Virtue: Take courage and Stand
Joshua Teaches Us
To Be Courageous

Double Bracket: Dear Christian –  Be of good courage and you to will see the works of the Lord as you enter into his promises.    ''Joshua fit the battle of
Jer-i-cho ...
Jer-i-cho ...
Joshua fit the battle of Jer-i-cho.  And the walls came tumbling down. "

These words from an old Black slave spiritual are about all I knew of Joshua while growing up. I was aware that he had led the army of God against the city of Jericho and at his trumpet blast the walls which secured the wicked city came tumbling down and Israel's army came pouring over the rubble.

It was a neat story, but I could not identify with the story's champion, Joshua. It was nothing more than a neat story about a legendary guy who did an incredible thing. But the Old Testament figure, Joshua, like so much of the Old Testament, is a shadow of spiritual reality which comes bubbling alive when we come to know Jesus. The Book of Joshua summarizes the story of Israel and how they took possession of the Promised Land. The book opens with Joshua, who has just been anointed as successor to Moses, receiving reassurance from God that he will be with Joshua the same as he was with Moses.

Every Christian can take heart in the exhortation which God personally makes to Joshua as Joshua prepares to embark on his mission of faith. God's exhortation is about courage. Four times in the first chapter alone, Joshua is exhorted to be of good courage. Here is a man renown in history for courage, whose fame as a mighty and courageous man of God has stood for thousands of years, and yet he had to be encouraged and reminded by God to be of good courage. Each one of us can identify with Joshua because no matter how brave we seem we need to gather our courage as Joshua did. Just as Joshua did, we can find courage in God's comforting words and the promises that God personally makes to us.

Learning to exercise faith creates a courageous heart in us. Just as Joshua had to be courageous enough to trust God so faith is built in us when we muster the courage to trust the Lord. Joshua oversaw the great miracle of Israel entering into the Promised Land and in the process saw many wonderful miracles. He saw the sun stop; the Jordan River dry up; the walls of Jericho fall; hailstones from heaven fall on the Amorite army; and more; but through it all Joshua had to trust God and be of good courage.

Dear Christian - Be of good courage and you to will see the works of the Lord as you enter into his promises.

"Love never fails" (1 Cor. 13)

Divine Nature INTRO:
add virtue then knowledge...

Yo are Here:
divine nature 1

KNOWLEDGE divine 2


PATIENCE divine 4

GODLINESS divine 5


LOVE divine 7

Also for the Unifying of the Body


                                                                                       by Eloise Gardenier


The purpose here is to show that the Gifts of the Spirit are indeed for today and are valuable tools for the maturing of the Church when properly used; and that they are meant to aid in the growth of the Fruits of the Spirit, leading to the ultimate of all fruits: love. Let us start with a scripture from 1 Corinthians.


 "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren; I would not have you ignorant! Now there are diversities of the gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations but it is the same God which worketh all in all." Vs.12:1, 4-12 & 31


First of all, let's examine three particularly meaningful words.

  1. Diversities - meaning variety and differences, showing us what the gifts are for and how they fulfill the various and complex needs of the body of Christ.
  2. Administrations - meaning servants, aids, officials, ministration, ministries. We can assume that the gifts of the Spirit are administered by different servants, officials, ministries, etc.
  3. Operations - effects and workings. The gifts take place in different ways with different effects and their operation can occur in diverse ways, even novel, or unconventional ways. To cite a few of the diverse ways the gifts are administered: dreams, through the word, by a prophet, visions, similitudes, miracles, a still small voice, teachings, testimony or direct revelation. Yet they must be a manifestation of the working Trinity; One Spirit, One Lord, the One and same God that works all in all. Father, Son and Holy Ghost always in harmony.


"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal". The gifts are for everyone, so that all may profit from their flow among the saints. The gifts of the Spirit are: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues and interpretation of tongues. Vs. 11 and 12 say; "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members of that one body, so also is Christ." The last half of v.31 reads: "But covet earnestly the best gifts". Paul exhorts us that we should not be ignorant of the gifts of the Spirit. But that we should know what they are, and should understand what they are for. There are a variety of gifts, they are administered by many different servants and ministries, and happen or are manifested in a multitude of effects, operations and workings. In this day of the restored Church, the gifts have become available for every person regardless of education or sophistication. The prophet Joel promised that in the last days God would restore all things to the Church: “And it will come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and also upon the servants and the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Over the past hundred to one-hundred and fifty years this promise has come to pass in the Church at a large. All people of every age and persuasion, of both genders and every class of society have become partakers of the unction and power provided by the gifts of the Spirit of God.

