Fruit of the Holy Spirit

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Stained glass window at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, depicting the Fruit of the Holy Spirit along with role models representing them, i.e. the Good Shepherd representing love, an angel holding a scroll of Gloria in excelsis Deo representing joy and peace, Job representing longsuffering, Jonathan faith, Ruth gentleness and goodness, Moses meekness, and John the Baptist temperance. Executed by Hardman & Co. in the 1870s.[1]

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life written of by Paul in his Letter to the Galatians chapter 5. Though this references nine attributes to the Fruit of the Spirit, the original Greek term translated as "fruit" is singular, signifying that there is one fruit with nine attributes. Throughout the Bible, the righteous are likened to trees,[Prov. 11:30] and in Galatians 5 Paul explains what fruit a righteous tree bears. Accordingly, this "fruit" is grown by those who have truly repented and become followers of Jesus[Matt. 3:8] and correspond with God's divine personality worked into the Christian human spirit.[2] It is arguable whether one who does not bear this fruit is truly a Christian. In John's account of the Gospel, Jesus said, "These things I command you, that you love one another",[John 15:17] referred to as the New Commandment or the second greatest commandment. Paul illustrates with these attributes the kind of love that marks a true Christian life:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Catholic tradition lists 12 fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.[3] The Douay-Rheims translation lists them as charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity.[Gal. 5:22-23]

Immediately before he illustrates Christ-like "love-one-another" love, author Paul issues a stern warning in presenting partial list of what he termed "acts of the flesh" which he labels as "obvious":

sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

In one of the most austere statements attributed to Paul in the New Testament, he concludes the negative list with these unequivocal words: "I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God". There is no mention of these behaviors and attitudes being unpardonable sins.

The virtues are given in a pleonastic style which rhetorician George Kennedy describes as "The cumulation of a series of words which seem to come pouring out of his heart" (p. 90). This is a common stylistic feature of the Apostle Paul's writing. See Romans1:29-31;[4] Romans 13:13;[5] 1 Corinthians 6:9-10;[6] 2 Corinthians 12:20;[7] Galatians 5:19-23;[8] Philippians 4:8.[9]

Love (Greek: agape, Latin: caritas)[edit]

Main article: Agape

Agape denotes a really undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill, that always seeks the highest of the other, no matter what s/he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of its object. Agape is more a love by choice than philos, which is love by chance; and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world. According to the Apostle Paul's description of "Agape" love in 1 Corinthians 13, it is sacrificial, demonstrated by Jesus' death on the cross, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in and for man) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes do not fade under any circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening. [Love never becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. Love never fails". (AMP)

A further Biblical definition in 2 John 1:6 defines love with the statement, "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love".

Joy (Greek: chara, Latin: gaudium)[edit]

See also: Eudaimonia

The Greek word for 'joy' is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for 'grace.' This is significant to note, for chara is produced by the charis of God. This means 'joy' is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes but, rather, true 'joy' is divine in its origin. It is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 1:6,[10] the Thessalonians were under great stress due to persecution; yet in the midst of it all, they continued to experience great joy. The Greek strongly implies that their supernatural joy was due to the Holy Spirit working in them. Paul even called it the "joy of the Holy Ghost". (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

According to Nehemiah 8:10, "The joy of the Lord is your strength",[11] which may be further understood to mean properly as "the awareness (of God's) grace, favor; joy ("grace recognized")".[12]

Peace (Greek: eirene, Latin: pax)[edit]

Main article: Peace

Peace is the result of resting in a relationship with God.[13] Peace is a tranquility, a state of rest, that comes from seeking after God, or, the opposite of chaos. Peace or eirḗnē is God's gift of wholeness and derived from eirō, "to join, tie together into a whole",[14] properly, when all essential parts are joined together as one or as a whole.

