Wesley Word – June 29, 2022
To go along with service on: Sunday, July 3rd
- Traditional Hymn: My Country ‘tis of Thee
Galatians 5:1, 13-25
Freedom and Fruit
REMEMBER: Joint worship at First Presbyterian Church this Sunday at 10:30!
This weekend is Fourth of July weekend. As we celebrate the freedom we have in our country, we also should celebrate the spiritual freedom we have in Jesus Christ.
In Galatians 5, Paul tells us that we have been set free in Christ but that we must be careful to avoid two dangers. First, we have to be careful not to allow ourselves to fall back into the slavery of legalism and ritualism. This is one of the presenting issues in the Galatians church. Some people were trying to convince the Gentile Christians in Galatia that they had to observe the Jewish ceremonial laws, especially circumcision. You can read about that in Galatians 5:2-12, the verses that our reading skips over this week. Take a look at verse 12 and you will understand why the lectionary skips it. (PG-13 warning.)
If the first danger we need to be careful of in our freedom in Christ is legalism, then the second is license. Like a license to drive, there is a temptation to think that God’s grace and our Christian freedom give us a license to sin. Paul says, “Do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh.” We are set free from sin, not set free to sin.
To remain free, we have to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. To help us do that Paul distinguishes between the works of the flesh, what we do when we are walking in the flesh, and the fruit of the Spirit, what the Spirit grows in us and brings out of us when we are walking in the Spirit. The works of the flesh are: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. The fruit of Spirit is: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Let us be free and fruitful.
New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/
- June 29 Acts 19:13-41
- June 30 Acts 20:1-38
- July 1 Acts 21:1-17
- July 2 Acts 21:18-36
- July 3 Acts 21:37-22:16
- July 4 Acts 22:17-23:10
- July 5 Acts 23:11-35
- July 6 Acts 24:1-27
Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity
Are you ready for a pop quiz? We’re going to have one on the fruit of the Spirit. Question: How many fruits are there of the Spirit? Nine? Wrong, because there is only one fruit of the Spirit. Notice that fruit is singular.The nine, according to the King James Version of the Bible (KJV), are simply parts of the fruit of the Spirit. One fruit with multiple traits.“Fruit of the Spirit” is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life. Those nine are characteristics of life in Christ. Translated, when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, rather than forces of the “flesh,” the Spirit will produce the nine-fold “fruit” that characterize all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit is a physical manifestation of a Christian’s transformed life.
The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our life. Place a bowel on the center of your table or on your floor (Be careful if you are on the floor!). Place 9 different kinds of fruit in the bowl, or just 9 different food items. Talk with your family or friends about how these 9 different items represent the 9 “fruits”of Jesus’ love as outlined in the verses mentioned above. Don’t forget to enjoy having a mini picnic after you are done with activity if you used food items.
- Sunday, July 3 – One combined service this day at 10:30 a.m. with First Presbyterian Church across the street at 401 Iowa Avenue. Pastor Brian will deliver the morning message.
- Vacation Bible School, July 11-14, register here.
- Music Camp, July 18-22, register here.
- Pen Pal Program – an exciting new opportunity here at Wesley. We are starting a pen pal program (yes, old school writing letters) with our sister church in Nairobi, Kenya. Please contact Jessica at email@example.com for more information.