When I saw the suggested title my first thought was-making fruit “naked”. Fruit of the spirit is singular fruit vs. plural fruits and should be served naked (unadorned). Like a strawberries in spring, melons in the summer and apples in the fall. Fruit is best when eaten in season in the region it was grown. Fortunately we have the Tree of Life that grows its fruit in season and lives in the Kingdom of God (Rev 21:12). I got thinking about how we “bare” fruit. I got stuck on the baring part. Is it a burden we must endure for the Kingdom? Do I bare the responsibility for the use of the fruit. As I thought about it I realized that the fruit mentioned in Galatians are not things we pick up and put down. They are not things we bare as a burden, but qualities we enjoy because of the spirit. Also the list just above was not designed to be an opposing list of “evil” fruit.
Then I realized the word was bear, but I was too far down that road.
There are so many things in the bible, like fruit, that we only see in relation to it’s supposed opposite. These scriptures pose a problem for us.
Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature 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.
As a result of these actions, I warn you. My natural inclination is to look for something that I can do to counteract those bad things that keep me from inheriting the Kingdom. Note those things are things you do, fruit is things you “be” because of the Spirit. The burden is not for you to strive for.
Gal. 5:22 But 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.
Being of the spirit they are in reality fruit from the Tree of Life. For against these things there is no law. The law is derived from the fruit of the other tree.
It’s all about His grace.
“We are , it seems, even more fainthearted before grace than before evil…
…Unused to living beyond ourselves, out of control, by faith, the great danger is that we timidly retreat to the kind of religion that we can manage.” Eugene Peterson-Reversed Thunder
“The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by his Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible.” Charles Burgeoun
My son Nathan sent this to me a wile back, it puts in perspective what I am trying to convey.
“Faith is fearful and defensive when it begins to die inwardly, struggling to maintain itself and reaching out for security and guarantees. In so doing, it removes itself from the hand of the one who has promised to maintain it, and its own manipulations bring it to ruin. This pusillanimous faith usually occurs in the form of an orthodoxy which feels threatened and is therefore more rigid than ever. It occurs wherever, in the face of the immorality of the present age, the gospel of creative love for the abandoned is replaced by the law of what is supposed to be Christian morality, and by penal law. He who is of little faith looks for support and protection for his faith, because it is preyed upon by fear. Such a faith tries to protect its ‘most sacred things’, God, Christ, doctrine and morality, because it clearly no longer believes that these are sufficiently powerful to maintain themselves. When the ‘religion of fear’ finds its way into the Christian church, those who regard themselves as the most vigilant guardians of the faith do violence to faith and smother it. Instead of confidence and freedom, fearfulness and apathy are found everywhere. This has considerable consequences for the attitudes of the church, faith and theology to the new problems posed by history. ‘Why did the church cut itself off from cultural development?’ asks R. Rothe, whose messianic passion in the face of the modern age can speak for itself here:
I blush to write it down: because it is afraid for faith in Christ. To me, it is not faith in Christ if it can be afraid for itself and for its Christ! To me, this is not to have faith, but to be of little faith. This, however, is the consequence of a lack of faith that the Saviour is the real and effective ruler of the world; and only when this faith is lacking is such fear psychologically possible.
Christians, churches and theologians who passionately defend true belief, pure doctrine and distinctive Christian morality are at the present day in danger of lapsing into this pusillanimous faith. Then they build a defensive wall round their own little group, and in apocalyptic terms call themselves the ‘little flock’ or the ‘faithful remnant’, and abandon the world outside to the godlessness and immorality which they themselves lament……”
–Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 19–20.
Grace is challenging, puzzling, and completely good. Unless you are bothered by something that has no opposing other. No south for its north, no balancing darkness for it’s light. Raised in the culture of karma, yin and yang I still wait for the other shoe to drop. Grace makes me alive, grace takes away any labels we bestow upon each other. Faith says grace is true, complete. This is the heart of the gospel.
But what about this? You ask.
“Has this passage ever worried you?
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away
You’re not alone, but I have god news for you. The phrase “takes away” doesn’t mean throw away, it means something entirely different. The greek word for this phrase is airo. It means to lift up, raise up or carry. It also means “to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up, to bear.” This sheds new light on the dreaded idea of not bearing fruit.” Clint Byars
All the fruit is as a result of grace. Even if I show no fruit, all depends on the Lord to lead me, lift me up and guide me.