Galatians 5:15

Having shown the magnificence of the gospel system, Paul now proceeds to define that freedom which it secures. It is not licence, but love, which it induces; and love not only fulfils the Law, as legalism does not, but also prevents the bitter strife which legalism ensures. We have the following points suggested: -

I. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN LICENCE AND LIBERTY. (Ver. 13.) The grace which has freed us from the legal spirit has not endowed us with a liberty to live licentiously. The liberty it gives is totally distinct from licence. Licence is liberty to please ourselves, to humour the flesh, to regard liberty as an end and not a means. But God in his gospel gives no such liberty. His liberty is a means and not an end; it is liberty to live as he pleases, liberty to love him and love men, liberty to serve one another by love. We must guard ourselves, then, from the confusion of mistaking licence for liberty.

II. LOVE IS THE REAL LIBERTY. (Ver. 13.) As a matter of experience we never feel free until we have learned to love. When our hearts are going out to God in Christ, when we have at his cross learned the lesson of philanthropy, when we have felt our obligation to God above and to man below, then we are free as air and rejoice in freedom. Then we refuse licence as only freedom's counterfeit, for we have learned a more excellent way. We cannot imagine a loveless spirit to be free. He may achieve an outlawry, but he is not, cannot be, free.

III. LOVE IS THE REAL FULFILMENT OF THE LAW. (Ver. 14.) The legalists in their little system of self-righteousness spent their strength upon the mint, the anise, and the cummin; while the weightier matters of the Law - righteousness, judgment, and faith - were neglected. Ceremonies and not morality became their concern. The tithing of pot-herbs would entitle them to Paradise. In contrast to all this, Paul shows that Christian love, which is another name for liberty, fulfils the demands of Law. The meaning of the commandments published from Sinai was love. Their essence is love to God and love to our neighbour, as well as to our "better self." Hence the gospel throws no slight on Law, but really secures its observance, The whole system turns on love as the duty and the privilege of existence. While the Law is, therefore, rejected as a way of life, it is accepted as a rule. Saved through the merits and grace of Christ, we betake ourselves to Law-keeping con amore. We recognize in God the supreme object of grateful love; we recognize in our neighbour the object of our love for God's sake and for his own sake; and we honour the Law of God as "holy and just and good." The whole difference between the legal spirit and the gospel spirit is that in the one case Law is kept in hope of establishing a claim; in the other it is kept in token of our gratitude. The motive in the one case, being selfish, destroys the high standard of Law. It fancies it can be kept with considerable completeness, whereas it is kept by the best with constant and manifold shortcoming. The motive in the other case, being disinterested, secures such attachment to the Law, because it has been translated into love, that it is kept with increasing ardour and success. Slaves will never honour Law so much as freemen.

IV. LOVE IS THE TRUE ANTIDOTE TO STRIFE AND DIVISION. (Ver. 15.) The ritualistic or legal spirit into which the Galatians had temporally fallen manifested itself in strife and bickerings. This is, in fact, its natural outcome. For if men arc straining every nerve to save themselves by punctilious observance of ceremonies, they will come of necessity into collision. It is an emulation of a selfish character. It cannot be conducted with mutual consideration. As a matter of fact, organizations pervaded by the legal spirit are but the battle-ground of conflicting parties. But love comes to set all right again. Its genial breath makes summer in society and takes wintry isolation and self-seeking all away. Mutual consideration secures harmony and social progress. Instead of religious people becoming then the butt of the world's scorn by reason of their strife and divisions, they become the world's wonder by reason of their unity and peace. It is, love, therefore, we are bound to cultivate. Then shall concord and all its myriad blessings come into the Church of God and the world be subdued before it. - R.M.E.

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
I. THERE EVER WERE, ARE, AND WILL BE, DIFFERENCES AMONG GOD'S OWN PEOPLE IN THE MATTERS OF RELIGION. Even amongst the Jews, who had such punctual rules prescribed before them, yet the school of Hillel went one way, and the school of Shammai went another; and their contentions sometimes were sprinkled with the blood one of another. And no sooner was the gospel planted, but the professors of it fell at variance about matters of religion: this is plain in the controversies about circumcision, for the quieting whereof that famous council met at Jerusalem (Acts 15.). And the causes hereof are evident: —

1. Our general imperfection in this life. As the best men are imperfect in their holiness, so are they in their knowledge; there will be defects in our understanding, as well as in our will. So that it is scarce possible to prevent all diversity of opinions in religion.

