Understanding the Fruit of the Spirit
I came across a great article written by George O. Wood, former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. He was talking about the fruit of the Spirit in the book of Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” I would like to share his great insight on this topic.
One of the things that stuck with me is what he shared concerning a misconception that people make when differentiating between the fruit of the Spirit (singular) and the plural word “fruits.” Why is this distinction important between fruit and fruits? George Wood said, “If we use the word ‘fruits’ it implies plurality and diversity. We have the option of choosing among the fruit as to which ones we want to pick or omit. For example, most of us would choose love or patience, or joy over self-control. However, the singular word ‘fruit’ means all 9 aspects belong together — that we do not get to pick and choose which ones we want — all 9 qualities are part of the one fruit.”
I find it interesting that the first part of the fruit of the Spirit that is listed is love. No other part of the fruit of the Spirit can develop without the presence of love. In fact, all of the remaining fruit describes love in action. Love rejoices, love brings peace, love perseveres, love shows kindness, love brings goodness, love is faithful, love is gentle and displays self-control.
Christ is the root, love is the trunk, and the remaining fruit are the branches growing from the root and trunk. How does the fruit of the Spirit grow? Fruit cannot grow on a dead tree. Only the presence of Christ can make us alive when we truly live in Him and He in us, we will bear much fruit. (John 15:8)
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)