The danger when talking about the fruit of the Spirit is that we are so used to hearing these words that we assume certain things about them. I was listening to a sermon by Russell Moore of Southern Seminary about kindness and he said something that I think is spot on. We think of kindness and we equate it with niceness. But kindness in the Bible is more than just niceness and it is altogether different than our culturally contrived definitions.
The Weight of Ephesians
An outline of Ephesians is helpful at this point:
- The Sovereign Foundation of the Church in Christ
- (1-2) Opening and Blessing of God
- (3-14) The Spiritual Blessing of Believers
- (15-23) Thanksgiving to God
- Monergistic and Multicultural Composition of the Church
- (1-10) The Regenerating Work of God by Grace Alone through Faith Alone.
- (11-18) The Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile
- (19-22) The Building of God’s People
- The Christ-Exalting Goal of the Church
- (1-13) To Make Known the Wisdom of God
- (14-21) Prayer for Strength to Make it Known
- Christ-Centered, Holy Spirit Empowered, Unity of the Church (1-16)
- The God-Glorifying Renewal of the Church (4:17-6:9)
- Upon the Church in General
- Put off the old, be renewed and put on the new
- Imitate God (5:1); Walk as children of the light (5:8); Walk in Wisdom (5:15); Walk in the control of the Holy Spirit (5:18).
- Upon Specific Groups within the Church
- Wives and Husbands (5:22-33)
- Children and Parents (6:1-4)
- Employers and Employees (6:5-9)
- The Effective Armor of the Church
- (6:10-20) The Armor of God
- (6:21-24) Conclusion
We know that there is an eternal foundation upon which God has seen fit to build his church filled with regenerated Jews and Gentiles with Christ as the cornerstone, so that everything takes it’s marks, it’s pattern, it’s design from Christ. We have been formed together as a body of Christ to make the mystery of the gospel known to the nations as we worship, preach, teach, evangelize and live together as one body, with one baptism, one faith, one hope and one Lord. We are to grow up into maturity as God’s people, which involves the changing work of the Holy Spirit upon our lives and his influence affects everything. It is to the changing work of the Holy Spirit in the area of kindness that we now turn our attention this week. Buckle up.