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                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                   The Fruit Of The Spirit - Kindness

INTRODUCTION

1. As we continue our look at those qualities to be present when one is
   producing the fruit of the Spirit in his or her life, we now come to
   "kindness" (gentleness, KJV)

2. The Greek word is chrestotes {khray-stot'-ace}...
   a. This word describes "the sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of
      temper which puts others at their ease, and shrinks from giving
      pain" (PLUMMER)
      1) It therefore describes a quality that makes other people feel
         at ease when with you
      2) They know you will be kind, or gentle
   b. "It is a beautiful word for the expression of a beautiful grace"
      (TRENCH)

3. To help us better understand what it means to have "kindness", let's
   take a look at how it is used in the Bible

[Beginning with...]

I. "KINDNESS" IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

   A. IN THE SEPTUAGINT, IT USED MORE OF GOD THAN ANYONE ELSE...
      1. For example, consider these two verses, where the word is 
         translated "good":
         a. "Praise the LORD!  Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is
            good!  For His mercy endures forever." - Ps 106:1
         b. "The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over
            all His works" - Ps 145:9
      2. The reference in these verses is not to God's moral goodness,
         but rather to His kindness, especially as expressed in His 
         mercy
      3. It is the kindness of God that moves the Psalmist's heart, and
         which should also move us to worship the LORD - cf. Ps 100
         a. In this psalm we find a call to come to the Lord with joy,
            thanksgiving and praise
         b. Why?  "For the LORD is good..." - Ps 100:4-5

   B. WRITERS OF THE O.T. SAW GOD'S KINDNESS EXPRESSED...
      1. In nature - Ps 65:9-13
      2. In the events of history - Ps 145:1-7
      3. In the instructions of His Word - Ps 119:65-68; 25:8
      4. In special ways, to certain people...
         a. To those afflicted, who trust in Him - Nah 1:7
         b. To those poor, who follow Him - Ps 68:10
         c. To all those who hope and trust in Him - Ps 34:8
         d. To all those who fear Him - Ps 31:19

[From the kindness of God as revealed in the Old Testament, let's move
on to consider...]

II. "KINDNESS" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

   A. ONCE AGAIN WE READ OF THE KINDNESS OF GOD...
      1. In nature, even to ungrateful and evil men - Lk 6:35; cf. Mt
         5:45
      2. In the giving of His Son, in Whom we have salvation - Tit 3:4-7
      3. Even in the ages to come - Ep 2:7

   B. SINCE GOD IS KIND, SO HIS CHILDREN SHOULD BE KIND...
      1. Kindness is part of the Christian "garment" we are to put on 
         - cf. Col 3:12
      2. Kindness is to characterize our treatment of one another - Ep 
         4:31-32

CONCLUSION

1. Do we act with kindness toward others?
   a. So that others are "at ease" in our presence
   b. So that others feel they can draw close to us?
   -- Or do we with sharp words, cold shoulders, or arrogant 
      condescension discourage others from feeling comfortable around 
      us?

2. Remember that kindness is the "sympathetic kindliness or sweetness 
   of temper which puts others at their ease..."
   a. "This Christian kindness is a lovely thing, and its loveliness 
      comes from the fact that Christian kindness means treating others
      in the way in which God has treated us." (BARCLAY)
   b. If we truly desire to be "sons of the Highest", then we must 
      imitate the kindness of God - cf. Lk 6:35-36

3. Speaking of the kindness of God...
   a. What is in store for those who reject His kindness? - cf. Ro 2:
      4-11
   b. What about those who do not continue in His kindness? - cf. Ro 
      11:22

Have you responded to the kindness of God in accordance to His Will...?
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