Critical Thinking Conclusion

Last time we looked at the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. We said critical thinking requires us to dig deeper than what appears to be the answer. Digging deeper helps sort through different “doctrines”, different points of view, different conclusions.

People get messed up with life and understanding scripture because they put all the evidence to a question or problem together. They do not separate the evidence into categories. Even crime scene investigators separate evidence. They categorize outside evidence, inside evidence, scene evidence and other evidence such as receipts, cell phone pings, cameras and such. This helps the investigators put together a picture and helps them come to a fair conclusion. Imagine if some of the evidence is left out, could that alter their conclusion? Certainly.

So is it with scripture. If you are trying to understand what teaching or doctrine is for you today, you must separate the evidence. That is what “dispensational” teaching does. Dispensational’s root word is dispense. If we look for example, at 1 Corinthians 9:17 KJV
  “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” Then we reference out this verse we discover, as evidence, Galatians 2:7 KJV  “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;”

As we dig deeper into the evidence we discover God made specific promises or covenants with people. But God’s word tells us, this promise or covenant is for this group and that covenant or promise is for that group. An example of this is Deuteronomy 5:3 KJV  “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.” And there are many other scripture examples of specific promises made to specific groups.

Paul revealed the covenant or promises made to the church. The church is believers in the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord as Paul laid out in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15. Jews and Gentiles, male and female. All those who by faith have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Not believed in but believed on.

Last time we were applying critical thinking skills to the fruit of the Spirit.
When we looked at the Holy Spirit and the “fruit” from Galatians 5, we needed to look deeper at what God is telling us. We said last time –  The Holy Spirit will produce these 9 fruit. Yes. But where? And how?

If I look at Galatians 5 from the top I notice some key points (evidence). Paul tells us we have liberty in Christ, freedom, verse 1. And if you think keeping the law justifies you, you are fallen from grace, verse 4. Another words, you don’t get it. You don’t understand. But then there is a key in verse 10.

Galatians 5:10 KJV  “I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.”

The key is the word ” minded “. The way you process the information. Remember, your brain is the tool but your mind is what processes what your toolbox has. Paul is saying the way you process the information . And to confirm this, look at verse 8 –

Galatians 5:8 KJV  “This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.”

Persuasion. Someone was trying to get the saints at Galatia to process information wrong. The information was about being justified by works of the law, deeds. That is the ground work or foundation of what Paul is about to explain about the Holy Spirit and the fruit. Paul prefaces his instructions in verse 13.

Galatians 5:13 KJV  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Then Paul gives instructions – Galatians 5:16-26 KJV  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
[17] 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.
[18] But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
[20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
[21] 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.
[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
[25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
[26] Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

We clearly see the flesh relates to our physical body and our body, because of the sin nature, desires things against God. But the Spirit is “internal” inside us and not seen. But the Holy Spirit produces fruit inside us that is manifest by how we handle problems, situations and people.

The fruit of the Spirit affects the soul and spirit, not the flesh. Another words, the fruit of the Spirit is not about the way you act in your “flesh”. The fruit of the Spirit affects your soul and your spirit, not your flesh. Let me explain.

People look at the fruit of the Spirit and assume it is behaviour related. How they behave in their flesh. But that is not what the verses teach. I like to look at it like seeds. You see, once you get saved the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you, John 14:17 KJV  “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

And according to scripture, Paul tells the church in Galatians 5, the Holy Spirit has fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

So how do we get that fruit? Imagine looking at a fruit tree and seeing it loaded with fruit. How do you get the fruit? Yes you can pick the fruit, but then you have to eat the fruit. It is a two step process. Well the Holy Spirit has fruit. Critical thinking skills would ask, how do I get that fruit?  I am glad you asked.

Out of the 9 fruit mentioned, we will look at two and you can dig out the other seven. There are nine fruit we want: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. As a believer, how do we get this fruit? God tells us how in his word. We are going to look at getting the peace fruit and the faith fruit.

Isaiah 26:3 KJV  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee : because he trusteth in thee.”
So how do you get the peace fruit? Keep your mind stayed on the Lord. So no matter the wars, rumors of wars, or whatever is going on in the world, keep your mind stayed on the Lord and you will have peace through it all. And when people ask you, how can you be so calm through this, you have an opportunity to be light and share your faith in Christ.

Romans 10:17 KJV  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
So how do we get the fruit of faith? Yes, hearing the word of God.

These are only two examples. If you want to get the fruit of the Spirit, you have to take it. It is like a fruit tree with fruit. You have to take the fruit and then eat the fruit. If you want all 9 fruit, you need to use critical thinking skills and dig out how you get that fruit. Then you need to eat what you find and it will produce internally the fruit. Until next time.

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