sexta-feira, maio 14, 2004

John Stott

Fruit of the Spirit

The expression 'the fruit of the Spirit' comes from Paul's letter to the Galatians. These are his words:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23a)."

The mere recital of these Christian graces should be enough to make the mouth water and the heart beat faster. For this is a portrait of Jesus Christ. No man or woman has ever exhibited these qualities in such balance or to such perfection as the man Christ Jesus. Yet this is the kind of person that every Christian longs to be.

This, then, is the portrait of Christ, and so - at least in the ideal - of the balanced, Christlike, Spirit-filled Christian. We have no liberty to pick and choose among these qualities. For it is together (as a bunch of fruit or a harvest) that they constitute Christlikeness; to cultivate some without the others is to be a lopsided Christian. The Spirit gives different Christians different gifts... but he works to produce the same fruit in all. He is not content if we display love for others, while we have no control of ourselves; or interior joy and peace without kindness to others; or a negative patience without a positive goodness; or gentleness and pliability without the firmness of Christian dependability. The lopsided Christian is a carnal Christian; but there is a wholeness, a roundness, a fullness of Christian character which only the Spirit-filled Christian ever exhibits.

John Stott- From Baptism and Fullness (Downers Grove: IVP, 1976) p. 76

Nenhum comentário: