Saturday, 4 June 2016
…gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:23
Paul completes his list of the fruits of the Spirit in this verse. This is not an all-inclusive list; other fruits and gifts of the Spirit are provided in his other letters as well. However, this list is given in contrast to the “works of the flesh” which he previously noted. The last two that he now mentions are:
Gentleness – This word is another one which has a root that emphasizes the divine origin of “meekness.” In other words, it is a gentle strength which expresses power and yet it is a reserved power. Despite the ability to crush one’s foes, there can be gentleness towards them. HELPS Word Studies says that it “begins with the Lord’s inspiration and finishes by His direction and empowerment. It is a divinely-balanced virtue that can only operate through faith.”
Self Control – This means, properly, “dominion within.” In other words, it is a control of oneself that proceeds outward from within. Again, HELPS notes concerning this virtue, that it “can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. Accordingly, [it] is explicitly called a fruit of the Holy Spirit.”
Paul says of this list, which comprised the majority of verses 22 and 23, that “against such there is no law.” This is speaking of the fruits (things), not those who display them (people). There is no law for such things because they transcend any law. They come from God and are fruits of His Spirit. Therefore, no law can exist against them. Instead, they are what will naturally flow from Him as we yield to His will.
Life application: It needs to be noted once again that as believers, we can never get more of the Spirit of God than that which was first received upon belief. However, we can yield to God and the Spirit can get more of us. This is the purpose of Paul’s list of the fruits of the Spirit. Our ability to exercise these gifts is dependent on our yielding to Him and allowing Him to work through us.
I stand in awe of Your magnificence, O God. I tremble at the marvel and majesty of Your power which is displayed throughout the universe, and which is even evident with each change in the weather or each rising of the tide. Your hand controls such things; things which are far greater than the entire sum of human endeavor. We could no more stop a single tide from rising than we could contain the awesome fire of the greatest sun in the galaxy. How absolutely majestic You are, O God! We stand in awe of Your magnificence. Amen.