What else for, but to profit all of body of Christ. When the verse saying, "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will" is understood we should know that it is not by our will, but by the Spirit's will that we are given and receive the various gifts. He gives to those of us as He chooses. "For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that body, being many, are one body so also is Christ." Even though the body has many members it is meant to make up one unit, with Christ as its head. In v. 31 Paul tells us to "covet earnestly the best gifts". The word, covet means here: to have warmth of feeling for, earnestly have desire, move with envy, be jealous over, be zealous. So we are being told to earnestly desire these gifts, to even be jealous about obtaining them, and to be zealous in our search for them, in our willingness to receive them. In 1 Corinthians 14:38-40, Paul cautions us that "If any man be ignorant concerning these matters, let him be." If someone wants to be ignorant of what the gifts of the Spirit are, what they are for, or that they are even for us today, let him be ignorant. But let it not hinder us, nor be a stumbling block to us. "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues." Once more the word covet is used. We should desire, covet, look for, hope for, search for the gifts of prophecy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Most of us have encountered those who would like to argue with us about whether the gifts really are for today and are not used any longer, but I tell you saints – the gifts are for today! Naturally, it would be rude to reject a gift from a friend or family member at, say Christmas time. Why is it not rude and insulting to reject or disregard the gifts of the Holy Ghost?


Gifts of the Spirit are for growing fruits of the Spirit

Faith is the soil in which the fruits grow. The gifts are like the water, food and light that give growth to the fruits. The ministers of the offices of the Church, such as pastors, teachers, prophets, apostles and evangelists are the ones who are supposed to do the tending, the watering, the fertilizing, weeding and such so that the fruits may grow to maturity. We believe that the gifts of the Spirit are given to edify, encourage, and build up the body in Christ, but also to help us mature. When Jesus went away He left them as precious aids for us, through the working of the Holy Spirit. They are there so that we might grow up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and, most importantly, to nourish and grow the fruits of the Spirit. It is not an overstatement to say that the gifts are given almost exclusively for our protection and for the growth of mature fruit in us, that we can render unto God what is his. Jesus told us at the last supper that the one thing will glorify our Father in heaven; fruit that he is able to grow in us.

Nine fruits of the spirit are enumerated in Gal. 5:22-26; "But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law". Only faith is both a gift and a fruit! I suspect this is because faith enables us to receive gifts and grow fruits. "And they that are Christ's; have crucified the flesh with the affection and lusts." If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit! If we desire and exercise the gifts of the Spirit and lay hold of the fruits, it helps us to shed the works of the flesh which are found in Gal. 5:19-21. (Look them up!) Those who do the works of the flesh shall not inherit the kingdom of God! So it is that with the help of the gifts of the Spirit we are able to put aside the works of the flesh and have our lives more and more ruled by the fruits of the Spirit. Why do we want the fruits of the Spirit? I believe we find the answer in Eph. 4:11-16; "And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Isn't it wonderful to know what our ministers are for – 1.) the perfecting of the saints, 2.) the work of the ministry and 3.) for the edifying of the body of Christ! "Until we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man". What a promise! It is possible for us to be perfect day by day according to how well we hear God's voice and do it.

What will that do for us? "We will henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine ....." "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things which is the head even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Love is the ultimate goal.

The second part of 1 Cor. 12:31 says; "Yet show I unto you a more excellent way". Chapter 13, also known as the "love chapter", follows. Here we are taught that if we have all the gifts and have not charity (love) then we are just a noise-maker – big talker - and nothing more. This chapter describes what love is and how it behaves. We are informed that when that which is perfect (Jesus) is come; we will no longer need the gifts of the Spirit for we shall see Him face to face as He is. We are also exhorted to grow up and put away childish things. We are told that we shall always have faith, hope, and charity (love); but the greatest of these is love. In John 13:34 we are reminded that Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. What a difficult but desirable end to reach for, saints. The ultimate fruit rendered unto God by His disciple, servant, friend and child – heir to all things.