Tuesday, August 11, 2009
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23. Paul produces another famous list: The Fruit of the Spirit. This is no ordinary physical fruit - this is the fruit developing in maturing Christian lives. Two things stand out to me: 1) "Fruit" is singular in it's Greek construction here. ("Fruit" can be singular or plural in English, and since there are 9 listed, our first glance is to assume it is plural here). Rather than 9 types of fruit, God presents a 9-dimensional type of fruit that Christians should produce. 2) It is the fruit of the Spirit. I can't just get up and try harder to be more loving, patient, or better self-controlled. Together, this 9-dimensional fruit is the natural spiritual product of following hard after God. It is something that God Himself produces in me. It is an all or nothing principle. God brings forth each "type" of fruit, leaving none to disease or drought. Each of these 9 come in conjunction with the others. Fruit trees in our world need proper surroundings to bear what they're intended to produce: Sunlight, water, proper soil drainage, and sometimes fertilizer. If these elements are lacking, the tree will suffer. Spiritually speaking, I must absorb God's word as much as possible, as often as possible for this 9-dimensional spiritual fruit to thrive in me.