2. Men's education contributes much hereunto. It is manifest how strong an influence this hath upon all people's understandings.

3. Men's capacities are different. Some have a greater sagacity to penetrate into things than others; some have a clearer judgment to weigh and determine of things than others; some have more solid learning by far than others; and these, doubtless, will attain to a higher form and class than others can.

4. Men's natural tempers are different. Some more airy and mercurial, some more stiff and melancholy.

5. Men's interests are different. Not that any good man doth wittingly calculate his profession for his baser ends; but yet they may secretly bias him, especially in more minute and dubious matters belonging to religion.

II. THESE DIFFERENCES MAY AND SHOULD BE MANAGED WITH CHARITY. "Better to have truth without public peace, than peace without saving truth:" so Dr. Gauden. "We must not sail for the commodity of peace beyond the line of truth; we must break the peace in truth's quarrel:" so another learned man. But this is to be understood of necessary and essential truths; in which case, "that man little consults the will and honour of God, who will expose the truth, to obtain," as saith Nazianzen, "the repute of an easy mildness." But when, after all such endeavours have been used as are within the reach of a man's parts and calling, still differences do remain in smaller matters, these ought to be managed with all charity; that is, with true love.

III. THESE DISSENSIONS ARE UNCHARITABLE, WHEN PERSONS BITE AND DEVOUR ONE ANOTHER. The spring of all this poison is in the heart; for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh," and the hand acts. There is a defect of real and fervent love, and an excess of selfishness within; self-opinion, self-will, and self-interest: and this arrogance breeds insolence, and all the "biting and devouring" mentioned in this place. Now if these two expressions do bear a distinct signification, then —

1. Men do "bite" one another by keen and venomous words.(1) Sometimes by censuring their brethren.(2) Sometimes men "bite" one another by plain slandering one another, charging them with crimes which they abhor.(3) And sometimes men "bite" by downright railing at, if not cursing, those that differ from them.

2. Men "devour" one another by actual endeavours to injure and hurt one another.

(1)By fraud.

(2)By force.


1. So saith Scripture (Hosea 10:2.; Matthew 12:25).

2. "Histories and experience do attest the same. For contentions in general: it is evident that the divisions which were among the Trojans made way for their overthrow by the Greeks; the like animosities among the Greeks brought them under the slavery of Philip. The feuds that were among the Assyrians, brought in the Persians; and the like among the Persians subjected them to the Macedonians; and the contentions among Alexander's successors rendered them up to be swallowed by the Romans, one after another. Yea, the Roman Empire itself, near the tinge when the western and the eastern branches of it were hottest in contention about the supremacy of their bishops and about images, — behold, the Goths and Vandals destroyed the one, and the Saracens and Turks ruined the other. The scandalous discords among the Jews exposed Jerusalem at length to that dreadful desolation by Titus Vespasian. And for this island, it has been still accounted like some great animal, that can only be ruined by its own strength. The contentions of the Britons made the Romans conquerors. Afterwards the Saxons came in upon the divisions of the natives; and the contentions of the Saxons prepared the way for the Normans. And for religious differences: it is known how Julian the Apostate cherished those between the Catholics and the Donatists; saying, that no savage beasts were so cruel against one another as the Christians; so that he expected thereby to ruin them all. It is notorious what famous and numerous churches were once in Africa; but, by the contentions of the Manichees, then of the Donatists, they are now extinguished. The contentions among the Protestants in King Edward the Sixth's reign ended in the persecution by Queen Mary: and if ever the Romans ruin us again, it will be procured by our contentions among ourselves.

3. There is too much reason for it.(1) On the part of the thing itself. These dissensions have a natural tendency to promote our destruction; nothing can more properly bring it to effect.(a) They weaken that confidence that is necessary for the preservation of a people.(b) They destroy that love which is the cement of all societies. As they proceed from a defect of love, so they quite ruin the remainders of it. Now, this love unites, and so strengthens: but when men's hearts are once divided from each other, what care I what becomes of them whom I hate?(c) They prepare for the most desperate actions. For when there is a dislike settled within, and that men's spirits are exasperated by provoking words and actions, there wants nothing but opportunity to produce the most violent effects.(2) On the part of God they deserve destruction; and therefore they plainly prepare for it.

