Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 4 Study # 11
June 23, 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".
- B. The organization of the "fruit".
- C. The characteristics of the "fruit" (singular).
- 1. In respect to the inner man.
- a. "Love"
- b. "Joy"
- c. "Peace"
- 1) This is the large "dividend" of "justification by faith" (Romans 5:1).
- a) This large dividend is fundamentally "peace with God". It can address the conflicts of men, but it does not necessarily do so. Every "person" in the universe (divine, angelic, or human) is a person in his/her own right with a certain level of independence from all other persons so that no two persons will have "peace" between them apart from the deliberate shedding of that "independence" in regard to their relationship. Thus, peace with God may be peace only with God, depending upon the nature of the persons who inhabit the limited universe of the person who has peace with God.
- b) On the other hand, everyone who has peace with God will also have peace with all who have peace with God ... maybe. This comment depends upon whether "peace with God" is being seen through the lens of "justification" only, or through a larger lens that includes more issues than that of "Justice". Thus, those who have been justified by faith will have peace with all others who have been justified by faith, but they may not have any peace with any others on other levels (for instance, their view of remarriage after divorce, or their view of church order, or ... you name it).
- c) That said, however, peace with God is the beginning of peace with God's universe, including His creation and people. It is a large dividend.
- 2) "Peace" is the absence of conflict and the presence of all things harmonious. It is the natural production of "justification" as "righteousness" automatically yields "peace" in every relationship touched by it. However, in this world there are many relationships not touched by "righteousness". This means that there will be a mix of peace and conflict in the lives of all saints because they have peace with God, but not with all men (Romans 12:18).
- 3) "Peace" is the basis for "joy" in that "peace" must exist between the "love" of the person possessing it and that person's "circumstances, faith, and focus" in order for "joy" to exist. It is "peace" that opens the flood gates of joy.
- d. The order of the list.
- 1) In Romans 14:17 Paul characterizes the Kingdom of God as "righteousness, peace, and joy". The order is logical: righteousness automatically leads to peace which, in turn, sponsors joy as the outcome.
- 2) In this text, the order is "love, joy, peace". Again, there are logical issues. Love sets the stage for joy as that which identifies the "valuable things" that allow joy to be the reaction. And, it is pretty much indisputable that people who are joyful are typically at peace with God, others, themselves, and their circumstances. But, what is/are Paul's implication(s) by virtue of this "order" in the list?
- a) It is true that peace sponsors joy; but it is also true that joyful people tend to be less inclined to introduce conflict into their settings. Thus, there seems to be a circular spiral involved. Righteousness moves people toward joy and joy makes people less inclined to be unrighteous (inclined to destroy peace by evil activities).
- b) The issue of "peace" is at the heart of the "conflict" problem. As such it is preeminently an issue of the soul of man, which seeks, and thrives in, peace. The worst thing the soul can conceive is "conflict" as a destroyer of Life.
- 3) The "Kingdom" text (Romans 14:17) is all about interrelationships, whereas the "fruit" text (Galatians 5:22) is all about the internal qualities that lead to outward behavior. Thus, the "fruit" text seems to be all about the problems of internal conflict: man against himself, and the "Kingdom" text seems to be all about the problems of external conflict: man against others. "Love, joy and peace" are what God does in us, for us. "Righteousness, peace, and joy" are what God produces through us, for others.
- e. Theologically, "love", "joy", and "peace" all have settings in respect to the way God made man.
- 1) The question of "value" must be asked in respect to man, physical; man, emotional; and man, spiritual.
- 2) The experience of "joy" is relative to man's physical condition, his emotional condition, and his spiritual condition and the perspective he/she takes regarding those issues under the sovereignty of God's work in his/her life.
- 3) The mechanism of "joy" is "peace" and that reaches across the areas of conflict in respect to man. His physical body is "healthy" when there is peace between it and the environment it inhabits; his soul is "at peace" when there are no conflicts between it and the others who inhabit the same setting; and his spirit is "at peace" when his "value" is an established fact in his psyche.
- f. 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.
- 1) This fact stands: Love leads to conflict when/if the love is perverse. Godly love stands against ungodly love (Matthew 10:34). It is altogether a mistake to think that conflict should be avoided at all costs.
- 2) This fact also stands: God holds those accountable for creating the conflict whose values are false (1 Kings 18:17-18).