Updated: Jul 6, 2021
STEP 1 - Read Galatians 5:13-26
(13) You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh (Sarx); rather, serve one another humbly in love.
(14) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (15) If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
(16) So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Sarx). (17) For the flesh (Sarx) desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
(18) But if (since) you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (19) The acts of the flesh (Sarx) are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, (23) gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
(24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh (Sarx) with its passions and desires. (25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (26) Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
STEP 2 - Reflect
Hopefully this is a familiar passage to you. We’re just going to look at a couple of aspects about it today.
First, notice the first word: BUT. This is an important little word, because it sets the fruit of the Spirit in contrast with what came before it (the warning against people who continue living sinfully). You need to be a BUT person- a person who lives a drastically different lifestyle than the rest of the world.
Second, notice the word ‘fruit.’ It’s not ‘fruits’ (plural). So often, when people say this verse from memory, they say “the fruits of the Spirit are…” It’s easy to forget the BUT and to make it seem like there’s multiple kinds of Spiritual fruit.
This is more than just a little grammar problem. If you think of these characteristics like “love, joy and peace” as being individual fruits, it becomes easy to just cherry pick the fruits you like (no pun intended). You might think, ‘