Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 4 Study # 13
July 7, 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.
- 2. In respect to other human beings.
- 3. In respect to God.
- a. Faith (pistis).
- 1) This word is used in 228 verses in the New Testament if the word count program is to be believed (I have not verified it).
- 2) This word arises from a root verb that means "persuade" and signals whatever processes (and there may well be "several", moving from the highly insignificant ((a mere statement)) to the enormously impressive [miracle]) are involved in the act of getting someone to "believe" something they have not "believed" until those processes were employed.
- a) Example: I moved from both ignorance and unbelief in the concept of God inspired revelation to confidence in the Word of God by only one (albeit somewhat explosive) claim that "the Bible is inspired of God".
- b) Example: Saul of Tarsus moved from antipathy and unbelief in the identity of Jesus as God's Christ by reason of an impressive appearance by Jesus on the road to Damascus.
- c) Example: The entire Gospel of John is predicated upon the belief by John that his record of "signs" (miracles) can lead to "belief".
- 3) The concept(s) of this word always include(s) a "shift" in a person's thinking that moves that person into the "realm" of the thing "believed" to the point that the "believed" thing actually sponsors its "commensurate response" in the person "believing". There is no such thing as "believing" that leaves the "believer" unchanged in choices/actions; but that is not to say that a person who "believes" will not reject that "faith" at a later point (belief is not, of itself, a fundamental shift that occurs at the roots of the way a person thinks; it is simply a "present" reality of thought that has the power to move the "believer" into whatever course of "action" that is invariably tied to the thing that is "believed"). Some things believed are later rejected because of some kind of "argument" (persuasion) that makes sense to the person who decides what/whether to "believe".
- 4) Technically, God is the only valid object of "faith" because He alone has immutable integrity. That means, however, that when men are "believed", they are taken to be real spokesmen for God.
- b. Meekness (prautes).
- 1) Paul used this same term in Galatians 6:1 to encourage those charged with "restoration" to engage the "overcome" with a "meek" attitude that is suffused with the realization that we all are susceptible to being "overcome". In other words there is no "I could not fall like that" mentality.
- 2) The Galatians 6:1 text is the only New Testament text that gives a solid hint as to what "meekness" is.
- 3) Trench says that the term indicates a confidence in God that the unpleasant reality that calls it forth is under His control for our good. In other words, "meekness" is "faith" when the circumstances are painful.
- c. Temperance (egkrateia).
- 1) This is a rare word in the New Testament, used in only three texts, none of which give us much help.
- 2) Peter (2 Peter 1:6) puts it between (gnosis) and (hupomone). The implication is that "gnosis" is the root and "hupomone" is the fruit of "egkrateia". The implication is that "knowledge" will lead a person to "temperance" and "temperance" will lead to a willingness to "endure under a difficult situation". This strongly suggests that "temperance" is a cautious pursuit of solutions while embracing "faith" in a Loving Father.
- d. Summary.
- 1) All of the three "sets" of characteristics lead off with a primary characteristic with two "qualifiers" following. "Love" is followed by "joy" and "peace". "Longsuffering" is followed by "kindness" and "goodness". "Faith" is followed by "meekness" and "temperance". If "longsuffering" were replaced by "Hope", we would have "Love, Hope, and Faith" in the reverse of 1 Corinthians 13's "Faith, Hope, and Love".
- 2) The point is this: Paul set forth "Love", "Longsuffering", and "Faith" with two "qualifiers" for each one. The easiest relationship between three is seen in "Longsuffering" where "kindness" suffers long in the direction of doing no hurt and "goodness" vigorously pursues "benefit" even if some "hurt" is necessary. With "Love", the relationship seems to be that "Love" automatically sponsors "Joy" and results in "Peace" (being loved by God leads to joy and the experience of peace with Him). And with "Faith", the relationship seems to be that "faith" will permit a person to accept difficulties as the outworking of God's love for us and respond carefully without a strong impetus to try to "get out of" them. "Temperance" is a careful response, designed to keep our confidence in His love in play while we face difficult issues. We are not forbidden to seek "relief" in difficulty; we simply need to make sure that we are not over-committed to it.