The fruit of the spirit is love… (and) there is no law against it, Galatians 5: 22 and 23. There are times when the meaning of words are evident but this is not one of those times.
With the help of the internet we can rewrite these verses to more accurately reflect a better understanding. Today I have used the Strong’s concordance, Blue letter bible web sites, and another one that I forgot to get the name of. Let us look at the meaning of some of these words and then try to put them together.
Fruit may be that which comes from a tree, plant, field or an offspring.
Spirit is the third person of the trinity or our persona.
Law refers to the law of God found in the Old Testament.
Love has only one term in the English language but in the Greek there are six types of love. First is the Eros or sexual love. 2nd. Is Phillia, the friendship love that we get Philadelphia from. 3rd is Ludus, a playful love between friends or young lovers. 4th. Is Pragma, the longstanding love as between to married people. 5th is Philautia, that of ones self which can be destructive or advantageous. The last type is Agape love which is a deep love for every one, and is the highest form of love. Often referred to as the love of God. Agape is the term that is used in verse 22.
A better interpretation may be: What is produce out of the spirit of God’s love is joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,and self-control. God has not given us any law against this love.
How did Jesus understand this verse? He sees God in two ways, first 1 John 4: 8 said that God is love (agape) and the second is that God is a spirit and we must worship him in spirit – John 4: 24. What is produced by the spirit is agape love. He would also understand that God did not give the Israelites any law that would go against the fruit of the spirit.
The law that Galatians 5: 23 refers to is the law found in the Old Testament which God gave to Moses. Here we will find the 10 commandments that Christians believe we should live by. Too often we do not consider the rest of those laws. Those laws also tell us how we are to conduct our lives on a daily basis, and gives us the punishment for breaking those laws.
In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us that he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. He fulfilled over 300 prediction that the prophets had made concerning him as the suffering servant. We now look forward for the fulfillment of second coming prophecies. The law did not have the power to break the power that sin had over people (Roman 8: 3) but did have a provision for forgiveness. Jesus came to become our sacrifice for sin, offered once and not yearly. He would also break the power of sin in our lives.
As we imitate Christ, we allow him to inter into our lives and give us the strongest love for people that can only come from God. We now have the fruit of the spirit within us.
Over these past few weeks we have seen how the fruit of the spirit is lived out in our lives. This has shown me that as loving as I thought I was there are was to love others more. What about you? Have you seen areas in your life that you can show more love to others?
God bless you as you imitate Christ.