Innocent until accused of being guilty

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,

patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Such a beautiful verse, isn’t it?  Galatians 5:22 and 23.  And I think it’s made even more beautiful because of the verses that come before it.  Verse 19 says, “the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like.”  Not such a beautiful list, eh?

But even more interesting than the verses before the fruits of the Spirit, is the line that comes afterward.  The rest of verse 23.  “… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” 

That’s the sentence.  “Against such there is no law.”  For a long time I wondered why that line was there.  Why in the world would there be a law?  Who would make a rule against love, and patience and goodness? 

But then one day I was in the book of Matthew, reading about Jesus having healed a man on the Sabbath, after which the religious authorities accused Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  And He had to explain to them, “If a sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not lay hold of it and lift it out?  Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep.  It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Unfortunately, there are those who would disallow what God has commanded.  There were then, and there are now. 

I thought about this verse today, when I was out in the garage.  I saw my boy’s baseball helmet over in the corner with the sports paraphernalia, and I smiled a little, because a few years ago, he put a small label on the back of his helmet that said “Galatians 5:22”.

I was so proud of him for that.  I love that he wanted a Bible verse with him.  I love that he wanted to be inspired and led by the word of God.  But the first game he played with that little sticker on there, the umpire stopped him as he was warming up, and said something to the other umpire about how the boys weren’t supposed to have any “unauthorized” markings anywhere on their uniforms or equipment.  They didn’t know I was his mother, and maybe they didn’t even know I was listening, and I just sat there stunned.  But then the second one replied to the first, “Oh come on.  It’s a Bible verse!”  And they decided to just let it alone. 

I grinned a little to myself, because I knew what they didn’t ~ that that verse spoke exactly to what was going on there.  A law against the fruits of the Spirit.  Jesus saw that one coming, didn’t He?

 

~ “Depart from evil and do good;

Seek peace and pursue it.” ~

Psalm 34:14

~

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