(a)They provoke the wrath of God.

(b)They consume the power and life of godliness. God's grace never thrives in an unquiet spirit. Application:

1. Union is the true means of our preservation. Let us consider(1) how many things we agree in. And if men would begin at this end, and not still at the wrong end — to wit, the few and small things wherein we differ — we could not, for very shame, be so implacable to one another.(2) Consider the imperfections of our human nature. Our understandings were sorely wounded by the fall of Adam; and they are but imperfectly and unequally recovered by all the means which the gospel affords. Why should we condemn every one that is not endowed with our abilities, or advanced to our capacity?(3) Consider, that you, who are so violent, do differ from others just as far as they differ from you.(4) Consider, that there have been greater differences than ours among those that were the true members of Christ's Church. Witness Acts 15:1: "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved:" a material point, and urged, you see, with great confidence; and yet God forbid we should blot these out of the roll of true Christians!(5) Consider your own personal moral failings. Hath not each of us some "right eye"? Are we perfectly good? Are not we all "men of like passions"?

2. If uncharitable contentions do prepare for utter destruction, then woe be to the instruments and bellows of our contentions!

(1)The devil.

(2)Atheistical and debauched persons.

(3)Ignorant and proud people.These are many in number, and generally most conceited and contemptuous. Of such good old Mr. Greenham is to be understood, when, being asked by the lord-treasurer Cecil, where the blame of that great rent lay between the bishops of those times and others, "The fault," said he, "is on both sides, and on neither side: for the godly-wise on both sides bear with each other, and concur in the main; but there be some selfish, peevish spirits on both sides, and these make the quarrel."

3. If these prepare for destruction, then we in this sinful nation are in the ready way to misery. For,

(1)Our differences and contentions are notorious.

(2)We are uncharitable in these contentions.

(3)Too many of those that should quench these flames, exasperate them.

(4)Our common enemy is ready to devour us.

4. Let us all, then, be entreated, conjured, and persuaded to forbear biting and devouring one another. Leave off this brutish behaviour toward one another. To which end consider —(1) The greatness and baseness of the sin.

(a)You break the great commandment of God's law, which is love.

(b)You trample upon the great precept of the gospel, which is love.

(c)These contentions bring great dishonour to Jesus Christ.

(d)They grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

(e)They stir up much corruption, both in the aggressor and in the defendant.

(f)They greatly hinder the conversion of the ungodly, and the progress in holiness of the godly.

(g)These contentions in religion tempt men to be atheists.

(h)These biting and devouring contentions are uncivil, inhuman, and barbarous.(2) The certainty and sadness of the danger. "Lest ye be consumed one of another."

(a)It includes the ruin of our outward comforts.

(b)It threatens the ruin of our religion.

(c)This destruction infers the ruin of our posterity.(3) The best method to cure this great evil, and to prevent this great danger.

(a)Lament your own and others' sin in this particular.

(b)Learn Christian wisdom.

(c)Endeavour for a catholic spirit.

(d)Be clothed with humility. It is pride that begins and maintains our quarrels.

(e)Apply yourselves to the practice of real piety.

(f)Follow after charity. This is the healing grace; and if this be not applied to our bleeding wounds, they will never be cured. It were better, as one says, that Caesar should break all Pollio's curious glasses, than that they should break the bond of charity, or that the breach of them should be the occasion of so much inhumanity of brethren one against another.

(g)Avoid extremes. Do not labour to screw-up one another to the utmost.

(h)Mind every one his own business.

(i)Observe that good old rule, of doing to others as you would be done to. You would have others to bear with you; and why will not you bear with others?

(j)My last advice is, to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." This every one may do, and this every one ought to do: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces" (Psalm 122:6, 7).

(R. Steele, M. A.)

1. Are often due to trivial causes.

2. Are always unreasonable.

3. Are a hindrance to the progress of the gospel.

4. Enfeeble and imperil the Church.

5. Are a cause of rejoicing to the enemies of the truth.

6. Are offensive to God.

(R. A. Bertram.)

