Fruit - Jon Fryer

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all reflect the Lord's glory, and are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The Bible tells us that, as Christians, we start to look like Jesus as time goes by. Not on the outside – we don’t suddenly grow beards! – but on the inside, where it matters. Our character starts to take on aspects of Jesus’ character. We start to do the things that Jesus did, and say the things that Jesus would say, and feel what Jesus would feel, and to react in the way that Jesus would react.

And in some ways its that last bit that is most important. Anyone can fake the rest with a bit of thought, if they want to look like a nice person, but how you react when you are surprised or stressed or under pressure shows the real you. The Bible says that ‘from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks’. That’s not the words you think about, but rather the ones that you don’t. The things you say without thinking show what you are really like on the inside, ‘cos they come from your heart. For many people this starts to show when they are drunk – they lash out and get aggressive and angry and violent. People say ‘Its just the drink speaking’, but it isn’t – how you act when drunk is the real you without all the pretend stuff. From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

You can bet that the stuff that overflows from Jesus’ heart is not like that. And the stuff that overflows from our unthinking hearts should not be angry or bitter or spiteful either. Listen to this:

 

FruitJesus said: By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

 

By their fruit you will recognize my true followers, because not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you evildoers!'

Jesus tells us that we can recognise whether someone truly follows him by the fruit of their lives, by the stuff that comes out of the overflow the heart, by the way that their character is slowly changed by hanging out with the Holy Spirit.

So what does that look like? What does Jesus look like on the inside? What does a true follower of Jesus look like on the inside, and how should we be asking the Holy Spirit to teach us?

The fruit of the Spirit is this: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Let’s take a look at these hallmarks that mark out a follower of Jesus. Let’s start at the back and work forward, and I’m going to use the Bible to explain the Bible, so that its not me talking to you with my own ideas, but rather the word of God. This is a serious message – if we want to truly follow Jesus, we need to ask the Spirit to make us more like him in these ways, so that on the final day of judgement Jesus can recognise us as his own.

Self Control

So, self control. What’s that about?

The Bible tells us “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” – so self control is about resisting the Devil. To be without self control is to be fair game for the Devil and his temptations – the Bible says “A man who is without self control is like a city with broken walls” – he has no protection from his enemy who wants to destroy him. Jesus was self controlled – when the Devil came and tempted him in his hunger to turn stones into bread, Jesus resisted him, even though he wanted to eat.

The Bible tells us “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” – so self control is about not being distracted. When the Devil came to Jesus he tried to distract him with tricky words and false promises, but Jesus saw through them and gave a clear minded answer. How do we get to be self controlled? One way is to prepare – Jesus was able to answer the Devil cleverly and see through his lies because he knew the word of God. We too need to learn God’s law by spending time reading the Bible or talking it through with Christian friends.

There is no substitute for preparation – as the Bible tells us “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – so self control is about knowing who you are and who you belong to. When the Devil came to Jesus he tried to con him into giving up his birthright by promising him the world. Jesus resisted him by knowing who he was and why he was there, and who he belonged to. We know who we belong to as well: we belong to Jesus on that final day, and therefore “since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” We can gain self control by asking the Spirit to make us more like Jesus. In faith we ask Him to whom we belong to make us more like him. And God will answer this prayer. The Bible says that the Spirit “teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.”

Gentleness

So how about gentleness? Isn’t that a bit namby pamby? Not really. The Greek word here is ‘praotes’ and it was viewed as one of the finest manly virtues in the centuries before Jesus’ birth. The Greeks believed that praotes, ‘gentleness’, was the absolute bedrock of a strong civilisation and they defined it as ‘half way between too angry and never angry’. It means fair discipline, true self image, and peaceful yet courageous resistance to evil. Jesus was gentle in the true sense of the word. He was gentle when he ignored the lawyers to shield the body of the woman accused of adultery from the stones thrown at her, and he was gentle when he made a whip and threw the moneylenders out of the Temple, turning over the tables in his jealous love of the common people. He was gentle when he refused to call down legions of angels to defend himself, but instead prayed ‘Forgive them father, they don’t understand’.

