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The Fruit of the Spirit: Temperance

Christians can learn temperance from the example of Olympic athletes. By observing the athletes Christians can learn not only what temperance is, but why it is important. Rev. Smit writes, “If temperance is vital for the success of a worldly athlete for the prize of an Olympic gold medal, should it not be regarded by us as more than vital for the prize for which we press forward by faith? That it ought to be highly valued by the believer is...

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness

Meekness Rev. Smit opens chapter 9 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ by explaining that Holy Spirit works meekness in the hearts of all the elect upon whom he bestows the gift of salvation.  All who are saved become meek.  It is a virtue that was exhibited, as Rev. Smit explains, by Moses, John the Baptist, Paul, and many other saints (pg. 128).  Saints are meek because they are renewed in the image of Jesus Christ, who was meek. ...

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Faithfulness is Success One of the questions at the end of chapter 8 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ which discusses the fruit of the Spirit called faithfulness asks, “in what ways are we prone to become weary in well-doing?”  A common reason for discouragement is lack of success.  Why expend the effort if the desired result does not come to fruition?   The repeated admonitions brought by elders seem only to be met with stubborn resistance.  The...

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness

Are you good? Is man basically good? Are you good? ‘Yes,’ is the answer of many who know nothing about Scripture, and therefore who know nothing about the true definition of goodness. In Chapter 7 of The Fruit of the Spirit Rev. Smit provides an excellent explanation of what the Bible says about goodness. Definitions are important, and once again Rev. Smit provides a helpful definition of goodness on page 105: We believe that the goodness of the child of God...

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

Retaliate with Gentleness In chapter 6 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Rev. Smit explains the lovely Christian characteristic of gentleness. Towards the end of the chapter Rev. Smit speaks of the connection between gentleness and the characteristics of love and peace, which precede gentleness in Gal. 5:22-23. Christian love is characterized by gentleness. And the fruit of gentleness is peace. If we desire to experience the joys of love and peace in our relationships with God and our...

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The Fruit of the Spirit: Longsuffering

The Queen of Virtues Longsuffering begins, Rev. Smit writes in chapter five of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, “the second main group” of the fruit of the Spirit. The first group of three virtues is inward looking, while this second group of three “seems to highlight virtues that are evident in our outward dealings and communication, especially with those of our church families and covenant homes.” Just as the importance of love is highlighted by its position at...

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Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Am I Pursuing Peace? True peace is the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  Rev. Smit explains what this true peace is in chapter 4 of The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Rev. Smit begins the chapter with a description of false peace, the peace the world strives for and claims it can achieve through man’s “own wisdom, goodness, and righteousness (pg. 52).”  But this manmade peace is “illusive” (pg. 51).  There is no peace in the world...

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Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Love, Joy... If you were making a list of Christian virtues, where would you put joy? Where would you expect a Calvinist to put joy? Somewhere after orthodoxy, sobriety, and humility…right? Or maybe joy doesn’t belong on the list at all. Christianity and joy just do not seem to go together. But in the inspired order of the fruit of the Spirit Rev. Smit explains, “Significantly, near the beginning of the list…right beside love.”  Joy is a gift of the...

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Fruit of the Spirit: Love

“According to . . . Christ’s love toward you, so love one another (pg. 27).”  The quote standing at the head of this post is a command.  However, toward the beginning of this chapter Rev. Smit explains that Galatians 5:22 is not a command to love.  Galatians 5:22 simply speaks of love as the fruit (or part of the fruit) of the Spirit.  Rev. Smit explains why this is significant: What is the significance that Galatians 5:22 speaks of love as...

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Fruit of the Spirit: An Introduction

  Greetings!  My name is Rev. Clayton Spronk, and it is my privilege to write for this blog on behalf of the RFPA.  The plan is for me to write at least two posts a month.  The RFPA has left it up to me to select the subjects, meaning that you can expect coverage of a wide variety of topics.  Though not every post will be devoted to the promotion of RFPA publications, I do plan to put a plug in...

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Welcome, Rev. Spronk!

  We welcome guest blogger Rev. Clayton Spronk, pastor of Peace Protestant Reformed Church in Lansing, IL! Rev. Spronk will be blogging for us several times a month, taking us first through a brief study of Richard Smit's newly released book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Many have been asking for a discussion or study to follow-up each of the Book Club books, and we hope you feel free to join in by leaving your comments at the...

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