A wall having become very feeble by age, a portion of it one day fell down. Great consequences followed the Falling of the piece of the old wall.

1. The sun was able to pour more light into the gardens on either side, which the height of the wall had obstructed, so that the flowers looked to greater advantage; and, owing to their having more air and sunshine, became really more beautiful.

2. The perfume was borne across the breach; so that the gardens were the, sweeter. "What a pity that piece of old wall had not fallen down before," said the flowers.

3. The shrubs looked over to one another, and got into friendly talk; and so they said, "What a good thing that piece of old wall fell down; it is a pity it stood so high so long."

4. The flowers and shrubs of each garden discovered that members of their own families had been living on the other side, and therefore really near to each other, though they had had no communion, owing to the wall between.

5. Finally, so many benefits were seen to be the result of the occurrence that, instead of rebuilding the fallen part, the remainder was pulled down to a low level, that air and sunshine might have freer course, and the gardens a free communication. And not a few afterwards acknowledged that a real good and blessing was the consequence to all parties, by the opportunely falling down of that old dividing wall Party spirit is a wall of separation which the coming and the work of Christ was intended to remove. "For He is our peace, who hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us." Let none now seek to divide Christians by building up a wall of party spirit between them; for, "behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

(G. Bowden.)

You all profess to have been baptized into the spirit of the gospel; but you do not show it when you bite and snarl at one another. The gospel, which makes wolves and lambs agree, does not teach the lambs to turn wolves and devour each the other. The gospel will not allow us to pay our enemies in their own coin, and give them wrath for wrath; much less will it suffer brethren to spit fire at one another's face. No, when any such embers of contention begin to smoke among Christians, we may know who left the spark; no other but Satan, he is the great kindle-coal of all their contentions. If there be tempest (not in the air) in the spirits of Christians, and the wind of their passions be high and loud, it is easy to tell who is the conjuror; it is the devil that is practising his black art upon their lusts, which yet are so much unmortified, as gives him too great an advantage of raising many times sad storms of division and strife amongst them. There is nothing (next Christ and heaven) that the devil grudges believers more than their peace and mutual love; if he cannot rend them from Christ, or stop them from getting heaven, yet he takes some pleasure to see them go thither in a storm; like a shattered fleet severed one from another, that they may have no assistance from, nor comfort of, each other's company all the way; though, where he can divide, he hopes to ruin also, well knowing this to be the most probable means to effect it; one ship is easier taken than a squadron. A town, if it can be but set on fire, the enemy may hope to take it with more ease. Let it, therefore, be your great care to keep the devil's spark from your powder.

(W. Gurnall.)

Two friends met the other day. One inquired of the other how his Church was prospering. "Not at roll, I am sorry to say," was the answer; "our numbers are diminishing weekly." "Why, how is that? Has the wolf got into the fold?" "Worse than that, I fear. If it was only the wolf that was worrying the flock, we might cherish the hope that we could get him driven out. The fact is, the sheep have taken to worrying each other, and our condition, therefore, could not be worse."

A little boy, seeing two nestling birds pecking at each other, inquired of his elder brother what they were doing. "They are quarrelling," was the answer. "No," replied the child, "that cannot be, for they are brothers." Would that this true and simple and natural logic were always borne in mind; then might the Christian nest be more peaceful, more like a family Divine!

Melancthon mourned in his day the divisions among Christians, and sought to bring them together by the parable of the war between the wolves and the dogs. The wolves were somewhat afraid, for the dogs were many and strong, and therefore they sent out a spy to observe them. On his return the scout said, "It is true the dogs are many, but there are not many mastiffs among them. There are dogs of so many sorts one can hardly count, them; and as for the worst of them," said he, "they are little dogs, which bark loudly, but cannot bite. However, this did not cheer me so much," continued the wolf, "as this, that as they came marching on, I observed they were all snapping right and left at one another, and I could see clearly that though they all hate the wolf, yet each dog hates every other dog with all his heart." Is not this still true — that many professed Christians snap right and left at their own brethren, when they had better save their teeth for the wolves?

They say of bees, that, when they strive among themselves, it is a sign that the queen is about to leave the hive. When the sheep of Christ are malignant one against another, it is a fearful presage of ensuing ruin; when there are tumults in the Church, it may justly be feared that God is about to remove from us.