The word "peace" comes from the Greek word eirene, the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word shalom, which expresses the idea of wholeness, completeness, or tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by the outward circumstances or pressures. The word eirene strongly suggests the rule of order in place of chaos. When a person is dominated by peace, he has a calm, inner stability that results in the ability to conduct himself peacefully, even in the midst of circumstances that would normally be very nerve-wracking, traumatic, or upsetting...Rather than allowing the difficulties and pressures of life to break him, a person who is possessed by peace is whole, complete, orderly, stable, and poised for blessing.[15]

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace, who brings peace to the hearts of those who desire it. He says in John 14:27:[16] "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid". NKJV The only way to get this peace is to trust in the Jewish God, YHWH, as Isaiah says, "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You".[17]

"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of God no matter what the conflict". -Anonymous

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".[18] "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit".[19]

When having peace with God through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are then able to make peace between men, and also between men and God, also called "evangelism". It is understood that those who have peace with God, and are therefore sons of God, will act like their Father in heaven and become those who are able to make peace, or be peace makers, as Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God"[20] and "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me".[21] So by saying this, Jesus is stating that only those who have received peace with God through Himself, the "sons of God", are able to make peace, no one else. These sons of God are specified by John when he says, "None of those who are children of God continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin".[22] Paul also says, "Never pay back evil for evil. Take thought for what is right in the sight of all men".[23] Peace, in the Bible, is much more than just a lack of yelling or lack of war, it is the presence of YHWH allowed into a place and a person. Only with the Jewish God is there peace, as Isaiah writes, "'There is no peace,' says the Lord, 'for the wicked.'"[24] Jesus is the Jewish God,[25][26] and He is alive.[27]

Patience (Greek: makrothumia, Latin: longanimitas)[edit]

Main article: Patience

Patience, which in some translations is "longsuffering" or "endurance", is defined in Strong's by two Greek words, makrothumia and hupomone.

The first, pronounced (mak-roth-oo-mee-ah) comes from makros, "long", and thumos, "temper". The word denotes lenience, forbearance, fortitude, patient endurance, longsuffering. Also included in makrothumia is the ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment. It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint. (Strong's #3115)

The latter, hupomone, (hoop-om-on-ay) is translated "endurance": Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. The word combines hupo, "under", and mone, "to remain". It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat, (Strong's #5281) with hupomone (Greek ὑπομονή) being further understood as that which would be "as opposed to cowardice or despondency"[28]

Hebrews 10:36 says, "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised".[29] We are "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness".[30] "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love".[31]

Kindness (Greek: chrestotes, Latin: benignitas)[edit]

Main article: Kindness

Kindness does not necessarily mean being nice, one can be kind and not nice. Nice is defined by dictionary.com as being agreeable. In contrast, kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do, properly, "useable, i.e. well-fit for use (for what is really needed); kindness that is also serviceable".[32]

Strong's #5544: Kindness is goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability. The word describes the ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience. The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of one under His control. (emphasis added)

The word kindness comes from the Greek word chrestotes (khray-stot-ace), which meant to show kindness or to be friendly to others and often depicted rulers, governors, or people who were kind, mild, and benevolent to their subjects. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of chrestotes was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind, or gentle. The apostle Paul uses this word to depict God's incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved (see Romans 11:22;[33] Ephesians 2:7;[34] Titus 3:4[35]).

One scholar has noted that when the word chrestotes is applied to interpersonal relationships, it conveys the idea of being adaptable to others. Rather than harshly require everyone else to adapt to his own needs and desires, when chrestotes is working in a believer, he seeks to become adaptable to the needs of those who are around him. (Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner)

Kindness is doing something and not expecting anything in return. Kindness is respect and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back. It implies kindness no matter what. We should live "in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left".[36]

Goodness (Greek: agathosune, Latin: bonitas)[edit]

See also: Summum bonum
  1. The state or quality of being good
  2. Moral excellence; virtue;
  3. Kindly feeling, kindness, generosity,joy in being good
  4. The best part of anything; Essence; Strength;
  5. General character recognized in quality or conduct.

Popular English Bibles (e.g. NIV, NASB, NLT) translate the single Greek word chrestotes into two English words: kindness and goodness. "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power".[37] "For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth",[38] with agathosune being "found only in Biblical and ecclesiastical writings, uprightness of heart and life"[39]

Faithfulness (Greek: pistis, Latin: fides)[edit]

Further information: Loyalty and Fealty

Faithfulness

Faithfulness is committing oneself to something or someone, for instance, to one's spouse, to a cause, or to a religion. Being faithful requires personal resolve not to wander away from commitments or promises. It's not always easy to be faithful. Christian faith requires trust in God. "O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth".[40] "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith".[Eph 3:16-17]

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews describes it this way: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God".[41]

The root of pistis[42] ("faith") is peithô[43] that is to persuade or be persuaded which supplies the core-meaning of faith as being "divine persuasion", received from God, and never generated by man.

