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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Spirit, Fruits of the

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In the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians St. Paul sets forth the Fruits of the Spirit as nine in number, viz: (1) Love, (2) Joy, (3) Peace, (4) Longsuffering, (5) Gentleness, (6) Goodness, (7) Faith, (8) Meekness, (9) Temperance. In this enumeration it will be found that the arrangement is threefold, corresponding to the three great aspects of life. For example, the first three, "Love, Joy, and Peace," have reference to the life of a Christian in his intercourse with God. The next four, "Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness and Faith," describe the qualities which should characterize the Christian in his bearing towards his fellow-men—(Faith, it is to be understood, in this enumeration means trust, belief in man, and not the Theological Virtue, which is regarded as a root rather than a fruit). In the remaining Fruits of the Spirit we have a description of the Christian Life in respect of self viz., "meekness and temperance"—"meekness," by which is meant a due estimate of the place which self ought to hold, and "Temperance," the rigorous determination to see to it that self is kept in place. It is interesting to note that the Fruits of the Spirit form the subject of one of the petitions in the Litany.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Spirit, Fruits of the'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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