Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 May 2021 2 Corinthians 3:5.

2 Corinthians 3:5.     ​Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

Another merry-go-round Monday friends! It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing by although we are immersed in so much conflict and sickness. And it’s so sad that many of us don’t know whether we are coming or going, with our lives all confused and topsy-turvy, with no plausible ending currently in sight. But as positive and serious believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to hold on tightly to Him and ride out the storm with His lead and guidance. Remember His teaching re the vine and the branches? 

‘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. 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.’ (John 15:4-5) That’s putting it very clearly and straightforward friends! Without Christ, our abilities are very limited. But with Him, we can do all things, because He strengthens us. Glory be! 

And Bruh Paul corroborates Christ’s statement when he says to the church at Corinth: ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ (2 Cor. 3:5) Now that’s exactly why we need to hold on to Christ and His faithful promises, especially in times of indecision and crisis like we’re now experiencing. And we know that many of our problems stem from our own mistakes, by our terrible inhumanity and critical lack of compassion for our fellow man, as we allowed the evil and negative aspects of the world, the lusts of the flesh, as it were, to take control of our society. 

We’re talking about the same things that Bruh Paul so long ago advised the Galatians against. ‘Adultery, fornication, uncleanness (sexual impurity), lasciviousness (sexual excess), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions), seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings (excessive eating and carousing) 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. 5:19-21) 

So, basically, most of our problems stem from those things being too prevalent in our modern-day world. We lack what Bruh Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit. And here’s how he explains it to the Galatians. ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith (faithfulness), Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (it’s passions).’ (Gal. 5:22-24) 

And the scholars offer this basic explanation. ‘5:19-23. By contrasting the works of the flesh (vs. 19-21) with the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22-23), the believer can know whether he is walking by the Spirit or being controlled by the flesh.’ And there’s no doubt that too many human beings are currently walking in the lusts of the flesh and not in the fruit of the Spirit, thus the ghastly and grievous situation that now exists in our world. 

Now, here’s another important scholarly explanation, I think I ought to mention. ‘5:22. The word fruit is significant for three reasons. (1) It means the result, product, outcome, or effect produced by the Spirit in the believer’s life. (2) Unlike “the gifts of the Spirit” (plural), only some of which are given to a Christian, each believer is to have ALL nine virtues composing “the fruit of the Spirit” (singular) (3) As fruit on a tree takes time to grow and mature, so the Spirit does not cultivate these virtues in the believer’s life overnight.’ That’s an important distinction we need to note between the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and the ‘gifts of the Spirit,’ One is singular and the other is plural. 

And just for good measure, (smile) I’ll throw in some more scholarly explanations, this time in a little more detail, re the fruit of the Spirit. ‘LOVE is willing, sacrificial giving of oneself for the benefit of another without thought of return. Joy is gladness of heart. Peace is tranquility of mind, freeing one from worry and fear. Long-suffering is patience with others, the opposite of a short temper, a disposition quietly bearing injury. Gentleness is kindness. Goodness is generosity. Faith here is dependability. Meekness is gentleness, that is, courtesy and consideration of one’s relations with others. Temperance is self-control, that is, the ability to harness and control one’s passions and lusts.’ 

So now, we can’t say we didn’t know what the fruit of the Spirit is, (smile) which brings us to these closing words of Bruh Paul on the subject. ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’ (Gal. 5:25) That means, since we are supposed to live by the Spirit as believers, let us really follow the leadings and promptings of the Spirit in our lives.

 Finally, let’s go home pleading in prayer, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, for God’s mercy and grace on our current untenable situation. As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

And the obvious corollary to that is for us to now go out and seriously and sincerely live by the Spirit, if we want to see substantial change in our world. Much LOVE!

…only by sticking close to Christ…like white on rice…can we crucify…the inherent lusts of the flesh… 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2021 Galatians 5:25.

Galatians 5:25.     ​If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Well, a blessed Wednesday to all you wonderful believers out there in Scrip-Bit land! I do hope that Jesus is shining brightly in all our hearts like the sun is shining in my neighbourhood. And if it isn’t right now, I pray that as the day progresses, it will certainly rise up and bring you His awesome peace and LOVE, despite all the negative activity that’s currently taking place in our sinful and evil world! 

Because that’s the magic, well not really magic, because Jesus doesn’t do magic, but right now I can’t think of the appropriate word for it, (smile) so let’s just say that’s the beauty of Jesus; He allows us to have peace and LOVE in our souls and spirits, even in times of dire hardship! Praise His holy name my people, for there’s NO ONE else who can achieve such a wondrous work in us! 

And all God’s children said, in loud and proud gratitude: ‘Praise the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Emmanuel, our Lord and Saviour, the majestic One who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross of Calvary for us sinners! Bless His name! Bless His holy name, for He truly deserves all of our praise and glory!’ 

And no one can find fault with those statements friends, for Jesus did put His life on the line for us, before we even knew Him. And yuh better believe, that bearing the sins of the whole world on one’s shoulders, even if you are the Son of God, is no easy feat to accomplish. It takes oodles of strength, will power, obedience and above all, LOVE! And those are the things , the awesome characteristics that the world needs to see from us believers in Christ, from us Christians in these calamitous times. 

Christ desires us to be strong leaders and good ambassadors in this world. That’s why He called us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. People are supposed to follow our lead. But if we aren’t coming up strong, then how are they supposed to follow us eh? Oh friends, Christians are supposed to be the happiest, most joyful and most LOVING people on the face of the earth because we have all that Jesus is, dwelling within us, namely His Holy Spirit. 

And what does that Holy Spirit do, that is, if we allow it? It causes us to walk in obedience to God’s law and word, and produces fruit, godly fruit from the seeds planted in us. What we call the fruit of the Spirit. And those are the things the world needs to see in great abundance in the lives of believers right now, so that they can take heart and know that all is not lost, and that Jesus is the way to salvation! 

Bruh Paul called it walking in the Spirit. As he wrote to the Galatians: ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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 do. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.’ (Gal. 5:16-18) 

Oh my people, our natural nature leads us to sin. Yes, we are born with a sinful nature, but we can overcome those strong desires of our flesh by allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all our earthly doings. In fact, that’s exactly what He’s been placed in us for: wise guidance and counsel, as well as comfort and security. And yuh better believe that the Spirit’s job is a tough one because we do like the things of the world, fleshly lusts, strong sinful desires, a lot. In fact, we are quite fascinated by them. (smile) 

And if you’re wondering what those things of the world, those fleshly lusts or strong sinful desires are, listen to Bruh Paul as he enunciates some of them. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest (evident), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (licentiousness), Idolatry, witchcraft (sorcery), hatred, variance (contentions), emulations (jealousies), wrath, strife (selfish ambitions),seditions (dissensions), heresies (organized divisions or cliques), 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. 5:19-21) 

Wow mih bredrin! Yuh see how many things the Spirit needs to overcome in our sinful nature. But it’s not impossible, because it’s the Spirit of Christ, and NOTHING is impossible with Him. Remember that popular acclamation we all mouth: ‘I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!’ (Phil. 4:13) Well it’s in walking with the Spirit that that scripture is ever so important. 

So now that we’ve seen what the lusts of the flesh are, let’s take a gander at the fruit of the Spirit. Bruh Paul describes them thus: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness),goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance (self-control): against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections (its passions) and lusts.’ (Gal. 5:22-24) Yes friends, the latter characteristics are what should be pouring out of believers and not the former. 

And I like this explanation of verse 24 by the scholars. ‘5:24. At conversion every believer crucified the flesh, that is, in repentance he turned from and renounced his life of sin and all its wicked passions. This verse, then, implies that the virtues of verses 22-23, rather than the vices of verses 19-21, should characterize them that are Christ’s.’ And so it should be my fellow saints! 

And Bruh Paul ends this passage on the flesh versus the Spirit thus: ‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another, envying one another.’ (Gal. 5:25-26) How else can it be eh friends, if we’re truly living in and walking with the Holy Spirit of Christ? So for those of us who are sincerely trying to do all that, let’s go home now declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

As one strong and sincere voice now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as we all know, if we endure to the end, that life will be even more glorious than we can even ask or imagine! So let’s hang in there and endure and persevere nuh my brethren! Much LOVE!

…walking in and with the Spirit of Christ is not easy…but it certainly is amazing and very beneficial… 

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