Fruit of the spirit

The new testament offers life, hope, forgiveness, mercy and grace to all believers after the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus. God uses ordinary people to deliver an extraordinary message, forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In Galatians, the apostle Paul speaks to living by the Spirit. If we live by the Spirit, we turn away from a sinful nature. In today's world, it is more important than ever to follow this important teaching.

Galatians 5:22, 23 says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." How true are those words today?

With the Bible as our guide to living a life which leads us closer to God and eternal life, those words are used hundreds of times. It has often been said and proven repetition helps one to remember something. While some experts believe if you hear something three times it will "stick" with you. Many, however, believe in the "Rule of 7" which suggests a message must be heard seven times.

If this is the case, a daily reading and study of the Bible should have the spiritual fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our memory in no time at all. While versions of the Bible may vary slightly, you'll see that regardless of the version, those words are mentioned more than the seven times so popularly thought needed for memory: love - 538, joy - 165, peace 422, patience - 70. It's obvious to see these words are indeed important lessons for all of us.

Now, more than ever, in a country and world of discord, we as Christians, must hold fast to these teachings. We must study, listen and ask for guidance. And in a world where the "gray area" of everything seems to be growing, we must remember to live by the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. JLF