Easter Excitement

Matthew 28:1–10 (ESV)

The Resurrection

28 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

Too many times have I gone to Easter Sunday services at a church and the only person really excited about what’s going on in the sanctuary is the Pastor. To make matters worse, there have been a few times where even the Pastor was begrudgingly preaching the “mandatory” Easter message, because it’s been preached so many times before. And, finally, to add insult to injury, I am one of those who has been in the congregation, listening to the same relative message year after year, Easter service after Easter service. However, something really struck me this year as I was at our church’s Easter Egg Hung while Pastor Gavin was giving a short message and object lesson to the kids about the symbolism of an empty Easter egg and how it relates to Jesus and the empty tomb. Pastor Gavin was excited about this, and so were the kids(I’ll admit, the anticipation of candy might have added to their excitement), however, seeing my pastor shepherd the flock which God has entrusted him in his ministry through Easter with excitement caused me to have a real gut check. And then again, this morning, during our Sunrise Service at 0700, with excitement, out in our parking lot, facing east and the rising of the sun here in Southwest Florida. With excitement, Pastor Gavin reminded us that the tomb of Jesus is empty. And that the tombs of other “religious leaders” such as Mohammed, Confucius, and Joseph Smith are not empty. And this is something that we, as Christians, adopted children of the one true LIVING God, need, no, MUST be EXCITED about.

 

Look at  Mary and Mary in Matthew’s account of the resurrection in Matthew 28:1-10. What they saw and heard and felt…it was Exciting. Rereading that passage, probably for the 100th+ time, thinking about today and it’s significance…was exciting. And it’s exciting blogging about it here. An earthquake and an angel with the appearance of lightening(v.2). The empty tomb!(v.5-8). And then Jesus Himself!(v.9-10). Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:13-15, ESV). We have this faith and believe and the Spirit of God living within us, God’s people, that we need to tell others about it. Mary and Mary told the disciples about it, knowing that they would not immediately be believed because of their status in life in that time and culture. Why did they tell them? Because they believed and they spoke. They were excited! I am excited! We need to realize that, as Christians, we celebrate the empty tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ every day we live and serve Him. We need to be excited.

 

We, God’s elect, know the story. Many more than that even know the story. Not everyone who knows it knows what it means and the ramifications about that. However, unfortunately, there are billions of people in this world who don’t know the story of Easter. Who don’t know that there is a living God, God the Son Jesus Christ, whose tomb is empty. They’ve never heard of Him. I, for one, am excited for the role God has in my life in helping spread the excitement of the empty tomb to those where I serve in North Fort Myers, Florida. Now, the question is, are you excited about where God has you to minister? Are you excited at the possibilities of where God wants to send you to tell people about the empty tomb of His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ?

Logos Bible Software

So, I recently purchased the Logos Bible Software, and so far, I love it. There is still a lot that I have to learn, however, I love the customizability of the program. You can have it simple or complex, or a combination of both. And, how you can save the layouts and everything. I think it’s great!

 

So far, I think that my favorite feature is creating custom collections and guides. Here are some videos about it that explain it better than I can:

Creating a Custom Collection

and

Creating a Custom Guide

So, yea, I love it so far! I can’t wait to get more out of it and to start taking classes with it at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary(taking some online courses).

 

It’s been too long….

Today, I was *reminded* that I had a blog…when I got my email about having to pay for the domain name that I use through WordPress. It has been far too long since I have posted on here.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” -1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV

I have come to realize the amount of waste in my life, and in the lives of most people I should assume, is greater than I could ever imagine. Now, I don’t mean garbage. I mean waste. Things that take up our time and pull us away from our God glorifying work. Things that are sold to us in an effort to save time, giving us more time to seek God’s glory, when in all reality, it has taken our time away from us.

Lecrae Moore, a Christian Rapper, posted this on his Facebook page:

Random thought : I bought a smart phone to give me the luxury of time saving and communication but instead I find it TAKES more time FROM me and make me a poor communicator. I rarely talk on it, I don’t text in proper English and I sometimes miss being involved with people in person because I’m occupied with all my apps. 

But at least I’m aware right? Lol
(click HERE for the post)

After I read that, while in the car on the way to pick up my kids, I had a realization that so much that we call “Christian” really isn’t truly “Christian”. It’s branded that way, with all the right words and looks. But, in all reality, it’s “entertainment” not Christian. It might be a Christian author or musician or artist, however, so much money is put into something that, short of the Lord’s divine intervention, won’t save anyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, there has been plenty of songs and books that have pointed me towards specific passages in scripture in such a light that I hadn’t realize before. When I hear that this song saved me or that book changed my life, it makes me cringe. A song cannot save you. A book(other than the Bible) cannot change your live. God does all of that, and God alone. He uses His Holy Word, the written embodiment of His Son, Jesus our Lord and Savior(John 1:1,14).

I have no doubt that songs can encourage and books cane make people see something they have looked at their entire lives in a different, beneficial way. However, when something changes in us, we need to give glory to where glory is due: To God. And only to God. “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.”(Proverbs 25:27, ESV). We need to not seek our glory, but His. We must remember that every good gift is from above(James 1:17). It’s when we loose sight of this simple truth that we begin to commit idolatry, as if we don’t already commit it enough. Movies, technology, social networking, our phones, jobs, careers, money, anger, hatred, vengeance, laziness…I could go on and on. That short list are just some of the top things that compete all too often for my affections agains the our Jealous God(Exodus 34:14


O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
    O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
    your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
    I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!

That is my prayer. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Thank you, God! Thank you!

Soli Deo Gloria

Something I have noticed…..

…..About opposing theological views and their Facebook groups…..

I am a member of two different groups on Facebook, each of which have opposing theological views when it comes to reformed theology, or, more specifically, Calvinism. One group is Calvinism Fellowship Debate and Discussion(CFDD for short). The other is Christians AGAINST the Heresy of Calvinism and TULIP(Against for short for this post). And, before I go ANY further, if the name of my blog did not clue you in, I am reformed in my theology and I think that Arminianism is heretical. This is post isn’t a review of the two groups, it is more of an observation that I have had over time, both online with these groups and with interactions I have had with Calvinists and Arminians in real life.

With that aside, my first observation is that too many people on both sides of  the argument spend too much time damning the opposing side of the argument. Secondly, most of the them when I have brought up Calvinism around arminian friends/acquaintances/people, I get a nasty response and a lecture on why I am a heretic. It’s not a discussion, it’s been a one-sided verbal belittling. Now, it’s not all the time. There are many do like to have a good discussion about the topic. Something else I have noticed is that so many Arminians refuse to listen to exactly what Calvinism, or Reformed Theology, really is. They’ve probably never taken the time to really research it, scripturally.
On the flip side, when Arminians bring up Arminianism around many, not all, Calvinists, they, too, get not the nicest reception. However, I have observed that Calvinists are more up to a good scripture-based, theological discussion about the subjects. In CFDD, they like to talk about a range of topics and discussions, from debating Paedo and Credo baptism to heresies and heretics. And people are passionate about their positions on every subject that is discussed there. And I love it. In Against, the first thing that I noticed is that it’s really that: A group devoted to bashing the crud out of Calvinism and Reformed Theology as much as they possibly can. Click HERE for a wonderful illustration to illustrate my example.
Now, once again, may I remind you, this is NOT an unbiased review(see the URL at the top of the page for proof). My prayer is, however, that people can get off their trash cans and stop hurling mud at each other and can come together to preach Christ Crucified. And, remember, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”(Ephesians 4:29, ESV). 

Now, while I view that Arminianism is, in itself, a heresy, I’m sure there are many arminians that have been saved by our gracious Creator, and I hope that and pray that He reveals Himself to them through His ultimate Truth, the Word of God.

 

PS there are other groups about Arminianism and Calvinism, however, these are the two most active that I have found.

The Insanity of God

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” -2 Timothy 3:12

The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken is a must read for all believers. Riveting and convicting, it is a must read.

The Insanity of God A Story of Faith Resurrected is an amazing tail of a a journey, ney, a pilgrimage of one family around the globe who, with the goal to learn more about persecution, instead found Jesus and who He really IS and that is IS alive and working very boldly in the 21st century.