Jesus said ‘Take up my teaching and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and then you will find rest for your souls’. If we learn from the Spirit to be like Jesus then we will learn to use our self controlled strength in ways that are pleasing to God. The gentle person resists the Devil by being strong in their faith and in their knowledge of the Bible – as it is written, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”. The gentle person is forgiving like Jesus, but does not ignore the fault. Instead we should address the problem the way Jesus would. As the Bible teaches us “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” Again it says “the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” We need to be gentle with each other – and that means looking after each others spiritual well being and not turning a blind eye when someone is going off the rails. If you love them, don’t let them destroy themselves! But don’t beat them up over it either – gentleness is halfway between the two extremes. Andf we ask the Spirit to make us more like Jesus in this way then we will beautiful to God. As the Bible says “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.”

Faithfulness

Increase My FaithSo what about faithfulness? This is an interesting one ‘cos the Greek word ‘pistis’ can mean two different things, although both are about working hard for God. Firstly, a Christian who is faithful, or to turn it around, ‘full of faith’ will show the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives – prophecy, healing, tongues and all the rest, but most of all, faith – that is, reliance on God to provide for their needs. Faith is about trusting God, who is himself described as faithful over and over again in its other meaning of ‘One who can be relied upon’. Which brings us to the other meaning of faithfulness. If you are faithful you can be relied upon. You can be relied upon by other people to be where you say you will be, and do what you say you will do. I have a good reputation at work for being someone who can be trusted with work because I try to make sure that I never make a promise that I can not keep. As the Bible says “Your ‘yes’ should mean ‘yes’, and your ‘no should mean ‘no’, because anything else is a lie and comes from the evil one”.

 

Also, if we show faithfulness in our lives, then not only other people but God himself can rely us. Jesus asked “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” God has given us work to do, each according to his own talents – some of us are supposed to teach, others to earn and give money, others to look after people. Whatever it is, Jesus wants us to be faithful in doing that work, because “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to be faithful to Jesus but does not do his work? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. I will show you my faith by what I do. You can not just get by simply by believing that there is a God, because even the demons believe that—and then are afraid. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” When Jesus comes back, or calls us home to Him, we need to let him find us faithfully doing the work he left us, so that He will say to us “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!”

Goodness

Goodness sounds like another namby pamby one, but its not when you think about it. The Bible says that God is good, and that there is no evil in Him. Therefore the person who is good is reflecting God, and there is no better or stronger thing to be. Don’t think ‘goody two-shoes’, think Lord of the Rings with the epic battle of light versus dark, good versus evil. That’s the kind of good I am talking about, the kind that is as pure and as wonderful as the Garden of Eden on the day it was created when God said ‘it was very good’. We need to be good like that if we truly want to see God. We need to be good in that way if we want the world to change around us. We need to be good in the same way that Jesus was good – not following silly little rules that don’t mean anything, but good in the way that makes children laugh, and religious people angry, and makes demons scream in fear. Lucy asks in ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’, “Is he quite safe?”, to which the answer comes back “Safe? Safe? Of course he’s not safe… but He is Good”.

 

As good asAs a human being, you need to choose what side you are on – light or dark, good or evil – and then you need to live like it. As the Bible says “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

 

There is one other thing to being good – the word used for ‘good’ both in the old and new testaments also means ‘generous’. For example, when God calls the world He has created good, he doesn’t just mean pure and unspoiled, he means bounteous, fruitful, overflowing with life, in fact, good in the way that He is good. When we are like Jesus we too are good – overflowing with life and generous in all that we do. And that’s not just about money and stuff, its about being generous with our time and our emotions and our whole lives, about sharing our life with others in the same way that God shares his life with us – someone steeped in evil can not share their life, because they have no life to share, only death and poison. Only the person who belongs to the light, who belongs to the good, can be generous, and it is being generous in this way that marks us out as being alive, as being one of God’s children.

