Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)


An orange tree shouldn’t be producing apples. The fruit of an orange tree is…? The same can be said of the Spirit. The “Spirit tree” should be producing fruit that is from the Spirit. Opponents of Paul were claiming that Paul’s gospel promoted the growth of ungodliness, because God’s grace, after all, was able to abound more than any amount of ungodliness.
The Spirit of God will not cause Christians to sin, and the Spirit of God won’t prevent sin in Christians but no Christian can claim that the Spirit of God produces lawless deeds. There is no “law” against the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, there is no condemnation of brotherly love, gentleness, peaceableness, etc.
Paul’s point in Galatians 5 about the fruit of the Spirit may be misunderstood by most today. The apostle isn’t digressing about the lovely qualities of the Spirit of God after having combated attacks on the Gospel from Judaizers. Those qualities are truly lovely but Paul isn’t advising believers on how they should refine those qualities in their daily lives. He is responding to opponents that claim his gospel is a promotion to sin since he has so boldly declared that God’s grace can cover any amount of sin.
Paul is saying that the Spirit of God compels Christians to sanctify themselves…to love holiness. The Spirit would never compel believers to “live it up” since grace abounds. “How shall we who died to sin live any longer therein?” Paul rhetorically asks Roman saints (Romans 6:2). If sin has been realized by us as repulsive to God and what demanded the death of Christ, why would we think the pursuit of sin brings more honor to God. Obviously not!
Paul’s opponents did not grasp the concept that when he was preaching the grace of Christ he was compelling honest hearts to deny ungodliness, not condoning an apathy toward holiness. The fruit which comes from the Spirit illustrates that Christ is not an advocate for ungodliness.
Do we as Christians sin? Of course. Does that mean we don’t love godliness and holiness? Of course not. Do we as Christians boast that we can sin as much as we want and get away with it? We better not. The Spirit would not be the source of that perspective in us.

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