Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 4 Study # 12
June 30, 2013
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
1901 ASV Translation
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.
25 If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.
26 Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.
- I. The "Fruit" of the Spirit.
- A. Calling it "fruit".
- B. The organization of the "fruit".
- C. The characteristics of the "fruit" (singular).
- 1. In respect to the inner man.
- 2. In respect to other human beings.
- a. Longsuffering (a notably "fluid" concept, without identifiable boundaries).
- 1) Romans 2:4 indicates an attribute of God that allows evil men to continue to live in spite of their evil.
- 2) Romans 9:22 indicates an attribute of God that "endures" hateful things for a larger purpose. [The "logic" of this text needs some exploration: How does "longsuffering" permit the display of wrath and power?]
- 3) 1 Timothy 1:6 indicates an attribute of God that allows Him to exercise "mercy" toward entities that "deserve" judgment. This indicates a linkage between "Justice" and "longsuffering" in that the latter hinders the former.
- 4) 2 Timothy 4:2 indicates a characteristic associated with "exhortation" with the implication that people do not respond very quickly to being "exhorted". This reveals that "long suffering" is allowing others to continue to do things they ought not to do.
- 5) Hebrews 6:12 indicates a characteristic that enables people to "inherit the promises" by reason of "lasting long enough" (hanging in there until the day of inheritance).
- 6) 1 Peter 3:20 indicates the characteristic of God that allows Him to "wait" on the time that leads up to an outpouring of "Justice".
- 7) 2 Peter 3:15 indicates the characteristic of God that keeps the "plans" and "attributes" in harmony with each other. At any time, in any circumstance, any given "attribute" seeks "expression". However, there are "competing" attributes that tend to "nullify" each other so that at no time, and in no circumstance, can all of the attributes of God "express" themselves.
- 8) The other New Testament uses of the term are to be found in grocery lists that do not give any basis for 'definition'.
- a) The etymology of this term indicates both an "intensity" in the demand to be allowed to express oneself (thumo) and a "reluctance" (makro) to all that intensity to upset the overall accomplishment of a larger objective.
- b) At least one of the opposites of "longsuffering" is "impatience".
- b. Kindness.
- 1) The etymology of this word entails the concept of "using something to accomplish a goal". From there it moves to "something easily tolerated" (my yoke is "easy") and "something that is to be preferred" ("better" wine).
- 2) Use in the New Testament.
- a) Romans 2:4 -- the riches of God's "goodness" are the manifold ways that God gives benefits rather than the negative and just desserts for which our behavior calls.
- b) Romans 3:12 -- the condemnation of the Old Testament revelation regarding man: "none does good" as a description immediately after "they are together become unprofitable", sliding the idea of "beneficial activity" into the mix.
- c) Romans 11:22 -- "goodness" is contrasted with "severity" in an illustration of God's pruning of fruitless branches; cutting them off from the benefits of the vine and making that contrast a matter of "grafting in" branches so they can benefit from that vine.
- d) Ephesians 2:7 -- it is "kindnesses" that "show the exceeding riches of grace"; i.e., doing really beneficial things.
- e) Titus 3:4 -- "kindness" and "love" are the two major descriptions of the actions of God as our "Savior"; i.e., "kindness" characterizes the action and "love" provides the motivation.
- 3) "Kindness" is "beneficial action", with an emphasis upon "action", not "attitude".
- c. Goodness.
- 1) Etymological derivation points to "good"; a concept of the active pursuit of "good" (what is really "good", including rebuke, chastisement, etc., for the long term).
- 2) Trench says that it is the energizing element behind "kindness" and makes this distinction: "kindness" would have never cleansed the Temple; "goodness" would not not do that. "Kindness" without "Goodness" would automatically degenerate into a tolerance of anything in the name of "hating to harm". "Goodness", on the other hand, would not hesitate to "hate" evil and its impact, and do something about it. Without "kindness", "goodness" might well escalate into "putting people to death to save their souls" (Inquisition style).
- 3) Only four uses in the New Testament and few in secular Greek.
- a) Romans 15:14 ties it into "gnosi" that is used to "admonish" one another, indicating an attempt to actually improve one's experience of Life (as opposed to simply being reluctant to introduce some element of harshness [kindness]).
- b) Galatians 5:22 makes it, as Trench observed, an actual separate characteristic from the ideas caught up in "kindness".
- c) Ephesians 5:9 ties it to "righteousness" and "truth" and the ability to "prove what is acceptable unto the Lord".
- d) 2 Thessalonians 1:11 uses it in a prayer that God will fulfill all the pleasure of "goodness".
- 4) Summary: "Goodness" is the active pursuit of actual benefit (standing the tests of "life" and "Life").