Why Fruit?

Posted 1/15/2003 4:55:09 PM

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" Gal 5:22-23.


Right before the list of the fruit of the Spirit is a contrasting list of the deeds of the flesh, a litany of evil and selfishness. This is the core conflict in every believer, flesh vs. the Spirit Gal 5:17. We should obviously be controlled, driven, and motivated by the Holy Spirit instead of our old nature:

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." Gal 5:16


The reason Paul brought up the discussion of flesh vs. Spirit is the whole issue of getting along with each other, loving one another to be more specific. This is another paradox of the Christian life: we are free, yet our best choice in life is to become servants to one another. Gal 5:13. It seems easier to swallow the first part of the Great Commandment, to love God with everything (or at least say we do), yet it is so difficult to love one another as much as we love ourselves! Giving up what we like so as not to be reason for others' stumbling? Ministering to one another, not out of obligation, but as much as we'd enjoy being ministered upon?

"For you were called to freedom, brethren" Gal 5:13


Back at the beginning of Galatians 5, Paul writes that "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Why would free people voluntarily become slaves again? This isn't the good kind of serving one another, this is taking on the Law again; finding eternal value in meeting the demands of the Law. Works are done for credit, instead of out of love, and used to critically measure others' spiritual status, instead of relying on the grace of God. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision [promising to keep the Law] nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love." Gal 5:6

Why Fruit?

So, the Fruit of the Spirit are the means that we live God-pleasing lives, not the results of doing good. The Holy Spirit has to change us first, before his fruit can start becoming evident. Rom 12:1-2

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