this characteristic diminish through the years. In many ways, I believe that the creation of social media has desensitized people when it comes to kindness. As we explore God’s measuring system of spiritual maturity you will see that without kindness the result is the absence of goodness. We need believers to possess kindness today. William Barclay once said, “More people have been brought into the church by the kindness of real Christian love than by all the theological arguments in the world.”
This Sunday at South Side we will unpack the third week of our series entitled “Wholly Living” where we take a deeper look at “The Fruit of The Spirit. Our on-site worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you choose not to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook, and our website. If you would like to give generously just text the word “help” to: 84321 and follow the simple instructions. We would love to have you and your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at: www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.
South Side Church of Christ