Galatians 5:22-23 (post 2)

In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul lists the nine characteristics of a Christ Follower who is living in the Spirit. They are called fruit, and every believer should demonstrate each one in their life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” We’ll begin to unpack each of these nine outcomes of bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Paul begins his explanation of what it means to walk in the Spirit by telling us that the fruit of the Spirit is love. If we have not love, the Spirit does not dwell with in us.

Love in the English word that is translated from the ancient Greek word agape. In that language there were four distinct words for “love.”

  1. Eros was the word for romantic or passionate love.
  2. Philia was the word for the love we have for those near and dear to us, be they family or friends.
  3. Storge is the word for the love that shows itself in affection and care, especially family affection.
  4. Agape describes a different kind of love. It is a love more of decision than of the spontaneous heart; as much a matter of the mind than the heart, because it chooses to love the undeserving.

Barclay explains “Agape has to do with the mind: it is not simply an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live.”

Guzik contrasts the works of the flesh in the light of this love of the Spirit. Each one of the works of the flesh is a violation or a perversion of this great love that only comes when we walk in the Spirit.

  • Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lewdness are counterfeits of love among people.
  • Idolatry and sorcery are counterfeits of love to God.
  • Hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, and murders are all opposites of love.
  • Drunkenness and revelries are sad attempts to fill the void only love can fill.

Paul then goes on to the second fruit of the Spirit – joy. We often are hoodwinked by the enemies ability to position the kingdom of Satan as the place where the fun is and the kingdom of God as the place of gloom and misery. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we know from the original text makes this joy quite unique. Barclay provides context on the word ‘chara’ from the ancient Greek word used here for joy: “It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, still less from triumphing over someone else in competition. It is a joy whose foundation is God.” This joy is deep and wide. Spurgeon explained “Believers are not dependent upon circumstances. Their joy comes not from what they have, but from what they are; not from where they are, but from whose they are; not from what they enjoy, but from that which was suffered for them by their Lord.”

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