Jars and divisions, wranglings and prejudices, eat out the growth, if not the life, of religion. These are those waters of Marah that embitter our spirits, and quench the Spirit of God. Unity and peace are said to be like the dew of Hermon, that descended upon Sion, where the Lord promised His blessing. Divisions run religions into briars and thorns, contention and parties. Divisions are to Churches like wars in countries; where war is, the ground lieth waste and untilled; none takes care of it. It is love that edifieth, but division pulleth down. Divisions are as the north-east wind to the fruits, which causeth them to dwindle away to nothing; but when the storms are over, everything begins to grow. When men are divided, they seldom speak the truth in love; and then, no marvel, they grow not up to Him in all things which is the Head. It is a sad presage of an approaching famine (as one well observes) — not of bread, nor of water, but of hearing the Word of God — when the thin ears of corn devour the plump full ones; when our controversies about doubtful things, and things of less moment, eat up our zeal for the more indisputable and practical things in religion.


Persian Fables.
A young fox asked his father if he could not teach him some trick to defeat the dogs, if he should fall in with them. The father had grown grey in a long life of depredation and danger, and his scars bore witness to his narrow escapes in the chase, or his less honourable encounters with the faithful guardians of the hen roost. He replied with a sigh, "After all my experience, I am forced to confess that the best trick is, to keep out of their way." The safest mode of dealing with a quarrelsome person is to keep out of his way.

(Persian Fables.)

The following incident, respecting two philosophers of old, may well put to the blush Christians who are unwilling to be reconciled, and who consequently have their intercourse with heaven hindered (Matthew 5:24). We are told that, Aristippus and AEschines having differed, the former came to the latter and said — "AEschines, shall we be friends?" "Yes," he replied, "with all my heart." "But, remember," said Aristippus, "that I, being older than you, do make the first motion." "Yes," replied AEschines, "and therefore I conclude that you are the worthiest man: for I began the strife, and you began the peace."

(C. Neil.)

The English ambassador, some years since, prevailed so far with the Turkish emperor as to persuade him to hear some of our English music, from which (as from other liberal sciences) both he and his nation were naturally averse. But it happened that the musicians were so long in tuning their instruments that the great Turk, distasting their tediousness, went away in discontent before the music began. I am afraid that the dissensions betwixt Christian Churches (being so long in reconciling their discords) will breed in pagans such a disrelish of our religion, as they will not be invited to attend thereunto.

(T. Fuller, D. D.)

Galatians, Paul, Philippians
Beware, Bite, Biting, Care, Careful, Cause, Consume, Consumed, Destroyed, Destruction, Devour, Devouring, Fighting, Heed, Lest, Perpetually, Snapping, Snarling, Watch
1. He wills them to stand in their liberty,
3. and not to observe circumcision;
13. but rather love, which is the sum of the law.
19. He lists the works of the flesh,
22. and the fruits of the Spirit,
25. and exhorts to walk in the Spirit.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Galatians 5:15

     5132   biting
     5821   criticism, among believers
     8765   grudge

Galatians 5:2-25

     6511   salvation

Galatians 5:9-21

     6026   sin, judgment on

Galatians 5:13-16

     6679   justification, results
     8452   neighbours, duty to

Galatians 5:13-18

     5380   law, and gospel

Galatians 5:14-16

     3209   Holy Spirit, and love

March 28. "The Fruit of the Spirit is all Goodness" (Gal. v. 22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is all goodness" (Gal. v. 22). Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. Goodness is just "Godness." It is to be like God. And God-like goodness has special reference to the active benevolence of God. The apostle gives us the difference between goodness and righteousness in this passage in Romans, "Scarcely for a righteous man would one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die." The righteous man is the man of stiff, inflexible uprightness; but he may be
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

May 1. "The Fruit of the Spirit is Gentleness" (Gal. v. 22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness" (Gal. v. 22). Nature's harshness has melted away and she is now beaming with the smile of spring, and everything around us whispers of the gentleness of God. This beautiful fruit is in lovely harmony with the gentle month of which it is the keynote. May the Holy Spirit lead us, beloved, these days, into His sweetness, quietness, and gentleness, subduing every coarse, rude, harsh, and unholy habit, and making us like Him, of whom it is said, "He shall not strive,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Works of the Flesh and Fruits of the Spirit.
Text: Galatians 5, 16-24. 16 But I say, Walk by 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; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Church Officers Warned of Vain-Glory.
Text: Galatians 5, 25-26 and 6, 1-10. 25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. 26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another. 1 Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

