06 September 2007

This Sunday's Epistle

Just a thought on the Spirit's fruitbasket from this coming Sunday's epistle (Gal 5:16-24):

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

I wonder if love comes first in the list because it contains all the others?

Where love reigns, there joy will be, there peace will be, there patience will be, etc. Love seems not just the first of a number of items, but the very ground of the other virtues' existence. And that would have implications for pursuing such fruits in our lives: the key is not to try to be more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, more kind, etc. The key is simply to live in the Spirit's love poured into us and changing us as we pour such love out for others, and then all the other fruits just tag along.

What do you think?


Susan said...

>>What do you think?<<

"Yup" about love being the foundation of those other fruits.

But one other thing I noticed about the Galatians passage is that the works of the flesh are evident. It doesn't say that about the fruits of the Spirit. I think that fits with what you wrote last Sunday.
>>4. B. the nearer one draws in faith to the Holy One, the bigger one's sin appears. It is the one who SEES the sin in their life as huge and cries out for mercy and pardon, who is in fact drawing near to God.<<

William Weedon said...


I had kind of a "duh" moment. I don't know why the thought hadn't occurred to me before, since in 1 Cor. 13 St. Paul does the exact thing:

LOVE is patient. LOVE is kind. LOVE is not irritable or resentful.

Sometimes I think the synapses just don't fire like they used to, you know? "I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled." :)

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

And here is another interesting point.

The word is fruit (singular) not plural.

The FRUIT of the spirit is:


The "evidence" of such fruit is simply...you have this fruit. Kindness? It's the Spirit's fruit. Love? The Spirit again, etc.

Rev. Paul T. McCain said...

They are excellent preachers of the Easter truth, but miserable preachers of the truth of Pentecost. For there is nothing in their preaching concerning sanctification of the Holy Ghost and about being quickened into a new life. They preach only about the redemption of Christ. It is proper to extol Christ in our preaching; but Christ is the Christ and has acquired redemption from sin and death for this very purpose that the Holy Spirit should change our Old Adam into a new man, that we are to be dead unto sin and live unto righteousness, as Paul teaches Rom. 6:2 ff., and that we are to begin this change and increase in this new life here and consummate it hereafter. For Christ has gained for us not only grace (gratiam), but also the gift (donum) of the Holy Ghost, so that we obtain from Him not only forgiveness of sin, but also the ceasing from sin.”

Martin Luther, On The Councils and the Churches, quoted by Dr. C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel : 39 Evening Lectures, p. 121

William Weedon said...

I just love Luther's take on that Romans 5:15 passage:

Grace - the gracious pardon of God in Christ

Gift in Grace - the gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews and heals and changes us

He won't let the two fall apart - the second is simply enclosed and given in the first.

Mannermaa really nailed that as a central way Luther had of expressing it: gratia et donum.