The Forgotten Context

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6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love….

13For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another….

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

Have you memorized Galatians 5:22?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

We would do well to be very familiar with all of Chapter 5.

 

The Apostle Paul is in a debate regarding change dynamics. How are people who follow Jesus going to change? How will this new community of Jews and Gentiles gathered in the name of Jesus Christ embody the character of God. To be crass: One group is asking, “When will pagans start being good?” This group is arguing for conformity to the Law and to the community and cultural standards of the Jews.

 

Paul argues for a spiritual dynamism empowered by the Holy Spirit given to all those who receive forgiveness of sin through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

The Gospel-shaped community vision: faith, freedom, fruit.

Faith in Jesus working through love.

Freedom to serve one another through love.

Fruit borne of the Spirit’s dynamic work in our lives.

 

The Fruit of the Spirit is a vision of Gospel-shaped community. Life in Jesus’ community is the forgotten context for The Fruit of the Spirit.

 

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