“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)
This week we are looking at the second of the nine characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as the fruit of the Spirit: joy.
Remember, we don’t speak of the “fruits” of the Spirit. The Greek is singular – fruit of the Spirit.
The Greeks did not have an “etc” to denote that the listing of like qualities. The way they expressed “etc” is to make a list of like qualities. What this means is that there are other God-honoring, people-blessing qualities that could also be included with the nine in Galatians 5:22-23 as long as they are God-honoring, and people-blessing.
Joy. The Greek for joy is chara. Joy is closely related to both “rejoicing” (chairo) and “grace” (charis). They all share the same root.
Joy, is not only an emotion we feel as a result of having something good happen to us. Joy is a deep sense of knowing that everything has changed for the better because of God’s grace. Joy is the result of grace. Grace comes first. Joy is the result.
When someone has experienced grace, they are forever changed. When someone has experienced God’s grace, there is nothing in the created universe that can take our joy. We are reminded by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:37-38, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That is quite a comprehensive list!
When we have experienced God’s unconditional love, a love which no one is deserving of, that’s called grace. And because we are the recipients of grace, joy is our result.
Look forward to getting to know “joy” better with you this week!