For goodness’ sake, be good.
MAY 10, 2021
For goodness’ sake, be good. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor, who teaches that God’s amazing grace, is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us and are just becoming a part of Key Life. And with every broadcast, that happens. I want you to know, you’re getting on toward the end of the trip. We’ve been studying Galatians for a long time, and we’re heading to the place where we’re gonna land the plane. And right now we’re looking at the list of the fruit of the Spirit. And after we finish Galatians, I think. You don’t hold me to it, but I think we’re going to study the book of Acts. I don’t know about you, but I am disturbed with our culture and I am disturbed with the church. And I’m a part of it. And I am disturbed with me. What do you do when you’re disturbed? You go back to some basics. And so that’s what we’re going to do is we study the book of Acts, but now we’re into Galatians. We’re looking at the fruit of the Spirit. Let me read to you the text where you find that. But I say to you, and this is from the fifth chapter of Galatians, and I’m beginning at the 16th verse, Paul says.
But I say to you, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other to prevent you from doing what you want to do. But if you’re led by the Spirit, you’re not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness dissensions, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. And I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
And the thrust of that means, those who are defined by those things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its desires.
Alright, let’s pray. And then we’ll get down and study. Father, we come into your presence, so glad you wrote it down. Every time we open the page of the Word that you have given us, we hear your voice. We have the smell of Jesus coming from the book that you gave us. And we’re thankful. Father, help us to put it in our heads, so we won’t be superficial and shallow. And then Father, put it in our hearts so that we won’t be hard nosed then condemning and then drop it to our hands and feet and our vocal chords so that the world may hear the laughter of the redeemed. You know, everybody who’s listening to this broadcast and the tough places, be present, empower and heal and give your comfort. And for those of us who are doing okay, teach us that you’re the God of laughter too. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Hey, before we move further, let me go back to that 17 verse and at least make a comment, because it is so good, it’s the 17th verse.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, but these are opposed to each other
And here it comes, sports fans, don’t miss it.
to prevent you from doing what you would.
In other words, when you became a Christian, something happened in your heart. You wanted to please, God, I have never met a Christian, I’m talking about a real Christian who didn’t want to be better than he or she was. If you read the seventh chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul talks about this very concept. He talks about what he would, what he wants to do and he can’t do. And what he doesn’t want to do, is what he does. And then he cries out.
Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of death.
And all of these things that Paul is talking about here in this chapter in Galatians, the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, is an ongoing process that takes place in the life of the believer to become what Paul said we want to become, we would become. And so, don’t be just devastated when you haven’t seen the process working out quickly. Don’t get a hair shirt and beat yourself up with a cat of nine tails. Listen to me, God is doing something in your life right now. Sometimes it’s slow and sometimes you can’t see it, but I’m an old guy, and and I can look back after a lot of years and I can tell you that God has been making me what I wanted him to make me, bit by bit, a little here, a little there. And eventually, this old cynical preacher is going to be just like Jesus. Just wanted to say that, because I don’t think I noticed it the first time we studied that verse, that 17th verse, this stuff is keeping you from being what you want to be. When you became a Christian, God changed your wanter. That’s all. And you still struggle, you still have sin, you still go through difficult times, but I want to be better than I am. And you do too. Just trust him. He’s doing that in your life. Okay. Let’s get back and look at the fruit. And that’s said singular, fruit of the Spirit. We have seen, as Paul gives that list out that we’re to love. That’s the fruit of the Spirit. We’re to be joyful. In other words, we’re to laugh, I told you, I’m working on a book. In fact, I finished the last chapter, but it won’t be out for a long time, because it takes 10 editors to straighten out my manuscripts. And every time I do a new book, the angels get the giggles, but I don’t care. I’m going to keep doing it. But the title is interesting, Laughter and Lament: The Touchstones of Radical Christian Freedom. Laughter and joy have similarities to them. And a part of the fruit of the Spirit is that, when you’re hanging out with Christians, real Christians, they don’t cry all the time, but they laugh a lot. And it’s a free and wonderful laughter. If you were listening, when I prayed, as we began this broadcast today, you heard me say that the world may hear the laughter of the redeemed. Why did I pray that? Because that’s one of the fruit of the Spirit, joy, and the sign of joy is often laughter. And then we saw, that the fruit of the Spirit is to be patient. Give it to me right now, and kindness. But let me show you a new one, if you’re a Christian, you have received the fruit, the Holy Spirit, and you are free to be good, Galatians 5:22.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness.
Somebody is saying, that is about as exciting as a bag of chicken feet. Well, let me tell you something. We have a warped concept of goodness. It’s not insipid and shallow and sweet and nice. It’s not a silly grin. It’s not walking around saying the world is wonderful and I’m wonderful too. And I’m a good person. One of the greatest lies ever perpetrated on Christians and on the human race is this, evil is exciting and goodness is dull. Evil has the aura of adventure about it. Goodness, the aura of boredom. Evil is passionate, good is without passion. That dear friend, and I say it in a kind and pastoral way, is from the pit of hell and it smells smoke. It’s just not true. It really isn’t, they’ve lied to us, and we believe those lies. Goodness, is passion. Goodness, is exciting. And I’m going to talk more about it tomorrow, but for today you remember that they lied to you. Evil is scary. It’ll destroy you, eventually it becomes boring and empty, and goodness will fill your life with laughter. You think about that. Amen.
That was Steve Brown, taking a deeper dive into the fruit of the Spirit. God is growing that fruit in us as believers, but it is not a fast process. And again, our text today was Galatians 5:16-24. We’ll pick it up again right here tomorrow. Hope you will join us then.
We agree on the big stuff. Let’s get that out of the way. Jesus, who is God, became a man, died, rose from the dead, and is our salvation. That’s the Christian faith, but a whole metric ton of other stuff is up for debate, that used to bug me. Now, I find it rather comforting.
That is just a brief excerpt from an article by Chad West called You’re Probably Wrong. And if you like that, or if that’s stepped on your toes a little bit, then you’ll definitely want to read the rest of the piece and you can check it out in the new 2021 edition of Key Life Magazine, which we would love to send to you for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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