Is joy a fruit of the Spirit?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Helen, Feb 23, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Actually, no. Brace yourselves, OK?

    There is one fruit of the Spirit, and that is Christ-likeness. The results of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is that we should become like our Lord Himself in character.

    Attributes of that character include love, joy, peace, etc.

    Joy is NOT happiness. In fact, both happiness and comfort can get in the way of tasting that joy from God. Sometimes it is only when both happiness and comfort are removed from our lives that we become aware of something much deeper, something which is not affected by the circumstances of our lives but is rather a reflection of who we are in Christ: that deep security in Him for which the only right response is a quiet joy, knowing everything will be all right in the end. A joy that comes from our growing trust in our Lord and increased knowledge of Him.

    I wanted to mention this because of the mess the 'depression' thread became. The depression clergy and spouses can feel is not a result of not keeping their eyes on Christ, but of being given the entire burden of the church they are serving. It comes as a result of the exhaustion that comes from having a servant's heart in a church of takers, or mostly takers.

    It does not mean these people are not feeling the joy of the Lord in their depths, but it does mean that we have let them down, allowing them to get to the point of physical and mental exhaustion trying to do what needs to be done in a church. My own experience tends to show me that if you show me a depressed pastor who is honestly a born-again Christian, then you are also showing me a lazy congregation.

    On the flip side, however, I would also want to mention that a number of churches we have visited seem to have pastors that only preach to the non-believers on Sundays! Trying to make a case for Christ, or teach what salvation is. This is milk. And if all they do is feed milk to the congregation, then they oughtn't to expect more than a congregation of spiritual babies! There are two churches I am aware of within a 30 mile radius of where I live which have extraordinary pastors -- men who know how to pick up the beginners in a congregation and move the sermon along until they have also picked up the more mature in Christ and everyone has learned something and had a chance to be challenged to know Christ more.

    Two churches. And you know something? I feel incredibly blessed, for some places have none.

    I know I've picked up a lot of threads here, but instead of passing judgment on people who are feeling depressed, we need to see what we can do about it, if we are at all involved in the situation -- like being members of a church!
     
  2. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Good post; but could you please explain Galatians 5:22 where the Bible tells us that joy IS a fruit of the Spirit? Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    Sue
     
  3. Helen

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    What got me about the Galatians verse for so many years was that the word 'fruit' is singular and then there is that list that follows. That did not make sense to me.

    It evidently has not made sense to a lot of others because I have heard so many sermons 'explaining' it. Many of the sermons said that love was the fruit and that the rest of the attributes were then connected with it.

    Considering that God is love, I can see that. But the fact remains that the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is in the following:

    to remind of Christ's words (John 14:26)
    to testify about Christ (John 15:26)
    to guide us into truth (John 16:13)
    to communicate from the Father (")
    to bring glory to Christ in gifts to us(John 16:14-15)
    to indwell those who belong to Christ (Romans 8:9)
    to put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13)
    to lead us and testify that we are indeed God's children (Romans 8:14)
    to help us in our weakness and in our prayers (Romans 8:26)
    to intercede for us (Romans 8:27)

    Romans 8:28-29 says that those of us who love God are predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Christ. This is exactly what the indwelling, teaching, care, and leading of the Holy Spirit are all about -- this, then, being the singular fruit.

    In this way, perhaps it is easier to understand that the qualities listed in Galatians are not fruits in and of themselves, but qualities of that fruit.

    When I tend my grapes well, they come to time sweet and juicy and purple and full of vitamin C and other good things. The list of qualities is long, actually. But the fruit is the grape.

    Christ said God is love. He said He would give us His joy and peace. Paul reminds us that love is patient and kind. Thus, like sweetness and such explains the qualities of the grape, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control explain the qualities of Christ-likeness. In short, in a person who is becoming mature in Christ, we will see ALL these qualities improving and not just one or two!
     
