Kyrath On July - 24 - 2013

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

This frequently quoted verse is a beautiful picture of the life that we as Christians are called to live. In contrast to the “works of the flesh” listed in verses 19-21, Paul describes the “fruit” that is cultivated in a life filled with the Spirit: “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (verse 25).

As sinners, we lived a life in the flesh. Of this life, Paul asks, “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.” (Romans 6:21). We deserved only death. But thanks be to God that He did not leave us in our sin! “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22). By Christ’s death and resurrection we are freed to live our lives for Him!

The fruit of the Spirit is not something that we can achieve on our own. But by the power of God, we can live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galations 2:20).

The first fruit listed in Galatians 5 is love. Just as God loved us, we are called to love God and one another. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31).

1st Corinthians 13 paints a beautiful picture of this kind of love. The word translated here as charity is agape, the same word translated as love in Galatians 5. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (4-8, 13)

This passage reveals that love was listed first among the fruit of the Spirit for a reason: it is the greatest. And “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). The Bible has much more to say about love, but suffice it to say that it is a very important part of our lives as Christians. And not just love for our friends, but love for the whole world, even our enemies.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8).

Categories: Spiritual

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