Defining the Fruit of the Spirit

This weekend, we kicked off a new series on “the fruit of the Spirit,” which Paul, one of the Bible’s authors, lists in Galatians 5:22-23. He writes,

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Paul uses the word “fruit” to describe the outcome of Jesus’ work in our lives—if we give Him some leeway, we’ll find these traits becoming increasingly common in the way we engage life and interact with others.

An author we particularly like, Tim Keller (we did a Bible study he wrote last winter) defined each of these fruits (including the word Paul uses in Greek), and even gives ways that we “fake” them. Give it a read as we journey through this series.

And, ask yourself: am I demonstrating genuine fruit, or the counterfeit version of it? 

Agape – love

Definition – To serve a person fo rtheir good and intrinsic value, not for what the person brings you.

Opposite – Fear: self-protection and abusing people.

Counterfeit – Selfish affection. Rescuing someone but really rescuing self. Attracted not to a person, but to how this person’s love makes you feel about yourself.

Charajoy

Definition – Delight in God and his salvation for sheer beauty and worth of who he is.

Opposite – Hopelessness, despair.

Counterfeit – Elation that comes with blessings not the Blesser! Mood swings based on circumstances.

Irene – peace

Definition – Confidence and rest in the wisdom and sovereignty of God more than your own.

Opposite – Anxiety and worry

Counterfeit – Indifference, apathy, not caring about something. “I don’t care.”

Makrothumia – patience

Definition – Ability to take trouble (from others or life) without blowing. To suffer joyfully.

Opposite – Resentment toward God and others.

Counterfeit – Cynicism. Self-righteousness. “This is too small to be bothered about.”

Chrestotes – kindness

Definition – Practical kindness with vulnerability out of deep inner security.

Opposite – Envy. Unable to rejoice other’s joy.

Counterfeit – Manipulative good deeds. “Right hand knowing what left hand is doing.” Self-congratulation and self-righteousness.

Agathosune – goodness. (integrity)

Definition – Honesty, transparency. Being the same in one situation as another.

Opposite – Phoniness; hypocrisy.

Counterfeit – Truth without love. “Getting it off the chest” for your sake.

Pistis – faithfulness.

Definition – Loyalty. Courage. To be principle-driven, committed, utterly reliable. True to one’s word.

Opposite – Opportunist. Fair-weather friend.

Counterfeit – Love without truth. Being loyal when you should be willing to confront or challenge.

Prautas – gentleness. (humility)

Definition – Self-forgetfulness.

Opposite – Superiority: self-absorbed self-aggrandizement.

Counterfeit – Inferiority: self-absorbed, self-consciousness.

Egkrateia – self-control

Definition – Ability to choose the important thing over the urgent.

Opposite – A driven, impulsive, uncontrolled person.

Counterfeit – Willpower through pride or through more “functional” idols.

A Word from Kyle: Out of the Dust

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have you ever given up something for Lent?

over the last few years, i’ve made it a practice to forego something i love to make way in my heart and in my life for Easter. i’ve tried a lot of stuff, but the hardest had to be when i gave up coffee. wow, did my life change when i did that! i never realized how much i depended on coffee to get me through the day until then!

historically, Lent has been practiced by Christ’s people as a way to prepare for Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (this year, February 18). sometimes people give stuff up, like chocolate or alcohol. other times people take something on, like praying with their spouse or serving the homeless.

the point of giving stuff up, or taking stuff on, is simple: to give our lives more room for GOD. such acts are meant to shape us into people who see clearly the sacrifice CHRIST made on the cross, and the glory HE displayed when HE rose again.

during these six weeks, our community will journey through the first chapters of the Scriptures—Genesis 1-11—to be shaped by this season as we prepare for Easter. in this journey, we’ll discover the depths of our brokenness—and the heights of GOD’S love for us. we’ll discover that even out of the dust of our lives, GOD can make beautiful things!

join us on February 15 as we kick off our Lent teaching series, OUT OF THE DUST. invite someone to come with you!

ps: if you’d like to join us for an Ash Wednesday service, we’ll be joining with a few other churches for a quiet, reflective evening to start Lent. we’ll meet at Tod Avenue United Methodist Church at 7PM. snacks and childcare will be provided! 

EVENTS: A Merry {re}generation Christmas

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this December, we’re celebrating Christmas as a community for the very first time! how cool is that?! as we step into the most wonderful time of the year, don’t forget to mark your calendars with our events over the coming weeks.

Christmas Sermon Series – {re}joice in the Waiting | 11.30, 12.7, 12.14 at 6PM
together we’ll begin the Advent journey of waiting—and learn to find joy in the places where we still need rest, healing, and wholeness. each week we’ll tackle a place of waiting in our lives, and learn how to experience JESUS in those places. invite friends to join us for this series!

Christmas Vigil | 12.21 @ 6PM
we won’t gather on Christmas Eve, so join us for a special Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve-Eve service as we celebrate the season together. this will be a great experience for the whole family: we’ll have Christmas presents for every child, and our service will be fun and meaningful for all ages. (we will have childcare available for kids ages 0-3 if needed!) invite friends and family to celebrate with us!

Christmas Feast | 12.28 @ 6PM
when it comes to Christmas, the most fun you can have is over a meal. join us for a potluck dinner on December 28. wear an ugly sweater, and bring the kids for some fun games and Christmas cheer. sign up by 12.21 with what you’re bringing at the {re}connect desk!

and, don’t forget about our December One Thing—the Christmas Cookie Challenge!