Course:  The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church.

Course Title: The Fruit of the Spirit (10 Lessons)

Lesson Six:

Lesson Title:  Kindness (chrestotes)

Lesson Theme:  Kindness the fruit of the Spirit is far higher than natural kindness.

Lesson Goal:  The student will understand the importance of kindness and seek every opportunity to be kind at all times.

Text:  Galatians 5:22-23, 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.'

Introduction: The Greek word 'chrestotes' is translated kindness or gentleness. It is a word describing a loving action that does not regard a persons attitude towards us. It is an expression of the love of Christ in us without consideration of what the person deserves or what self benefit may be received.

The kindness of the Lord is seen in His dealings with all people,

Psalm 145:9, 'The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.'

The love of God is expressed through kindness even to those who reject Him. Even those who are evil enjoy the benefits of the Lord's kindness.

When we show kindness to those who oppose us then we are showing that we are sons and daughters of the living God. Kindness the fruit of the Spirit does good even to those who are unkind to us.

 Matthew 5:44-45  'But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.'

The world shows kindness to people in need but this is not the fruit of the Spirit.

Examples of kindness that is natural and respected by the world.

A naturally kind person is one who is concerned about the needs of others.  This is highly valued by the world.  The world makes appeals for aid in times of famine, or children in need, or natural disasters.  People are highly honoured for charity works that have brought famine relief or other forms of help for the suffering. This is kindness but it is not the fruit of the Spirit.

In recent years large amounts of money have been raised on television to help children or lands in famine.  The people who do this have kind intentions.   But this kindness is derived from human nature and is not the fruit of the Spirit.  Giving in the church can also be on this level.

Main Points:

1. Kindness, the fruit of the Spirit, is unlike the kindness of the world.

What is the difference between natural kindness and the Fruit of the Spirit?

a) Natural kindness is rooted in the desire to do something that is beneficial to others. It may be done out of pity, duty, or for self satisfaction. It can make a person feel good to have done something to help others.

Kindness the fruit of the Spirit is rooted in 'agape' love. It has no other motivation.

b) Natural kindness needs to be appreciated.

The fruit of the Spirit is self sacrificing love that is not stopped by rejection or hostility.  Unselfish sacrificial giving attracts people to Christ because it is the nature of Christ.

c) Great acts of kindness that benefit humanity will be honoured by the world. A philanthropist is given great respect.

Kindness, the fruit of the Spirit acts without any interest in worldly honour or respect. It prefers to be anonymous. It has no concern about being ignored. Its reward is in the Lord. It does not seek any form of praise.

c) Natural kindness is an expression of a caring person. It desires to show kindness.

Kindness, the fruit of the Spirit is the expression of the love of Christ in us. It has one desire, to glorify Jesus by sharing His love to others.

2. Kindness loves those who have done nothing to deserve it.

The character of Jesus will be seen in us through the fruit of kindness.

The Lord's kindness is seen through His love towards us even though we were unrighteous and undeserving.

Kindness reaches out to the unrighteous

Romans 5:7-8  'For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'

Kindness reaches out to the undeserving

Titus 2:4-5  'But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost'

Kindness is always ready to forgive.   It is the same kindness that the Lord shows towards the sinner.  Kindness does not brood over a wrong suffered.  Big people do not hold grudges.

If we will become like Jesus then we must always be ready to forgive others.

3. Kindness reaches out to those who have been hostile towards us.

Ephesians 4:32 'And be kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.

Hostility of others towards us should bring out the beauty of the fruit of kindness.

Luke 6:27-28  'But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.'

Kindness will love those who have been unkind towards us.

The fruit of the Spirit rejoices to show kindness to an enemy.  It is an opportunity to glorify the Lord. The fruit of the Spirit will forgive and show kindness towards those who desire to injure us.

Romans 12:20 'Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.'

The fruit of kindness is rooted in Christ and will remain constant in the face of hostility.   The bond of the body of Christ is stronger than family and friends.

Family relationships can turn hostile, and friendships can break up. But in the body of Christ there is no place for hostility.

4. Kindness is characterised by generosity and the absence of self interest.

All disciples of Christ are called to live a life characterised by generosity.  The world does not understand giving like this and it will attract people to Christ.

Luke 6:29-31  'And unto him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.  Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away thy goods ask them not again.  And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.'

The fruit of kindness does not seek for anything in return.

It provides for others without seeking benefit for ourselves either directly or indirectly.

It takes no regard to what advantage can be gained.  It looks to an eternal reward and seeks only to glorify the Lord.

Luke 6:32-34, 'For if you love them which love you, what thank have you? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you? for sinners also do even the same.  And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.'

Christians should be known for kindness and generosity. It is a sad reflection on the church when those who are known to be Bible believing Christians are more greedy than the world and less generous in their giving.

A person filled with the Holy Spirit will love to give. Meeting urgent needs especially within the body of Christ is one of the greatest joys in the Christian life. Christians should be known for kindness and joyful generosity.

Helping people around us is a great opportunity to reach people for Christ or to encourage one another in the Christian life. We should be concerned about those close to us, and not just the needs presented by big preachers.

Kindness will be moved with compassion.  It is always active.

1 John 3:17  'But whoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?'


Kindness, the fruit of the Spirit, will...

1) rooted in 'agape' love.

2) ...makes us like Jesus in loving those who do not deserve it.

3) ...loves those who are unkind to us.  The hostility of people towards us will be met with the beauty of Jesus who lives in us.

4) characterised by generosity and the absence of self-interest. The Christian is called to a life of generosity far beyond the expectations of the world.

Lesson Outline

Course Index