1. THE STRUGGLE
a. Describe the struggle of the natural human heart in need of deliverance from condemnation by full, constant surrender to Christ. Galatians 5:17, 18.
“Our love to Christ will be in proportion to the depth of our conviction of sin, and by the law is the knowledge of sin. But as we see ourselves, let us look away to Jesus, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity. By faith take hold of the merits of Christ, and the soul-cleansing blood will be applied. The more clearly we see the evils and perils to which we have been exposed, the more grateful shall we be for deliverance through Christ. The gospel of Christ does not give men license to break the law, for it was through transgression that the floodgates of woe were opened upon our world.”—Faith and Works, p. 96.
“Sanctification is a daily work. Let none deceive themselves with the belief that God will pardon and bless them while they are trampling upon one of His requirements. The willful commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul from God. Whatever may be the ecstasies of religious feeling, Jesus cannot abide in the heart that disregards the divine law. God will honor those only who honor Him.”—The Sanctified Life, p. 92.
2. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH
a. Name the works of the flesh mentioned by Paul—and explain why we need to be seriously warned against them. Galatians 5:19–21.
“[Christ] bore the guilt of transgression, and the hiding of His Father’s face, until His heart was broken and His life crushed out. . . . And every soul that refuses to become a partaker of the atonement provided at such a cost, must bear, in his own person the guilt and punishment of transgression.”—The Great Controversy, p. 540.
b. Why is adultery (sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband) a violation of the law of God? Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4.
c. What must we realize about fornication (similar to adultery, but involving unmarried persons) and the uncleanness and lasciviousness that leads to it? 1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 5:27, 28.
“The most solemn message ever committed to mortals has been entrusted to this people, and they can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by it. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than is that of the classes I have named, who do not acknowledge the law of God as binding upon them.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 450, 451.
“[The seventh] commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them. Purity is demanded not only in the outward life but in the secret intents and emotions of the heart.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 308.
d. How is God willing to help us overcome? Matthew 5:8; Psalm 51:5–7, 10.
“It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 671.
3. THE WORKS OF THE FLESH (CONTINUED)
a. What is wrong with idolizing something? Exodus 20:1–6.
“By idolatry [Paul] meant not only the worship of idols, but self-serving, love of ease, the gratification of appetite and passion. A mere profession of faith in Christ, a boastful knowledge of the truth, does not make a man a Christian. A religion that seeks only to gratify the eye, the ear, and the taste, or that sanctions self-indulgence, is not the religion of Christ.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 317.
b. What must we realize about how much God has always hated all kinds of witchcraft and sorcery? Exodus 22:18; Malachi 3:5; Revelation 21:8.
“The very name of witchcraft is now held in contempt. The claim that men can hold intercourse with evil spirits is regarded as a fable of the Dark Ages. But spiritualism, which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands, yea, by millions, which has made its way into scientific circles, which has invaded churches, and has found favor in legislative bodies, and even in the courts of kings—this mammoth deception is but a revival, in a new disguise, of the witchcraft condemned and prohibited of old.”—The Great Controversy, p. 557.
c. Why are hatred, variance (discord), emulations (ardent desires for superiority arising from competition), wrath, strife, seditions (stirring up of discontent or rebellion), envyings, and murders so evil? 1 John 3:15.
d. In what strong language did Christ condemn heresies (doctrines contrary to a “thus saith the Lord”)? Matthew 15:9; John 8:44.
e. With what type of occasions are drunkenness and revellings associated? Daniel 5:1–6, 26–28, 30; Matthew 14:6–11.
4. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
a. In contrast to the works of the flesh, what does Paul reveal as the fruits of the Spirit—and why can’t we pick and choose which fruit might come more easily to us? Galatians 5:22, 23.
“When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 676.
b. What type of “love” is the fruit cited here? 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, 13.
“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 318.
c. What type of “joy” is the fruit cited here? Psalm 51:12; John 15:10, 11; Hebrews 12:2.
“There are souls to be revived; many to receive the joy of salvation into their own souls. They have erred, they have not been building a right character, but God has joy to restore to them, even the joy of His anointed.”—The Upward Look, p. 287.
d. Why is true peace needed, and how is it obtained? Romans 5:1; John 14:27.
“ ‘All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution’ (2 Timothy 3:12). But this should not intimidate one soul. What can give such sunshine to the soul as the evidence of sins forgiven? What can impart true nobility if it is not the restoration of the moral image of God in man? Whence can peace come if not from the Prince of Peace? To what source can we look for help, but to Him who can give us light in the midst of darkness?”—The Review and Herald, February 28, 1899.
“The joy that was set before [Jesus] was that of seeing souls redeemed by the sacrifice of His glory, His honor, His riches, and His own life. The salvation of man was His joy.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 686.
5. THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT (CONTINUED)
a. Why is longsuffering (patience) so valuable? Luke 21:19; Hebrews 10:36; Revelation 14:12.
“The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 465.
b. Why are gentleness, goodness, faith, and temperance all essential to the Christian? Psalm 18:35; Luke 7:50; Philippians 4:5.
c. What must we realize about meekness—and how only can we manifest the entire fruit of the Spirit? Matthew 5:5; Galatians 5:24; 1 Peter 2:21–24.
“Meekness is a precious grace, willing to suffer silently, willing to endure trials. Meekness is patient and labors to be happy under all circumstances. Meekness is always thankful and makes its own songs of happiness, making melody in the heart to God. Meekness will suffer disappointment and wrong, and will not retaliate.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 335.
“Jesus, our Redeemer, walked the earth with the dignity of a king; yet He was meek and lowly of heart.”—Child Guidance, p. 141.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. We are not saved by obeying God’s law, yet what must we realize about it?
2. At what cost is indulgence in violating God’s law with regard to marriage?
3. At what cost is indulgence in dabbling in modern spiritism/the occult?
4. Contrast the love, joy, and peace of Christ with the counterfeits of the world.
5. Where shall we look in order to develop the complete fruit of the Spirit?