'Walk in the Spirit'
'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.'--GAL. v. 16. We are not to suppose that the Apostle here uses the familiar contrast of spirit and flesh to express simply different elements of human nature. Without entering here on questions for which a sermon is scarcely a suitable vehicle of discussion, it may be sufficient for our present purpose to say that, as usually, when employing this antithesis the Apostle means by Spirit the divine, the Spirit of God, which he triumphed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

What Makes a Christian: Circumcision or Faith?
'In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.'--GAL. v. 6. It is a very singular instance of imaginative misreading of plain facts that the primitive Church should be held up as a pattern Church. The early communities had apostolic teaching; but beyond that, they seem to have been in no respect above, and in many respects below, the level of subsequent ages. If we may judge of their morality by the exhortations and dehortations which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Fruit of the Spirit
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23. Meekness, temperance'--GAL. v. 22, 23. 'The fruit of the Spirit,' says Paul, not the fruits, as we might more naturally have expected, and as the phrase is most often quoted; all this rich variety of graces, of conduct and character, is thought of as one. The individual members are not isolated graces, but all connected, springing from one root and constituting an organic whole. There is further to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Faith the Sole Saving Act.
JOHN vi. 28, 29.--"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." In asking their question, the Jews intended to inquire of Christ what particular things they must do, before all others, in order to please God. The "works of God," as they denominate them, were not any and every duty, but those more special and important acts, by which the creature might secure
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Walking with God.
(Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.) GALATIANS v. 16. "Walk in the Spirit." The life of a Christian must be one of progress. S. Paul says, "Walk in the Spirit;" he does not say, stand still. It is not enough for us to have been born again of Water and the Holy Ghost, and to have received the Gifts of the Spirit from time to time through the different means of grace. We are bidden "to stir up the gift that is in us;" we are told to "grow in grace." God has set us upon our feet in the right
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Sixth Day for the Spirit of Love in the Church
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Spirit of Love in the Church "I pray that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and Thou in Me; that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and hast loved them as Thou hast loved Me ... that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."--JOHN x"The fruit of the Spirit is love."--GAL. v. 22. Believers are one in Christ, as He is one with the Father. The love of God rests on them, and can dwell in them. Pray that the power of the Holy
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

We want to be very simple in this matter of Revival. Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts. Jesus is always victorious. In heaven they are praising Him all the time for His victory. Whatever may be our experience of failure and barrenness, He is never defeated. His power is boundless. And we, on our part, have only to get into a right relationship with Him, and we shall see His power being demonstrated in our hearts and lives and service, and His victorious life will
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

The Dove and the Lamb
Victorious living and effective soul-winning service are not the product of our better selves and hard endeavours, but are simply the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are not called upon to produce the fruit, but simply to bear it. It is all the time to be His fruit. Nothing is more important then, than that we should be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit, or to keep to the metaphor, that the "trees of the Lord should be continuously full of sap"--His sap. How this may be so for us is graphically
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

The Holy Spirit Bringing Forth in the Believer Christlike Graces of Character.
There is a singular charm, a charm that one can scarcely explain, in the words of Paul in Gal. v. 22, 23, R. V., "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance." What a catalogue we have here of lovely moral characteristics. Paul tells us that they are the fruit of the Spirit, that is, if the Holy Spirit is given control of our lives, this is the fruit that He will bear. All real beauty of character, all real Christlikeness in us,
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

'The fruit of the Spirit is joy.' Gal 5:52. The third fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification, is joy in the Holy Ghost. Joy is setting the soul upon the top of a pinnacle - it is the cream of the sincere milk of the word. Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of some good, whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear. I. It is a delightful passion. It is contrary to sorrow, which is a perturbation
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Routing of Giant Doubt
THE ROUTING OF GIANT DOUBT Doubts! doubts! doubts! Just a company of them around me all the time worse than Job's miserable comforters. What can I do with them? I should like to dismiss them, but it seems I can not. They make me much trouble, but it seems I can not get them to leave me. Especially are the doubts concerning my entire consecration aggravating, and those, too, concerning my entire cleansing. I fear to come out boldly and declare that I believe that Christ fully saves me now. I believe
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

