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Galatians 5:22 – Joy

25-10-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control.

In this letter law is opposed to grace , flesh to Spirit , and works to fruit . Where “the flesh” is put to work (> law!), “the works of the flesh” are inevitable. In the preceding verses passed an exhausting list of works that is twice as long (16) as the description of love, which is the fruit of the Spirit (8).

Quite remarkable how the list of works is the contrast and mirror image of the enumeration of the fruit of the Spirit. Thus the former works (fornication and uncleanness) are the opposite of the latter quality of the fruit (self-control). And the latter works of the flesh (drunkenness and revelry) contrast with the first characteristic of the fruit (joy). And so on.

Unlike drunkenness, a person cannot produce joy by himself. Drunkenness is typically an expression of apparent joy: joy from the bottle which leaves behind a hangover as a souvenir. True joy comes from within. It grows and blossoms as a fruit of the conviction that the one GOD loves us unconditionally (agapé). Not coincidentally is joy in this verse the first characteristic of love as “fruit of the Spirit”.