As I have been working on the fruit of the Spirit series for the blog, I realized that there were several clarifications and comments that I need to make that will apply across the board to the series.
- All references to “she”, or “her”, or any other singularly female identification in the body of these posts is simply because this work was prepared and originally presented to the Women’s Circles of the Women in the Church, West Hills Presbyterian Church in 2014. I am not intentionally excluding any application of these thoughts to the men in my family or readership … it is just a function of the makeup of the original audience, in a congregation where women cannot formally instruct men.
The original lessons were presented in eleven monthly sessions, with handouts and PowerPoint presentation to accompany the oral lesson. The portions of the study that are duplicated here do not represent the entirety of each of the lessons that were presented in the live studies.
- Also, unless noted specifically otherwise, any reference to or quotation from the Holy Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version, Copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Remembering this will eliminate all the [ESV] notations that detract from the flow of the material.
- Finally, I have used a number of references in preparation for this study. While there were about 15 more references that I used, the primary ones relied upon deserve specific notation:
- Throughout this study we will be specifically referencing Dr. R. C. Sproul’s teaching series Keeping in Step with the Spirit, CD Teaching Series; and Developing Christian Character, CD Teaching Series, both of which are available from Ligonier Ministries at http://www.ligonier.org.
- I will also make frequent reference to Jonathan Edwards’ sermons collected in the excellent book Charity and Its Fruits, available through The Banner of Truth Trust at https://banneroftruth.org/us/.
- Another reference that I refer to is the Westminster Shorter Catechism. This is an incredible reference for understanding our Christian theology, not just the fruit of the Spirit. I would encourage you to obtain a copy of the Shorter Catechism together with proof texts at http://www.pcaac.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ShorterCatechismwithScriptureProofs.pdf.
My prayer is God will be glorified through this series, that the Lord Jesus Christ will be honored and that the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts and minds to transform us into the likeness of our Savior.
Additionally, I pray that these studies will be enlightening, challenging and thought-provoking for you. If the Lord speaks to you through these posts, please seek His counsel and ask Him to show you how to put each of these characteristics into practice in your daily life. Remember, the ultimate goal is to be transformed into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is only through His Spirit that this can be accomplished.
Blessings to you and I pray that you will walk with me as we learn about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and as we mature in our transformation into Christian believers who speak and act as Jesus did and who share in the passions that Jesus had for the lost sheep and for the worship of His Father, the Almighty God.