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Fruit of the Spirit

28 Jul

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26, NRSV)

Are any of us led by the spirit?

I ask this because even the most pious Christians I know are fornicators, they have impure thoughts, have idols, and are a part of strife, and factions, they get jealous and angry and quarrel with others, they play a part in dissensions, and are envious, get drunk, and carouse. So if even the best among us do these things, how do any of us have hope. And one could go as far to say Jesus might have done some of these, and we can say for certain that He was angry, because He turned over the tables in the temple to drive out the money changers. Well, but that was righteous anger! Uhm, the reading above does not distinguish and simply says anger.

But if you are led by the spirit you will not do these things. You will produce the fruit of the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit is…

Not the Fruits of the Spirit are. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, which is made complete in joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are what love is.

So love God and your neighbors, and live in the fruit of the Spirit.

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