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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Jun 24, 2013

Focus readings: 2 Kings 2:1–2, 6–14, Galatians Galatians 5:1, 13–25

Sometimes we treat the Bible like a divine “self help” book. This can sometimes lead us to treat passages like Galatians 5:22-23 in quite the wrong way. We read that the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control ”. (NRSV) and think we are being asked to develop certain qualities within ourselves. Somehow we are meant to make ourselves more loving, joyful, etc., etc.

                The opposite is true – the Bible is really a “God helps you, so you should love one another book”. The fruit of the Spirit are the qualities that God grows in people of faith. They are God’s love working within us. More than that the fruit of the Spirit are not for our benefit. Look at the list and you will see that at least five if not six of the nine are focussed on others and are not simply for our personal benefit. They are a call to mission and not to personal satisfaction.

St Stephen’s Toowoomba (where this podcst comes from) is committed to being and becoming known as “A city church with a heart for all.”, and our mission is to:

•             Worship God

•             Proclaim the Gospel

•             Live in accordance with our Christian faith in our homes and Families

•             Engage in significant outreach work.

It sounds daunting but far more important than the money, buildings and other resources that we have, we also have the fruit of the Spirit, God’s love at work within us. What more do we need?

Questions for thought or discussion.

How do you think of the Bible? (An self-help book? A God helps us book? Or something else?) Do we really have all we need to be at mission? What things stop us from being at mission?