Kindness

Let us be lovelyKindness is an overlooked virtue in this day and age, but again, kindness is about being like God. A kind person isn’t one who looks after kittens and stuff. Kindness in the Bible is linked to grace – “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”. Kindness and grace are the same thing, and grace is at the very heart of how God deals with us. Grace simply means ‘undeserved favour’. Every time God does something for us that we don’t deserve then that is grace. Every time we do something for someone for no reward, but just because we care, then that is grace, or kindness, and it is the closest thing you will get to acting like God, and it’s a fantastic feeling. Yet again, this is something we need to ask the Holy Spirit to grow in us, for as the Bible says “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”, but it is also something we need to practice. The Bible tells us to ‘grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus’ – yet again, we need to read or speak about Jesus on a regular basis, and as we learn of him, so we will learn to be like him. We also need to be kind in the way we speak to each other – the Bible tells us to ‘let your conversation always be full of grace’, and it is this that will show other people that we are followers of Jesus, ‘cos Jesus said ‘by this all men shall know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’, and no where is this more apparent than in our speaking.

Patience

Patience does not mean sitting still and not fidgeting; it does not mean not getting bored with my long sermon. Rather patience is better thought of as ‘long suffering’, or ‘enduring’ or as ‘great heartedness’. Patience in the Bible means several things. Firstly, it means ‘enduring’, or sticking with things until the end. It means not giving up on God, or the church, or each other. It means seeing things through. As the Bible says “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near.” The Devil can tempt us by saying that this Christian thing is too long, that there is more fun to be had outside of the church, that God never really answers our prayers in time. Our answer to this can only be patience as a gift of the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus had prayers that God didn’t answer immediately – in fact, Jesus is still waiting for ‘Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, but he is patient!

Secondly, it means putting up with people and even with suffering, and forgiving the faults of those who wrong us. Jesus showed true patience on the cross, when rather than lash out at His torturers he prayed ‘Forgive them Father’. God is patient with us and with the sin of the world – the reason the world is still here is because “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Rather, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to Him.” We too need to be like Jesus when we deal with our brothers and sisters in the church, because we all have faults; therefore ‘I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’. Just as Jesus forgave, we need to forgive others – as the Bible says “A man’s wisdom gives him patience, and it is to his glory to forgive an offence’.

Peace

That still and settled placeTo live in peace is the ambition of the whole Bible. We are instructed to live in peace with each other and not quarrel. We are told not to start fights or engage in meaningless arguments, because these things lead people away from God. We are told to live in peace with everyone, as far as it depends on you. All of these things are good and true and flow from the things we have already talked about, but they don’t entirely capture what Jesus was getting at when he said ‘My peace I give to you’. What did He mean? It becomes clear when we remember that the Hebrew word for peace ‘Shalom’, means not just peace, but healing and wholeness as well. When we are told to live in peace with each other, we need to do what Jesus did, and not just avoid arguments, but instead actively seek to bring healing to our relationships and communities, to deliberately set out to build up others and make them strong, to actively seek health and wholeness for everyone around us. The true follower of Jesus doesn’t just avoid arguing with someone, he or she looks for ways to fix the problem that is causing the argument in the first place, with as much gentleness and kindness and generosity and self control as they can muster, just as Jesus did. That is why the Ephesians passage on the armour of God talks about having your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Peace is about being whole, and about being alive, and about being part of the situation. We have to be ready to reach out and heal the situation, and to do that we need to be alert and wise, and living fully and generously in the situation and being all of those things we have already talked about. The fruit of the Spirit that the Bible talks about is singular and not plural. One fruit, not lots. Its not about some of these things I am talking about, it is about all of them all at once – they overlap and feed each other and grow together. You can’t say ‘Well I’m going to do peace, but I don’t fancy kindness’ ‘cos they are all different faces of the same thing!

Joy

'Though you have not seen Him you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.' Does this sound like your faith? What, all of the time? If I'm honest, most of the time my prayers are full of an all too expressible list of complaints, and precious little joy in the situation in which God has put me, but complaining and being miserable is not God's will for us. Rather, St. Paul encourages us to 'Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say: Rejoice!' , and in Thessalonians this becomes a command: 'Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus' (1Thes 5;16-18) - Joy is not an optional extra in the Christian life! Rather, it is a command, and a vital part of our witness, 'for the Kingdom of God is a matter of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved of by men'.

