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Galatians 5:22 – One fruit

29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans

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

The Spirit of God produces one fruit. It does not say “the fruits are ” (plural) but “the fruit… is ” (singular). And the name of the fruit is love. Love is not the first characteristic of the fruit, but its summary . The following eight qualities describe the fruit of love.

Eight is the number that heralds a new beginning. After the fullness of the seven, a new series follows. The eight symbolizes new life. The eighth day is the day of the circumcision. It also speaks of the sheaf of the firstfruits on the “day after the Sabbath” ( Lev.23:11 ). The eight qualities that Paul next lists correspond to his hymn to love in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, kind, etc.

Love is the  fruit of God’s Spirit. Not the result of our works . Works speak of human efforts (5:19). Fruit, on the other hand, grows spontaneously. That is  God’s work. That is why love here (Gr. agape ) does not refer to human, conditional love, but to God’s love (Rom.5:5). It is the love that encompasses all God’s creatures: unconditional and therefore never ceasing. Knowing this love produces joy and peace… and so much more!