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” -John 15:18-20

After finishing this book several minutes ago, I have come to a major realization: I have been praying for missionaries, both friends and those I’ve never met, in the totally wrong way. I cannot dare ask for the end of persecution of believers, but that believers around the world remain faithful to Jesus, deciding that He is worth it, worth everything. That they remain strong and steadfast with joy in their hearts(James 1:2-5, ESV). Along with this, I feel woefully inept and inadequate for what I do. I fully recognize the scenes of desperation and anguish and despair that Nik Ripken describes in The Insanity of God, however, I don’t see it around me, I see it in the youth that my wife and I serve. And God, through Nik’s eyes, has made me realize that I feel totally inadequate for the calling God has on my life.

Reading this account of just a small portion of what Nik Ripken has experienced has made me begin to reassess my prayer life and commit to praying for faithfulness and strength through persecution for my brothers and sisters around the world. That they are free in Christ before they could ever be free through any other means(governments or family or whatever).

Part of my conviction about this is my frustration of dealing with some of the youth we may or may not receive in our home(we really don’t have much choice, those decisions are made by people who don’t really interact with the kids. Boy am I thankful that God is ultimately behind all the decision making!). I get frustrated, when in all reality, I should be thankful for another youth to love on, talk with, listen to their stories with, and proclaim to and share with the love of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior. That is where I need to ask God for forgiveness and for the help and strength and guidance and discernment to redirect my efforts. I need to stop worrying about awkwardness and rejection, moving towards the resurrection power of Jesus. God said, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,”(Ezekiel 11:19, ESV)That is my prayer for all those I have cared for, am caring for, and will ever care for. And for everyone out there whom hears the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7

Matthew 7 is a true gem of a passage from Scripture. It is a masterful work on confronting sin, amongst other things. And it can be applied towards sin that is within oneself as well as confronting the sin of another.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”(v.1-2)

The chapter opens up with a warning: “Judge not…” We are not to condemn. We have no power to condemn, lest we fool ourselves and end up condemning ourselves before God. Jesus warns us in verse two that judging to condemnation WILL backfire on us.

Verses 3 three through 5 tell us to be careful, tread lightly, and be humble:

3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.(v.3-5)

Jesus admonishes us to deal with our own sin before we attempt to deal with someone else’s sin. It would be like having a drunk alcoholic attempt to tell a drug user that he is sinning be taking drugs. Or, a pastor rebuking a man for sexual impurity all the while, statistically speaking, that pastor is dealing with the same sexual impurity to a varying degree. However, if it’s a recovering alcoholic or a pastor that has suffered and dealt with that sin in his life and, through God’s strength, has overcome it, the rebukes and correction will go much further.

6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.(v.6)

You’re a Christian. They know(or should know) that you’re a Christian. Don’t compromise. Don’t throw out the valuable resources with confronting sin(or doing anything): Prayer, God’s Word the Bible, more prayer, and more of God’s Word. Even the countless books in which pastors of ages past have expounded on Scripture for our benefit, that we may understand it and equip ourselves with it more soundly. Don’t treat all these resources flippantly. If you do so, it will come back and bite you in the butt.

In verses 7 through 11, we are reminded to ask, seek and knock:

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!(v.7-11)

Here, Jesus reminds us that we need to ask, seek and knock. We need to ask for forgiveness; ask for help; ask for discernment; ask for wisdom. And I am sure there is much more we could ask for as well. We need to ask God to forgive us our sins, and for his divine help to repent from those sins. And we need to ask God to give us the discernment and wisdom we need as we go forth to confront sin.
As we are doing this, we also need to seek our God in prayer and in His word, The Bible. Jesus, who is giving us this reminder, IS the very Word of God itself!(John 1:1,14). We need to seek out God and what He says about particular subjects and situations. And, believe me, God covers it all in His Word, even going to the bathroom(Deuteronomy 23:12-13). And, as we seek with faith, we will find it. And the same goes for knocking. Seek out God and knock, asking for help, and God will open that door and hear you. But, just as James wrote in James 1:6, we need to do this all in faith. So, before we go to confront sin, we need to truly seek out God in the matter. Remember, pray and meditate in His Word. About this passage, John Calvin penned the following words, “Nothing is better adapted to excite us to prayer than a full conviction that we shall be heard.”(Calvin’s Commentaries, Mat 7:7-12).

