Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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The Spirit's Fruit

The Spirit's fruit...
The expression 'the fruit of the Spirit' comes from Paul's
letter to the Galatians. These are his words:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
(Gal. 5:22-23a).

The mere recital of these Christian graces should be enough
to make the mouth water and the heart beat faster. For
this is a portrait of Jesus Christ. No man or woman has
ever exhibited these qualities in such balance or to such
perfection as the man Christ Jesus. Yet this is the kind
of person that every Christian longs to be.

This, then, is the portrait of Christ, and so - at least
in the ideal - of the balanced, Christlike, Spirit-filled
Christian. We have no liberty to pick and choose among
these qualities. For it is together (as a bunch of fruit
or a harvest) that they constitute Christlikeness; to
cultivate some without the others is to be a lopsided
Christian. The Spirit gives different Christians different
gifts ... but he works to produce the same fruit in all.
He is not content if we display love for others, while we
have no control of ourselves; or interior joy and peace
without kindness to others; or a negative patience without
a positive goodness; or gentleness and pliability without
the firmness of Christian dependability. The lopsided
Christian is a carnal Christian; but there is a wholeness,
a roundness, a fullness of Christian character which only
the Spirit-filled Christian ever exhibits.

grace and peace to you,

For Mercy Street Ministries, I'm Stan Baldwin.

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