Sunday, May 4, 2014

I learned something in Sunday School today.

Galatians 5:19-23

King James Version (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Romans 3:18-20

King James Version (KJV)

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

1 John 3:4

King James Version (KJV)

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

I love Sunday School. 

It is a beautiful time of sharing and learning of God together. I generally do not like Sunday School books, but that's a rant for another time. In Sunday School, unlike a preaching service, the congregation is allowed and encouraged to ask questions and give feedback on the subject at hand. In this way, the body of Christ can share with each other, our experiences and lessons learned about a particular subject. We exhort one another and help each other to deeper and higher places in God.  

I got yet another reason to like Sunday School today. I learned something. Yes, I am supposed to learn something every time. In truth, most Sunday School books are little more than milk and I prefer the meat of the word. However, today was special. 

First, I was reminded that sin is simply the transgression (breaking) of God's law. Therefore, when we sin, we place ourselves back under the penalty of the law- death. To become free of that, we must repent. All this I already knew. But, it was a good reminder nonetheless. 

I didn't learn anything that most would consider earth-shattering. For me, however, it was. 

All of my life I have heard of the "nine fruits of the spirit." It's part of what most Christians consider to be basic information. Today, from a young man 22 years my junior, I learned that there's no such thing as the "fruits" of the spirit. Rather, there is only one "fruit of the spirit" that includes those nine things: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."

This truly caused me to stop and take another look. After all, I've been writing on the "fruits" of the spirit for the last four blogposts.

Before I had time to analyze it too closely, the Sunday School teacher- a man around my age- agreed and told us that it is on LOVE that the rest of the pieces hinge. We cannot have joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance operating in our lives without the foundation of God's unconditional love. 

Indeed, love is the furtile soil from which the rest of it grows.

So, thank God for Sunday School. Thank God that he shares his knowledge throughout the body of Christ in order to teach each other. Thank God for the reminder that it's not just us old folks who know some things. 

And, to give honor where honor is due, thank you Aaron Sinsley and Miles Duncan, for letting God use you to share what he's taught you.