We love the fruits of the spirit don’t we? We love to quote them to each other & hold each other accountable to being a good believer. Those fruits are just awesome & so quoteable & easy to remember. We find them planted firmly toward the back half of Galatians in chapter 5 whenever we need them. BUT…..
…we have it all wrong.
First of all, if you read verse 22, what does it word-for-word call these attributes? ________ ____ _____ __________.
FRUIT of the spirit, not fruits, meaning the fruit is not complete without all nine. So delegating one as unimportant doesn’t fly because then it would be a partial fruit of the spirit. An orange isn’t an orange when you break the segments, they are called segments because they are pieces of the whole. Seven pieces of the fruit of the spirit is not the fruit of the spirit. You need all nine.
Secondly, have you ever read the whole passage? From versus 16 to 28? Better yet, all 28 verses in chapter 5? Go ahead, I’ll wait…. Oh, but stop when you get to verse 12 for just a second & come back here. Okay. Go ahead & read now…
Verses 1-12: Don’t get wrapped up too tightly in understanding the whole circumcision thing. Basically the gist is that way back in Genesis everyone from the house of Abraham was to be circumcised as a physical sign of the covenant (or promise) between God and Abraham, that Abraham would be the father of a nation more numerous than the stars in the sky. This was before Jesus came & died, so they were still doing animal sacrifice & had to keep the laws to a T in order to try to earn their salvation.
When Jesus came, as a final sacrifice, there was no longer animal sacrifice as forgiveness of their sins because He was it. The last & final sacrifice. That also meant that circumcision, or a physical sign of that promise, wasn’t needed because now the sign instead was the commitment of our hearts when we accept Christ as our personal savior.
That covers the whole circumcision thing & basically what Paul is saying is, “We don’t live by this law anymore.” That brings us up to verse 13. Okay, read again, picking up at verse 13 & reading through 28.
Did you catch it?
Read verses 19 through 23 again:
What immediately precedes the list of the fruit?
A whole bunch of bad stuff. A whole bunch of stuff we tell our kids to stay away from. A whole bunch of stuff that we were told to stay away from. A whole bunch of stuff that leads to a whole bunch trouble. A whole bunch of stuff that is a whole bunch of the world.
The fruit is in contrast to what the world tells us is good or okay or normal. It is the guide for us on what we should be pursuing. It doesn’t mean that if we are never 100% great at all nine we have failed. It is the mark to shoot for. It is a goal to work toward, knowing that we will fail, and knowing it is okay. We can know that because Jesus has risen after dying for failures & shortcomings. Our purpose in this world is to be the hands and feet of Jesus…not to be Jesus. He was perfect, blameless, sinless, and He was all the parts of the fruit of the spirit.
So why are they important? What do each of the following verses tell us about the pursuit of fruit?
Matthew 7:16-20 –
Matthew 12:33 reiterates this also –
Ephesians 5:6-14 (specifically verse 9) –
This month we are looking into each of the attritbutes of the fruit of the spirit. We just came off a super in-depth study with our Real Story of Easter series, in an effort to not make all of us (us & you) drop from sheer exhaustion, this series is going to be a bit easier.
So if you found last month to be a bit much for you, this month may just be a nice reprieve. Here & there we will ask you to dig something out using some of your resources, but it will not be as labor intensive as last month. Our focus this month is to look at the biblical application of these “fruits” people like to talk so much about: Why do we need to be loving, patient, or kind? Why is it important to be joyful, peaceful, or gentle? What purpose does self-control or faithfulness serve? What does goodness even mean?
All that & more this month on HFL [sorry, game show host dreams of my childhood took over]. We will start off Wednesday with Keisha taking us into love. See you then, and in the meantime, tell us on Instagram or Facebook which topic you are looking forward to the most.