  4. Abiyah

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    Hm-m-m-m. If I remember my Greek correctly
    in this case, and I believe I do, the Greek word
    for fruit is used in the same way as the English.
    If I am going to the store for bananas, grapes,
    apples, oranges, pineapple, (and throw in some
    coconut and walnuts for a fruit salad! Yum!), I
    do not say that I am going to the store for "fruits"
    but for fruit. 8oD Personally, I think too much is
    made of this single fruit thing. 8o) It is a great
    concept, except that I do not believe it is
    scripturally proveable. 8o)
     
  5. Molly

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    Fruit is anything and everything(biblical,that is) that results from being led by the Spirit...yes,joy would be the fruit of that relationship. True joy,not a feeling,but a state of being that can only come from God.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Nels Ridderbos, New Testament professor at the School of Reformed Churches in the Nederlands writes on Galatians 5:
    The fruit of the Spirit is in contrast to the fruit of the flesh.......a fruit is not something that is made or done. It comes up out of a definite principle...the principle being the principle of the Spirit..............he then writes about joy: Jay has religious sense here; delight in God because of the salvation in Christ......

    The fruit is one,,it is complete in itself and does not function independently. Love, joy and peace cannot be divided, it is one essence as the fruit of the Spirit.

    I agree that it is both manifest internally and externally, but always exists internally. There may be masking circumstances affecting the outward expression of this fruit, but does not negate or diminish the inner experience.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Helen

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    I don't want to make a giant thing of this, but no tree and no vine bears other than its own fruit (not counting grafts). Even the tree of life in Rev. 22 bears its fruit constantly, but not different fruits. (edit: I was wrong here. Please see the next two posts.)

    I can say of any of the fruit that I grow here,
    'The fruit of that tree is sweet.' That does not tell you what the fruit is, only that it tastes sweet. I can also tell you that the fruit of that vine is sweet. But the vine does not bear the same fruit as the tree. Sweetness is a quality of the fruit in each case.

    At any rate, and I'm sure many will disagree with me and that's fine, I really do think that the list in Galatians is a list of the qualities of the fruit of Christ-likeness which is the goal of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And, as we abide in Christ, closely and consciously, then that quality of joy is one we will find being matured in our own lives as well. But just as 'sweetness' or 'roundness' or color do not give the name of the fruit, but rather its qualities, so the list in Galatians seems to be giving the qualities of the one fruit of the Spirit -- the achievement of the goal of becoming like Christ.

    I don't want to push this any farther, because actually the purpose of the thread was to try to defuse a little of the accusatory and defensive positions of another thread by having folks think a little about this side of things. Thanks.

    [ February 23, 2003, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  8. Abiyah

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    That tree by the river in Revelation has twelve
    diffeent kinds of fruit . . .
     
  9. Helen

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    Abiyah, you are right and I apologize. I had recalled a sermon before about that being a mistranslation, but your post made me stop and look at the Greek and the different translations and yes, the indications are very clear that 12 different types of fruit are being referred to. Thanks.
     
  10. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Heeelllleeennnnn! No need to apologize! But that
    is the way you are, so I accept it. 8o)
     
  11. Lorelei

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    Jesus walked among not only believers who were mostly takers, but among those who despised and ultimately murdered Him.

    Paul dealt with many churches who were takers, the Corinthians for one.

    You say the fruit of the Spirit means we should have these Christ-like attributes, and I agree.

    We should handle these situations in a Christ-like manner as well. "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Gently and lovingly instruct them in the Lord, but never do I see any Christ-like attribute that allowed him to wallow in His despair. The servant attitude should be to serve, not to blame those whom he serves for the way that He feels.

    Is it judgemental to share with them the hope that the Bible offers? Is it judgemental to read to them the promise that God gave us of peace, hope, joy and love?

    When does sharing the truth from God's Word turn into judging others? If I were living in a homosexual relationship, would it be judgemental of you to share with me what the Bible says about homosexuality? I don't think it is judgemental to share what the Bible says about depression either.

    It was my understanding as Baptists that we were to use the Bible as our final authority in faith, rules and practice.

    You are right, depression is caused by others at times, but the biblical way to feel better is to rejoice in the Lord always, even when others get you down.

    I believe this is scriptural and I say it with a heart of love. If you choose to judge my motives as otherwise then that is your choice to do, but you will be wrong in doing so.

    Just for fun, do a search in the Bible for the words depression, hopelessness and despair. Then do a search for the words joy, peace, and hope. I think you will find the results very interesting.

    ~Lorelei
     

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