If we consider ourselves to be Christians, then we claim that we are His disciples and followers. We do not claim that we are members of any particular denomination, but that WE ARE DEAD, and our life is hid in Christ.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4
What does this mean?
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:10-12
If we are truly born again, then we know that the simplest definition of sin is SELF. SIN = SELF. There is no more obvious example of this truth than Satan. ”Do what thou wilt” is the doctrine that the destroyer of souls espoused to Eve, and still does to all who will listen. That is why we must die. It is the only way that Christ can live in us, it is the only way we can defeat the enemy of man, and it is the only way we can shed the love of God abroad into the hearts of others so that they might be reconciled to Him; our most Holy Creator. It is the only way we can bear fruit of the Spirit; fruit that will last.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25
Longsuffering is a critical fruit of the Spirit. It means to bear injuries or provocation for a long time; to be patient; not easily provoked. As Christians, we MUST develop and bear this fruit in our lives if we expect to be with our Lord in Heaven. Jesus made the importance of longsuffering very clear to all who would call themselves His disciples or, in other words, Christians:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46
What are the “Things” Jesus is referring to? He tells us earlier in Luke 6 exactly what is required so that we don’t deceive ourselves:
Love your enemies
Do Good to them which hate you
Bless them that curse you
Pray for them which despitefully use you
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other
And him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also
Give to every man that asketh of thee
And of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise
Lend, hoping for nothing in return
Be ye therefore merciful
This list truly reveals the need for “Longsuffering” on our part! We do this by remaining in the vine; our Lord Jesus.
I am convicted in my own heart when I consider all the times that I did not exhibit longsuffering toward others, or even myself! Our most merciful God has exhibited longsuffering with the rebellious race of man for a very long time, and He still is! Likewise, His Son’s whole life can be characterized by longsuffering from beginning to end! Shame on me for the times I neglected this most important fruit in my life! Longsuffering is A MUST for every Christian!
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