1 February 2017 - clay
What fruit do we produce?
Now the works of the flesh are evident….
– Galatians 5:19
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
– Galatians 5:22-23
Many of us have heard of the fruit of the Spirit. If you’ve spent any time at all in children’s ministry in the last 10 years you’re probably singing a song along with the verses above. Many of us have heard the list of the works of the flesh before. This is a common teaching found throughout the church, mainly to induce us into becoming better people in showing these fruits to others.
What if you can’t do it, though? What if you can’t produce any of these things yourself? What if the only fruit you can produce, the only works you can do, are of the flesh? Doesn’t that turn this passage on its head?
There are two words that are of utmost importance in this particular set of verses. First, in verse 19, the word works is translated from the Greek ἔργον (ergon), meaning “that which one normally does”. So, the works of the flesh are the habits that, left to our own devices, we will continue to do.
The second word that is of incredible importance is the word of in verse 22. This may seem insignificant, but it has incredible implications.1I totally didn’t mean to alliterate that. Who is the fruit of? It’s not of us. We don’t produce the fruit any more than we produce the Spirit. The Spirit produces the fruit within us. How does that happen? Through consistent, intentional, religious time spent with Christ.
The fruit is produced by the Spirit in a seed bed which has been properly tended to. Where the soil is fertile and watered well, the fruit will be produced. Where the soil is rocky and hostile to the seed, no fruit will be produced.
So, what fruit is being produced through the Spirit in your life? Are you tending the garden well, or are you allowing weeds to grow that choke off the production of fruit?
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||I totally didn’t mean to alliterate that.|