Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 4 Study # 8
June 2, 2013
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
1901 ASV Translation
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.
25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.
26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.
- I. The "Fruit" of the Spirit.
- A. Calling it "fruit".
- 1. Paul's use of "fruit" (karpo) generally indicates a "result" of an indicated activity or process. It is deliberately made distinct from "works" (as in "the works of the flesh"). This deliberate distinction focuses upon the differences between a man's "sweat of the brow labors toward an agricultural goal" and the "sweat-free" natural processes that the plant goes through to yield its bounty. This distinction consists most fundamentally in the differences that exist between a man who is determined to bring about an intended result and a plant that is "undetermined" and "effortless" in its natural development.
- 2. This use builds out of the typical concept of the "fruit" of a plant that produces edible offspring (1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Timothy 2:6; James 5:7). It is, at root, an agricultural reality that serves to build a metaphor so that we have a physical-world "picture" of a non-physical reality (as in "fruit of the Spirit" both here and Ephesians 5:9). This makes "the Spirit" likened unto a plant which begins as a seed and, finally, ends as a seed, but in the meantime goes through a detailed and particular series of processes in order to accomplish its "purpose for being".
- 3. One of the overlooked, and easily perceived, realities about "fruit" is that it is not an "instant production issue". Fruit takes time and, sometimes, a rather lengthy bit of it. There are a lot of factors that plants have to "process" before they yield any fruit. In Peter's well-known list of character qualities in 2 Peter 1:5-7, "love" is the last characteristic achieved and his implication is that it will not be quick, nor easily put into place.
- 4. This particular word appears only once in Galatians, which indicates that it is not a major focus in the letter, though this use puts it at the very foundations of life by the Spirit (5:6). The focus of the letter is faith. "Fruit" is automatic to that issue.
- 5. Paul uses the word to metaphorically describe that "entity" that will be the basis for the evaluation of Eternity that stands at the root of any/every "assignment" for participation in the Eternal Kingdom of God (Philippians 1:22; 4:17). It is that which is "reckoned to one's 'account' for that future evaluation event".
- B. The organization of the "fruit".
- 1. Love, Joy, Peace (fundamental internal states of an inner man).
- 2. Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness (fundamental responses to others without).
- 3. Faithfulness, Meekness, Self-control (fundamental characteristics of a person in respect to God).
- C. The characteristics of the "fruit" (singular).
- 1. In respect to the inner man.
- a. "Love"
- b. "Joy"
- c. "Peace"
- d. Theologically, "love", "joy", and "peace" all have settings in respect to the way God made man.
- e. Theologically, "love" is the epicenter of all: there is no joy where misplaced values dominate; and there is no peace when values lead to conflict.