The Lovely Things
The Community of the Free (part 16) | Paul talks about a kind of fruit that has much greater benefit than fruit we love like apples, plums, kiwi, etc. He calls them the Fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).
It is one thing to overcome the flesh or sinful nature (i.e. “sarx”) and not do evil things, but quite something else to do good things. The legalist, like the Judaizers, might be able to boast that they are not outwardly guilty of adultery or murder (see Matt. 5:21-32), but can anyone see the beautiful graces of the Spirit in his life? Negative goodness is not enough in a life; there must be positive qualities as well. The message is that the “Fruit of the Spirit” represents attitudes that control and dictate actions, rather than the actions themselves. Thus, the believer’s manner of life flows from a genuine inner principle, not from adherence to an external law.