Gentleness (Greek: prautes, Latin: modestia)[edit]

Main article: Gentleness

Gentleness, in the Greek, prautes, commonly known as meekness, which is "a divinely-balanced virtue that can only operate through faith (cf. 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22-25).[44]

. The New Spirit Filled Life Bible defines gentleness as

"a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious, and that has the passions under control. The word is best translated 'meekness,' not as an indication of weakness, but of power and strength under control. The person who possesses this quality pardons injuries, corrects faults, and rules his own spirit well".

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted".[Gal 6:1]

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love".[Eph 4:2]

Self-control (Greek: egkrateia, Latin: continentia)[edit]

Main article: Self-control

The Greek word used in Galatians 5:23 is "egkrateia", which means having command or "mastery over" (krat- as in "autocrat"), or possession of, "one's own behavior". Which is accomplished through and by the power of the Lord, "proceeding out from within oneself, but not by oneself".[45]

"...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love".[2 Pet 1:5-7]

See also[edit]

  • In 2008, a health product called Fruit of the Spirit was released for Christians wanting to improve their health. The product contains whole fruits indigenous to the Holy Land and Dead Sea minerals. The product purports to decrease inflammation and supply antioxidants for health.[46]

Sources[edit]

George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism, (University of North Carolina Press: 1984)
Longman, Robert Jr. "Self-Control". Web: 19 Oct 2010. Spirit Home

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CHRISTCHURCH PLACE, CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (CI)". Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720–1940. Irish Architectural Archive. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "The 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit". Bible Knowledge Ministries. 
  3. ^ http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm#1832
  4. ^ Romans 1:29-31
  5. ^ Romans 13:13
  6. ^ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  7. ^ 2 Corinthians 12:20
  8. ^ Galatians 5:19-23
  9. ^ Philippians 4:8
  10. ^ 1 Thessalonians 1:6
  11. ^ Nehemiah 8:10
  12. ^ [1] Strong's Greek Concordance 5479. chara
  13. ^ Morgan, Elisa. Naked Fruit: Getting Honest about the Fruit of the Spirit. Revell, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8007-1873-2
  14. ^ [2] Strong's Greek Concordance 1515. eiréné: one, peace, quietness, rest.
  15. ^ Renner, Rick. Sparkling Gems from the Greek., Teach All Nations, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9725454-7-1
  16. ^ John 14:27
  17. ^ Isaiah 26:3
  18. ^ Romans 5:1
  19. ^ Romans 15:13
  20. ^ Matthew 5:7
  21. ^ John 8:42
  22. ^ 1John 3:15
  23. ^ Romans 12:17
  24. ^ Isaiah 48:22
  25. ^ John 18:5-6
  26. ^ & version=NKJV Romans 10:9
  27. ^ Rev 1:18
  28. ^ [3] Thayer's Greek Lexicon - STRONGS NT 3115: μακροθυμία
  29. ^ Hebrews 10:36
  30. ^ Col 1:11
  31. ^ Eph4:2
  32. ^ [4] Strong's Greek Concordance 5544. chréstotés
  33. ^ Romans 11:22
  34. ^ Ephesians 2:7
  35. ^ Titus 3:4
  36. ^ 2Cor 6:6-7
  37. ^ 2 Thessalonians 1:11
  38. ^ Ephesians 5:9
  39. ^ [5] Strong's Greek Concordance 19. agathosune
  40. ^ Isaiah 25:1
  41. ^ Heb 12:2
  42. ^ [6] Strong's Greek Concordance 4102. pistis
  43. ^ [7] Strong's Greek Concordance 3982. peithó
  44. ^ [8] Strong's Greek Concordance 4240. prautés: gentleness
  45. ^ [9] Strong's Greek Concordance - 1466. egkrateia
  46. ^ [10]