Tag Archives: Fruit of the Spirit

The fruit of the Spirit, pt. 3; Peace…

Wow… I could write a book about the next word in this series on the fruit of the Spirit.  The third aspect mentioned after love and joy is peace.  “Peace” in the Greek is eirene.  There are distinct meanings to this word, and I’m going to talk about two of them.  In order to understand the second, the picture of the first meaning has to be drawn out.

Peace can be cessation from literal war.  So, you have two opposing sides fighting against one another, and when they stop fighting, there is peace.  So, yes, think of a battlefield, or multiple battles being waged.  There is havoc, and pain, and suffering.  If one side is greatly outmatched, they fear.  Then imagine the tranquility of peace after such a fight; calm, safety, healing…  This is the first sense of the word.

The second sense of peace, is the cessation of “against-ness,” as my old pastor Doc Scott used to explain.  In the case of the believer, when we are saved, God does not hold anything against us any longer.  Think of this way; before we become believers, the Law, that list of do’s and don’t’s, is against us, we stand condemned by the  law.  When held up against God Himself, we totally miss the mark of His Righteousness and we are, again, condemned.  But when grace flows to us through faith, there is a cessation of against-ness between us and God and we have peace between us.

In this life, we will have tribulation, and it does indeed rain on the just and the unjust.  So just what does this aspect of the fruit of the Spirit mean for believers?  Obviously the second meaning; that peace between us and God is the most important point… however, this also has implications for our lives.  Once we have peace with God, He truly becomes our Father, and we have many promises in Christ.  God knows our lives past, present, and future, and when we trust Him, He works in our lives and brings us comfort and reassurance.

God offers us tranquility and peace in the sense that we know He is absolutely in charge, that He loves us, and that His Spirit is working in us to bring us peace.  It is the very peace of Christ that tells us not to be afraid.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

The very gospel is called the gospel of peace.  And, again, because peace is the fruit of the Spirit, He produces it in us.  It is not by our own human earthly efforts that we achieve peace, but rather by yielding to the Spirit and resting in Him.  If we want to actively worry and despair, He’ll let us… but His peace is always there for the believer in the midst of our trials and tribulations if we choose to yield to it.

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The fruit of the Spirit, pt. 2; Joy

In the first part of this series, we looked at the idea of love being part of the fruit of the Spirit.  The next in line; joy.  In the Greek, “joy” is chara, and carries the idea of gladness with it.  Now, one of the things I want to avoid, and to actually teach against is the idea that believers will walk around with silly grins on their faces, with everything in their worlds going fine.

We have a lot of health and wealth prosperity preachers out there pedaling this ideology; one that is definitely not found in scripture pertaining to believers in this life, in fact we are promised tribulation.  But look at what John says here;

John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

The word “joy” here is the same chara, as I mentioned before. This dismisses the idea of shallow, earthly joy.  The kind of joy spoken of that comes from the Spirit happens despite hardship.  I find it interesting that the context of John 16 is that Jesus is talking of the upcoming crucifixion and the fact that the disciples will become sorrowful, but eventually, they shall rejoice.  We too are promised a meeting with Jesus, and what a joyous event that will be!  However, while we are still on this earth, we can have a taste of that via the Holy Spirit working in us to produce that joy in the face of our suffering here.

Jesus goes on to counsel that when they become joyful, no one will ever be able to take that away from them.  At Pentecost we get the very Spirit of God that produces that same joy in us, and because it flows from God to us, and we are sealed with the Spirit, no one can take that type of joy from we modern day believers either…

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The fruit of the Spirit, pt. 1; Love

We are told in Galatians 5:22 a list of the fruit of the Spirit, starting with love.  In the first part of this series it becomes important to talk about why God chose the analogy of “fruit.”  Note that the fruit being produced is not the fruit of ourselves, it is not something that we do, but rather the Spirit Himself produces it through us.

So many times people revert to legalism in their walk with Christ, but Paul tells us that the just shall live by faith; and faith is trusting.  In the case of the fruit of the Spirit, we trust that the Spirit will bring forth these things in our lives in their own time.  No vine, or tree can cause fruit to grow with any type of effort of will.  You can squeeze your eyes shut and try as hard as you can to produce fruit, but that is not how it works.

A good tree produces good fruit, and there is none good but God Himself; hence our need for the Holy Spirit to produce this fruit through us.  We don’t put the effort into it, we yield to Him.  So, lets take a look at this fruit one aspect at a time.

The Greek word for love here is “agape.”  Agape love is the type of love that is stable, profound, and enduring.  When John, in 1 John 4:8 remarks that God is love, it is agape love that is used.  (There are different words for different types of love in Greek, but that is a different article…)  It is a benevolent, caring type of love.  Since God is Agape, and the Holy Spirit is God, that is what fruit is produced through us.

Love like this can change the world… and what is more, this kind of love even works on the human heart.  Sometimes this type of love is uncomfortable to feel toward others and we actually fight against it.  We have this odd idea in our culture sometimes that love and caring is weak; far from it!  This type of love wants what is best for others without regard for self.  When Jesus commanded us in John 13:34  to “love one another,” as He loved us, this is the type of love He was speaking of.

In this world, as never before, we need this type of love that is guided by God, and flows from the Spirit to those around us who crave it so badly.  Next, we’ll look at joy

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