Conflicts with Giant Mistake
CONFLICTS WITH GIANT MISTAKE I make so many mistakes, it seems I am just a bundle of contradictions. I try to do good; but at times my efforts are so crude that I seem to do more harm than good. What shall I do? And though all the time I try hard not to make mistakes, yet I still make them. It seems to me that surely I am not sanctified, or else I should be more perfect. Do not the Scriptures command us to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect? I am not perfect; far from it. Really I
Robert Lee Berry—Adventures in the Land of Canaan

I have Said This, Lest Haply Married Fruitfulness Dare to vie with virgin Chastity...
7. I have said this, lest haply married fruitfulness dare to vie with virgin chastity, and to set forth Mary herself, and to say unto the virgins of God, She had in her flesh two things worthy of honor, virginity and fruitfulness; inasmuch as she both continued a virgin, and bore: this happiness, since we could not both have the whole, we have divided, that ye be virgins, we be mothers: for what is wanting to you in children, let your virginity, that hath been preserved, be a consolation: for us,
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

The Inward Warfare. Gal 5:17

John Newton—Olney Hymns

And on this Account That, Which, the Parts that Beget Being Bridled by Modesty...
5. And on this account that, which, the parts that beget being bridled by modesty, is most chiefly and properly to be called Continence, is violated by no transgression, if the higher Continence, concerning which we have been some time speaking, be preserved in the heart. For this reason the Lord, after He had said, "For from the heart go forth evil thoughts," then went on to add what it is that belongs to evil thoughts, "murders, adulteries," and the rest. He spake not of all; but, having named
St. Augustine—On Continence

All we Therefore, who Believe in the Living and True God...
18. All we therefore, who believe in the Living and True God, Whose Nature, being in the highest sense good and incapable of change, neither doth any evil, nor suffers any evil, from Whom is every good, even that which admits of decrease, and Who admits not at all of decrease in His own Good, Which is Himself, when we hear the Apostle saying, "Walk in the Spirit, and perform ye not the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: For these are opposed
St. Augustine—On Continence

And Also, when He Exhorts Us, that we Live not after the Flesh...
9. And also, when he exhorts us, that we live not after the flesh, lest we die, but that by the Spirit we mortify the deeds of the flesh, that we may live; surely the trumpet which sounds, shows the war in which we are engaged, and enkindles us to contend keenly, and to do our enemies to death, [1832] that we be not done to death by them. But who those enemies are, it hath set forth plainly enough. For those are they, whom it willed should be done to death by us, that is to say, the works of the
St. Augustine—On Continence

Here Therefore These Men Too Evil, While they Essay to Make Void the Law...
9. Here therefore these men too evil, while they essay to make void the Law, force us to approve these Scriptures. For they mark what is said, that they who are under the Law are in bondage, and they keep flying above the rest that last saying, "Ye are made empty [1715] of Christ, as many of you as are justified in the Law; ye have fallen from Grace." [1716] We grant that all these things are true, and we say that the Law is not necessary, save for them unto whom bondage is yet profitable: and that
St. Augustine—On the Profit of Believing.

The Daily Walk with Others (iii. ).
Thrice happy they who at Thy side, Thou Child of Nazareth, Have learnt to give their struggling pride Into Thy hands to death: If thus indeed we lay us low, Thou wilt exalt us o'er the foe; And let the exaltation be That we are lost in Thee. Let me say a little on a subject which, like the last, is one of some delicacy and difficulty, though its problems are of a very different kind. It is, the relation between the Curate and his Incumbent; or more particularly, the Curate's position and conduct
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren

How those that are at Variance and those that are at Peace are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 23.) Differently to be admonished are those that are at variance and those that are at peace. For those that are at variance are to be admonished to know most certainly that, in whatever virtues they may abound, they can by no means become spiritual if they neglect becoming united to their neighbours by concord. For it is written, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Gal. v. 22). He then that has no care to keep peace refuses to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Hence Paul
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

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