Surely this doesn’t mean we need to be happy-clappy all the time, with a fixed false grin? Absolutely not – that wouldn’t be honest. Sometimes life sucks, and the Bible is absolutely honest about that. No, joy in the Bible is more about a deep attitude of faith towards God whose love for us never fails. Its about the times when life really does suck; and the times when we 'don't feel like worshipping' is when we need to open ourselves to God even more than usual. This is the point when we need to choose to stand up and almost physically push out our praise up to God, to ignore ourselves and the world around us and say 'Hallelujah anyway!'. God honours this and meets with us in a way perhaps even more powerful than when our worship is all fire and enthusiasm, for he gives us a new, spiritual, heavenly perspective on the situation or circumstances that are making us feel miserable. He, through our choice to worship Him, begins to minister to us and solve the problem, not by changing the situation but by changing our attitude towards it.

 

Silent tears of joyIn case you haven't caught on yet, this is what biblical joy is! It is a decision to worship God whatever the situation we find ourselves in, to choose to ignore the world and instead turn to God and revel in His love as an answer to all the things that attempt to make us miserable. The joy of the Lord, the decision to focus upon God and His good gifts rather than upon our situation is also our answer to any and all of the problems a fallen world can throw us, for when we look at them from a heavenly perspective they prove to be insignificant compared to the power of Almighty God and the love that He has for us. The prophet Habbakuk says: 'Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.' The prophet is in the very worst situation possible in the world, a famine to rival any in modern Africa and Asia, and his response is to worship God! Indeed, earlier in his words he rebukes all those who would complain or turn to any other source of comfort: 'The Lord is in His Holy Temple – therefore let all the earth be silent before Him'. He attributes all power in Heaven and on earth to God, and if God is in control then what right has man to complain, especially when he has proved so often in the past that He loves us without measure? Some Christians seem to think we have a right to be comfortable and happy in our situations. Sometimes God does put us in such places, and thank God for that, but He doesn't have to; God may do with us as he wills simply because He is God. Our only 'right' is to trust in His mercy and love, to take joy in our God who has already saved us. As Job says, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him'.

 

Of course, it is often not only hassle from a fallen world that we face, but active opposition from the enemy, who 'prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith'. Sometimes the enemy attempts to cause us to sin by blaming God for hardship with the misery he causes, but often he attempts to make us miserable simply out of spite, for he knows that he has lost and that his time is short for we have the victory in Christ Jesus. This of course is again our answer: the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Job is our example in such situations. In a single day in Satan takes from Job everything on earth, and although deep in mourning - he still 'fell to the ground in worship and said... Blessed be the name of the Lord'. Even at the death of his sons Job's response is to praise God through his tears, and we are told that because of this 'Job did not sin with his lips by charging God with wrongdoing', for even to remain silent would be to tacitly accuse God and deny his ever present blessings. After all, as Job says 'Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?'. When it comes down to it, we often do not know what God is doing, or why He allows death and evil and suffering, but we can trust in faith that 'all things work together for the good of those who love God'. All faith, and therefore all joy, depends upon whether or not we accept God's promises and his Truth upon which they are founded, regardless of the situation. If we accept that Jesus Christ is Lord of All, our Way, our Truth and our very Life we can therefore in faith praise him as he deserves even when we do not understand what he is doing, for we have certain knowledge that 'our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them, and so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal'.

Job also shows us that joy, that our choosing to come before God to worship no matter what our earthly circumstances, is not only a defence against Satan's schemes but is also a weapon against him. In the Hebrew of Job 1;11 Satan is actually very sarcastic, saying 'Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and maybe he will bless you for that as well.' Job actually quotes Satan word for word in Job 1;21 when he says 'Blessed be the name of the Lord', but he actually means every word of it. This verbal slap is a rebuke to Satan before God, and it also makes him look very silly in front of all of the other angels who have been observing this test in the throne room of Heaven. When we come before God to worship in the throne room in spotless white despite all of Satan's schemes then he is rebuked before God and Jesus is glorified. We need to defend our joy from the one who would steal it from us, and offer it to Jesus as worship.

