Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit - Part Three

This morning I used some Bible translations to research the qualities listed as 'the fruit of the Spirit' by Paul in Galatians 5. Here's what I found:

love affection for others
joy exuberance about life
peace serenity
longsuffering patience, willingness to stick to things
gentleness kindness, compassion
goodness conviction that holiness permeates things and people
faith loyal commitments
meekness gentleness, not forcing our way
temperance self control, directing our energies wisely

This letter to the Galatians is universally recognized as an authentic message from Paul. Galatia was a Roman province that included many cities Paul had visited like Phrygia, Lycanonia, Antioch, Iconium, Derbe and Lystra. Christian communities had been founded during his first missionary journey. He later revisited them to support these converts in their new faith. The population of that area were heathens, Greek and Roman colonists which explains why Paul and Barnabus were taken to be Jupiter and Mercury. The heathen priests dominated the people and imposed harsh laws. These young churches wanted to know whether or not the observance of Jewish law was binding upon the Gentiles who became disciples of Christ. It caused much controvery. Paul must defend his authority. Having heard of their troubles, he wrote them this letter explaining the superiority of the Gospel to the law. He applies sthe truth he has been establishing to the different relations and duties of life. He denounces foreign practices and gives this list of qualities that come as the 'fruit of the Spirit', following the Christian religion.

Those, like myself, who are not raised in Christian Science, come to it with preconceived notions about religion and worship. Some of its teachings seem strange and confusing at first. But as one continues reading Science and Health, studies the Bible Lesson and reads the periodicals, it becomes clearer and dearer. One's whole outlook on life is brighter and more postitive. There are physical healings. We see God in a new light and begin to glimpse our relationship to Him. As a natural outcome we express more of that 'fruit of the Spirit'. The changes come from deep within and others can see them as we express more love, patience, gentleness. The 'seeds' fall on 'good soil'.

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