12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”(v.12)

The Golden Rule. I think it is safe to say that many, if not most, of us have heard this rule before we ever knew it was in the Bible(I know my wife did). This is just a way to say think before you act and speak. Is this how I want someone else to approach me about my sin? I know, from my own experiences in ministry that when someone approaches me in a crass, uncompassionate, inconsiderate manner, I tell myself that I am going to do the same to then when their time comes. However, I think the same exact thought about doing it right to those who confront me in a thoughtful, considerate and compassionate manner. And this leads us into verses 13 and 14:

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”(v.13-14)

Take the high road, do it the right way. No low blows. Here, Jesus is talking about doing God’s will in heaven while we are here on earth. God’s will, not man’s. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12). Now, when you go to confront someone about their sin, know that the way you may want to do it will not necessarily help or edify. How God would have you do it, however, will.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”(v.15)

DISCERNMENT! Pray for it. Seek it. Ask for it. Knock for it. It is vital. While remembering that only two people truly know about one’s salvation, God and that person, ask yourself this question in preparation: Is the person I am going to confront about their sin a true, good-fruit bearing Christian? Go and read Galatians 5, paying close attention to THE ENTIRE CHAPTER, but especially verses 16-23. And then continue on reading this post:

16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.(v.16-20)

Jesus is talking about false teachers here, those who spew vomitous lies, potentially bringing people to hell. And, however, every man who professes to be a Christian is also professing to be a teacher to some degree(Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3). And we all need to be held accountable. Look at what you know and see about this person: Are they living a life worthy of the gospel of Christ? Are they seeking to Glorify God in all they do?(1 Corinthians 10:31). Or are they living a hypocritical life of Christianese on Sundays and worldese every other day? Are they bearing good fruit?(Galatians 5:22-23) or are bad fruit?(Galtians 5:19-21)…Remember, don’t judge, just keep these observations you make in the back of the forefront of your mind to help you better pray for this person and to help better mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepare for your confronting them.
Now, with all that in mind, remember what Jesus said next:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you;depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”(v.21-23)

If the person you are confronting the sin of is a “professing” Christian,and they are resistant in your coming to them about their sin, bring it around to Jesus. Actually, always bring it around to Gospel of Jesus, even if it’s going super well! And pray that if they do, in fact, profess faith, that it is true God given faith(Romans 12:3). And if they aren’t saved, pray, Lord willing, that they hear what you have to say and that God changes their hearts(Ezekiel 37:26-27), bringing them to salvation. Famous Las Vegas magician, and atheist, Penn Jillette(of Penn and Teller), said this about proselytizing(evangelizing), “How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”(Click here to read a blog post and video).
Bring it all around to Jesus. Always. Every time.

When it comes to our foundation, we need to make sure that it is founded on our Lord Jesus Christ, and not some selfish means of personal gain.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”(v24-27)

When a person we confront has their home build on sand, it will fall apart. Every argument they make to try to justify, in the sight of God, their sin, will be taken captive and destroyed by the Word of God. It will not weather the storms that it brings upon itself. If their house IS build upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, they will survive and be better for it.
On the same note, however, we need to check ourselves and our personal foundations with Jesus and our personal motivations for confronting the person’s sin. Is it on the Rock that is Jesus, being carried out in faith and in love? If not, stop it. Don’t do it. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”(Psalm 139:23-24).

Finally, go forth with confidence!

28 “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”(v28-29)

Jesus has God, Jesus IS God. He has authority. And, as Christians, so do we. We have God the Spirit, aka the Holy Spirit, living within us. We have the Bible, the God-breathed Word(2 Timothy 3:16-17). We have authority. We have confidence. Show it. 

 

I wrote this in response to some of the questions in my Sunday School class’s material, from the Gospel Project, as well as in response to a friend. She asked about confronting someone who lives according to the flesh but professes faith in Christianity(note I didn’t say in Christ), and shuts down when asked about it. I told me friend to recommend to them to read all of Galatians 5(below).  I told her to also pray for discernment and wisdom for their friend. And that I would be praying for them both, as well. 

 

Christ Has Set Us Free

5 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.