Love

If in doubt...Last of all, and summing up all of the others is love. Love is very simply about being like Jesus. As the Bible says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” Jesus himself said “Men will know that you belong to me if only you will love one another”, because love sums up everything that Jesus is about.

And so what does love look like? “Let me tell you about the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, love does not boast, love is not proud. Love is not rude, love is not self-seeking, love is not easily angered, love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails and can not die. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. But for now these three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.

By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. By their fruit you will recognize my true followers…

Jesus the Man
What was Jesus like?

The Character of God
How do we know what God is like?

The Authority of Scripture
How should we obey what the Bible teaches us?

The Wise Mans Tragedy
What can we learn from Solomon?

Obedience
What can we learn from the mother of Jesus?

Cain and Abel
What can we learn from the first murderer?

Aslan
Who is Aslan? Who is Jesus?

When the Fire Burns Low
How do we cope when we have grown tired of God's way?

Fix Your Eyes
How do we look for God?

Stewardship
Why should we look after the world God has given us?

Stability
How do we know who we are in God?

Lent - Pride, Doubt and Jealousy
What is the period of Lent all about?

Doorkeepers
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked...

Close Encounters
How do get to have intimacy with God?

Air
Can we feel the breath of God?

Hearing From God
How can I hear what God wants to say to me?

The Story We Find Ourselves In
The Bible tells the story of all creation - what is my part in that story?

Passover
What does Passover mean to us as Christians?

Life
What does it mean to say that Jesus is alive?

Fruit
What is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?

Wait
Teaching for Christmas Eve...

Authority
What does it mean to have authority?

Tired
What can we do when it all seems like too much?

I Will Be With You
What does it mean to say "God is with us"?

Angels
What are angels, and what can we learn from what the Bible says about them?

Fire
A contemplative service for Pentecost

Water
A creative/contemplative baptism service

Guidance
How do we know what we should do?

Stones
A creative prayer/worship service

The Holy Spirit
Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does (s)he do?

A Relationship With Jesus
What does it mean to have a 'relationship' with the Son of God?

The Pilgrim's Progress
If we keep our eyes on the prize, what a journey it could be!

Heroes, Promises and Trust
How does our relationship with Jesus realy work?

Warrior's Confession
A liturgy for masculine prayer

Living Life to the Full
How do we get the most out of life?

Abraham
What is so speacial about the faith of Abraham?

The Presence of God
What does it mean to say God is present?

How Do I Know My Faith is Real?
We all wrestle with doubt, so how can we cope?

Who is Jesus?
...and what does he want from you?

To Act Justly Every Day...
What does the Lord your God require of you?

Sex and Self Image
Don't you know how beautiful you are?

Obedience
Will you let Jesus be in charge?

Recognising Jesus
Would you know him if he met you on the road?

The Person of the Holy Spirit
Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does (s)he do?

The Passion of the King
What does Jesus really want?

Joy
How can we really 'count it all joy'?

More Than Words
"... but words can never hurt me"?

The Armour of God
What tools does God give us to protect us from the Enemy?

The Heart of the Gospel
The Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near to you, therefore...

Following Jesus
Do you really want to follow him?

Preaching Skills
How should I prepare to give a sermon?

Healing
The gift of healing comes from the Holy Spirit, but how does it work?

Church
The People of God

The Bible
What does it mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God?

Jesus Part 2: The Deity of Christ
How can Jesus be God and Man at the same time?

Jesus Part 1: Who Do You Say I Am?
Who is Jesus, and why does He matter?

Temptation
How do we resist?

Holiness
What is holiness and how do we try to achieve it?

The Art of Spiritual Warfare
We're in a constant battle, so how do we try and prepare to fight?

Forgiveness Part Two: Forgiving Others
What is forgiveness and why do we need to forgive others?

Forgiveness Part One: Forgiven by God
Why does it seem so often that God is a million miles away?

Prayer Part Two: Receiving From God
Why does it seem so often that God is a million miles away?

Prayer Part One: The Lords Prayer
We look in detail at the Lords Prayer

Prophecy
It's one of the spiritual gifts, but what exactly is it, how does it happen?

Becoming a Christian
What is a Christian, how do you become one?

Basics of Christianity
Here we delve into the Nicene Creed