Fruit of righteousness

berries-221193_640Philippians 1:11: filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (ESV)

To be filled with the fruit of something means to be empty of the opposite kind of fruit because our capacity is limited.

When you are expanding in the things of God, you are reducing in the things of the world. Paul said that his commitment is to know Christ increasingly. He said: that I may know him and the power of his resurrection being made conformable to his death. He wants to be so filled with Christ and be empty of anything else (Philippians 3:10-13).

He said that we should set out eyes on things on heaven and not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2). We cannot do the two at the same time. He said we need to sow into the spirit and then we will reap abundant life, but if we sow to the flesh we will reap death (Galatians 6:8). It is a matter of choice, the more we do one, the less we do the other.

When we are filled with the fruit of righteousness, it is to be to the praise of God. Jesus said we should let our light shine before men so that they may see our good works and give praise to God (Matthew 5:16). The presence of the Holy Spirit in us gives the foundation of the expression of the righteousness us. The bible says that the kingdom of God is in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). And Jesus said that the kingdom is within us.

Righteousness

We inherited a legacy of sin from Adam (Romans 5:12-21). This is programming into a lifestyle of sin. David said it this way: in iniquity my mother gave conceived me (Psalm 51:5).

We cannot improve the old man because sin is worked into its nature, what we need is a new man, with the righteousness of Christ worked into it.

Now in Jesus we can reign in this life by righteousness, where before we were slaves to sin. We are new creature, called to show forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light (1Peter 2:9). All our goodness emanates from him.

It is only God that is good. That was what Jesus said and we cannot argue with him (Luke 18:18-19). Talking about his credentials, John said: no one has seen God at any time, but the only begotten of the father, who is in the bosom of the father, he has declared him (John 1:18). So if he says no one is good except God, we need to believe him.

God made man good, but he compromised his nature by eating the fruit he was told not to eat He enjoyed forbidden pleasures and set in motion corrupting influence of sin (launched through self-will) within himself. And shortly after that the bible says that the imagination of the heart of man was constantly evil (Genesis 6:5). So the fruit eaten by Adam and Eve opened the gate of hell and is the direct reason for all the problem in the world, save none. It was the beginning of things going wrong. But we find righteousness again in Jesus.

Peace

Peace as a fruit of the kingdom of God comes in three folds. There is peace with others, peace with God and peace as an inner sense of calmness.

Peace with God we receive as a gift through Jesus. The bible says that we have peace with God through Jesus (Romans 5:1-5).

In the book of James we read that the wisdom from above is peaceable, that has to do with peace around us, peace with others (James 3:17). Jesus said that blessed are the peacemakers because they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9). And Paul said that as much as it lies with we should be at peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14, Romans 12:17-18). He realises this was not absolutely possible. There was no way Paul will be at peace with his persecutors except he comprised his peace with God, which is the foundation.

Jesus talking about an inner sense of calmness says that he gives us his peace. These three kinds of peace are connected and have their foundation in peace with God.

Joy

This is a condition of the spirit of man, which emanated from the well of the water of salvation within us (Isaiah 12:3). The bible says that with joy we will draw from the well of salvation.

Joy is also the mark of acceptable spiritual service before God. Paul said that God loves a cheerful giver (2Corinthians 9:7). Joy should mark our work of service (what you are giving in help) because God does not look just at the action but also at the heart behind the action.

If it is a heart of joy, which means there is willingness. Paul said if there be first a willing heart, it is acceptable in what a man has and not what he does not (2Corinthians 8:12).

Joy, therefore, is an indication of the presence of faith, since we should express our gift of service in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:3-8).

What you do that gives you joy is differs from what gives me joy. Therefore, joy is an indication of your spiritual call. When God brought Eve to Adam, he was joyful though that was the first time he was meeting her. He said: this is now the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh. In order words, this has to do with me, with what makes me happy.

The opposite of joy, in that sense, is jealousy. Jealousy is not totally a bad thing, once it is not acted out in a negative way. You are not jealous of everything or everyone, but the people you are jealous of seems to be doing what you like, they are those you desire to be like.

When you see people moving in the direction you want to go, desire is stirred up in you and it is because of the fleshly nature (Galatians 5:19-22) that is translated to mean jealousy and we start hating that person for having what we want.

We should rather, as the bible says, rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). It should rather cause you to learn from the person, rather than be jealous and castigate the person and be hateful, and prideful, giving excuses why the person has success or not you.

Question 1: Peace with God we receive as a gift through who?

Question 2: Is it possible to always be at peace with all men at all times?

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