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The fruit of the spirit is...
Theme Editorial
Stan Cox

With this June 2001 issue on the "Fruit of the Spirit" we finish our two part series on Paul's lists of virtues and vices in Galatians 5:19-23. To access the May 2001 issue of Watchman, which contains articles discussing every "lust of the flesh", click here. It is our prayer and hope that these two issues will be helpful to Christians for years to come, as they seek to study God's will in this area.

This issue constitutes an extensive word study of the list of "fruit of the Spirit" that is found in Galatians 5. I want to express my appreciation to all of the men who have contributed to the study. You will find the writing to be uniformly excellent.

To introduce this issue, we make note of the following:

  1. The list is not exhaustive, but it is representative of the virtuous character God expects Christians to develop. There are many other "lists" that are found in scripture. The reader is referred to passages such as Ephesians 4:1-6, Colossians 3:12-15, 2 Peter 1:5-11 and 1 Timothy 6:11-12 which contain similar listings of Christian attributes.

  2. The reader may want to note the greater context in which the lists are given. Paul is discussing the conflict between the flesh and spirit of man. This conflict is real, and Christians must heed the warnings of Paul, lest they be overcome. Note the following verses:

    (vs.13), "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

    (vs. 16-17), "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."

    (vs. 24-25), "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

May we all as children of God heed Paul's warning to "walk in the Spirit", and make no provision for the flesh in our lives.

It is my prayer that you will be edified by the material in this month's Watchman. We look forward to supplying you with good study material in the months to come!