Fruit of the Spirit

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Fruit of the Spirit – 2 January 2008

According to many (if not most) Christians, born again believers in the Lord Jesus are those who have become indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.

Galatians 5 of the Bible describes the positive changes in character that are supposed to take place in those who have accepted and received this life-changing experience. The “fruit of the Spirit” is the resulting evidence of this spiritual transformation found in those who choose to embark on this life-changing journey.

This is the translation of Galatians 5:22-24 found in the King James Version of the Bible:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
~King James Version

The New American Standard Bible translation of Galatians 5:22-24 is as follows:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
~ New American Standard Bible

Then why do the vast majority of professing Christians continue to wallow in the “passions, lusts, and desires” of the flesh as evidenced in the flaunting of their use of fur and leather; the trickery and deceit by which they kill God’s creatures; the hypocrisy and blasphemy of their self-serving “prayers,” asking their Creator to bless the body parts and secretions of tortured beings who feel physical and emotional pain as much as humans do (perhaps even more); and so forth.

And as though this isn’t evil enough, these same hard-of-heart liars have the colossal nerve to marginalize and mock those who truly exhibit the “fruit of the Sprit” – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – and who try to make this earth a better place for all of creation. They discourage and chase away those very ones who live closer to God’s ideals (the fruit of the Spirit) as children of God. (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-10, Matthew 19:14, and Mark 10:14-15)

How can anyone, living in the 21st century and claiming to be born again of the Spirit of God, fail to make the connection that is so obvious? It seems as though they have allowed themselves to be spiritually blinded by the ruler of this world, Satan, about whom Jesus warned. (John 14:30 and John 8:47)

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20)

Those who continue to be hard-of-heart, arrogant, and self-serving (the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit), who think that they are fooling God, would do well to heed the words of Jesus as found in Matthew 7:13-14:

13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.

14 "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
~ New American Standard Bible
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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