Introduction: Each week we have been going through the list of
Spirit fruits found in Galatians 5:22. Last week we came to the end
of the list in Galatians, so you might be wondering where we found
yet another Spirit fruit? We found it on the “light tree!”
Ephesians 5:9 says “for the fruit of the light consists in all
goodness, righteousness and truth.” In the grocery store, the fad
for some time now has been “light” food. This is the food that is
supposed to be more healthy for us. Let’s jump into our study of the
Bible once again to find out what it means to have a “light”
spiritual fruit, the fruit called righteousness!

  1. Finding Righteousness

    1. Read Romans 3:21-24. How do we become righteous? (It
      comes from God, it is free, and it requires faith in

    2. Read Romans 3:25-28. Can we become righteous by obeying
      the Ten Commandments? (No. If we could keep the law we
      would have something to boast about. But, righteousness
      comes from faith – and we cannot boast in the deeds of
      another (Jesus). This righteousness we are told (twice)
      is “apart from observing the law.”)

    3. Read Romans 5:17-19. Whose act of obedience is the Bible
      speaking about? (Jesus’ act of obedience.)

      1. Does this suggest that I need to worry only about
        Jesus’ obedience and not my own?

        1. If that is true, then righteousness truly is a
          “light” fruit! What could be easier – let
          someone else do the heavy lifting!

  2. Acting the Part

    1. Read Romans 3:29-31. How does this conclusion (that “we
      uphold the law”) logically follow? If we teach that we
      cannot become righteous by keeping the law, how does that
      uphold it? Doesn’t that make the law irrelevant?

      1. It was someone else who took on the challenge of
        keeping the law and that victory applies to me!
        This keeping the law stuff is ancient history,

    2. Read Ephesians 5:1-3. Can you be a “holy person” and be
      greedy, sexually immoral, and impure?

      1. If you say, “no,” then must we get rid of our greed,
        sexual immorality and impurity to become holy?

        1. If you say, “yes,” then re-read Romans 3:21-24
          and Romans 3:28!

    3. Look again at Ephesians 5:1. What is God telling us when
      He says to “imitate” Him? (Romans 3 teaches us that we
      are evil, and our only path to righteousness comes from
      faith in Jesus. His holy life and death on our behalf,
      make us holy. However, a holy people are supposed to act
      like they are holy. Therefore we are called to “imitate”
      our Holy God.)

      1. Is an imitation the real thing? (No.)

        1. So, what does that mean for us? God is the
          butter and we are the margarine? God is the
          wood and we are the printed plastic? This does
          not sound very encouraging, so let’s look more
          deeply into Ephesians 5.

    4. Read Ephesians 5:3-7. What has happened to my
      righteousness by faith? How can the same man (Paul) be
      inspired by the Holy Spirit to write these verses and
      Romans 3 & 5? (This “imitation” instruction is serious.
      We have a reputation to live up to. Since Jesus made us
      holy, we need to act like it. That is why the Ten
      Commandments are not some ancient, irrelevant text. They
      are at the heart of our “imitation.”)

      1. Are some Christians deceiving us about the fact that
        our actions (and the law) do not matter? (Paul warns
        us in verse 6 about deception on this very point.)

    5. How would you sum up the lesson to be learned from Romans
      3 and Ephesians 5:3-7? (We cannot earn righteousness by
      obeying the law. Jesus did that for us. But, we can lose
      our salvation by our evil works.)

      1. Isn’t this just the “backdoor” way of saying that
        our works earn our salvation? Sort of like your
        employer saying “Your salary is a free gift as long
        as you are employed. But, if you don’t work, then
        you are fired.” You might reasonably conclude
        working is important. (Look again at Ephesians 5:5.
        Paul calls the people who are involved in these evil
        works “idolaters.” This means they rely on
        something other than Jesus. Our works are an
        indication of our thought process. Works reflect the
        decisions of our mind. They reveal whether we have
        faith in Jesus or not. I think of them like the gas
        gauge in your car – the gauge does not power the
        car, but it reveals how much power is available.)

  3. Light Fruit

    1. Read Ephesians 5:8-10. Now we come to the light fruit. If
      someone told you to be “light,” what would you do, jump?
      Move to the moon? Change your name to Edison?

      1. Does Paul explain what he means by “living as
        children of light?” (Yes. He tells us that what
        comes out of light living is “goodness,
        righteousness and truth.”)

        1. Is this a choice? Or, is this automatic when
          we become righteous by faith? (Since Paul tells
          us in Ephesians 5:8 to “live as children of
          light,” this tells us that we have a choice. We
          need to choose to live right lives.)

      2. How should we go about making that choice? Tell me
        how to do this, as a practical matter. (Notice
        Ephesians 5:10 again: “find out what pleases God.”
        This is an instruction to read our Bibles, find out
        how God wants us to live, and then live life that

    2. Read Ephesians 5:11-14. Notice that we have an
      assignment, as “light fruit,” to “expose” the deeds of
      darkness. Does that mean we should videotape the sin in
      our community? Should we be in the newspapers identifying

      1. What does the Bible mean when it says “it is light
        that makes everything visible?” (The primary way in
        which we “expose” the darkness is to be an example
        of right-living. I don’t think we should be shy
        about calling sin by its right name, but I don’t
        think this is what the Bible is talking about here.)

      2. In what direction does Ephesians 5:14 say that Jesus
        will shine His light? (On us! This strengthens the
        idea that our “light” is about our good deeds – not
        directly pointing out the bad deeds of others.)

      3. What is the world’s reaction to Christians who are
        not “light fruit?” (The world holds them (and
        Christianity) up to ridicule. We are saved by grace
        alone, but we are in a battle between light and
        darkness. How we live not only reveals our loyalty
        to the light side, but it helps the light side to
        win the battle against darkness.)

  4. Knowing God

    1. We have discovered that our right works, our “light,” is
      an attempt to imitate God and is important to the
      conflict between good and evil. That seems to omit a very
      important question, what motivates us to do this? Is it
      the battle? Is it a desire for conformity with our God?

    2. Read 1 John 2:1-3. What does the Bible suggest as a
      motive for right-living? (Knowing God. As an aside, it is
      pretty hard to imitate someone if you do not know them.)

      1. What is the first thing that the Bible suggests is
        important about knowing God? (Jesus died for our
        sins, and is currently defending us in heaven.)

    3. Read 1 John 2:4-6. How does knowing God motivate you to
      do what is right, to walk in the light? (God’s love for
      us motivated Him to live and die on our behalf. That
      gives me joy! My death sentence has been lifted! Knowing
      that Jesus died to satisfy the requirements of the law,
      knowing that the light of my life helps to expose the
      darkness of sin, these things motivate me to obey God.
      This begins the process in which (verse 5) God’s love is
      made complete in me.)

    4. Friend, if you choose, you can be saved by grace alone.
      If you have made that choice, then you have an obligation
      to act like it. Would you like God’s love to be made
      complete in you? If so, learn about God so that you can
      know Him. In that wonderful process, you will take your
      place in the ranks of the “light fruit,” those who walk
      in the light, those who walk in righteousness.

  5. Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Truth.