“The fruit of the Spirit.” It’s a well-known phrase from a much-loved passage of Scripture. The challenge is in the details, as we pause to consider what the fruit of the Spirit is and to reflect on how well it is displayed in our lives.
In this series, Alistair Begg explains that the fruit of the Spirit is the character of God reflected in the lives of those who are united with Christ. It cannot be produced by an outward change of habit or a system of self-improvement, but is cultivated as God works to conform us to the image of His Son. As we consider the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, Scripture guides us to examine our hearts, challenges our progress, and encourages us to trust God’s promise that He began this work and will complete it. The Fruit of the Spirit provides a study in practical godliness, reminding us that faithful Christian living demonstrates the attractiveness of the Gospel to the world around us.
Wouldn’t it be great if children came with an instruction guide? Alistair Begg teaches us that, in fact, they do! The Bible is the ultimate source for instruction and contains everything we need to know about raising children. Navigating the challenges of parenting is particularly difficult in today’s culture, which is confused about the role of mothers and fathers and the unique benefits they each bring to the family unit. Wise parenting begins with the realization that we are all born in sin; when this doctrine is properly understood, it will have practical implications on how we discipline and train our children.
Mothers should embrace their irreplaceable role, and fathers are to lead their families under the framework of Biblical truth. Believing parents can be encouraged by God’s promise: “Train them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.”
Acts chapter 8 records Philip’s meeting with the Ethiopian Eunuch, a man who was interested in Judaism, but had not yet come to know the Savior to whom the Scriptures pointed. Alistair Begg reminds us that once God opened the man’s heart to the good news of the Gospel, he immediately responded by being baptized. Like that man, every person who has come to faith in Christ should confess Him as King through baptism, because in doing so we declare that in Christ, we have died to sin and have been raised to new life.
First Peter is a handbook for Christian Living. All of the foundations necessary for building lives of spiritual maturity are contained in these chapters. Peter’s readers were geographically scattered and in the face of all kinds of challenges, they needed to be theologically grounded. Jesus had given Peter the task of feeding and strengthening the sheep. This compelling, practical, vital letter is surely part of the response to that directive. Peter is clear about his purpose: to stimulate their faith, to assure them of the reliability of God’s word, and to encourage them to stand fast in God’s grace.
In volume three of this series, Alistair Begg points us to Peter’s instruction for living a godly life in the midst of persecution. Christians can persevere in times of great suffering by humbly and prayerfully entrusting ourselves to the Lord Jesus, who suffered in our place.