Memorize Galatians 5.22-23.

by K.W. Leslie, 05 March

Whenever Christians talk about the Holy Spirit’s fruit, we typically quote Paul’s list of ’em in Galatians 5.22-23. And it’s not a bad idea to memorize this particular verse. Pick your favorite translation and put it in your brain; I’ll quote the original.

Galatians 5.22-23 THGNT
22 ὁ δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη, χαρά, εἰρήνη, μακροθυμία, χρηστότης, ἀγαθωσύνη, πίστις,
23 πραΰτης, ἐγκράτεια· κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος.

Oh okay; the King James Version.

Galatians 5.22-23 KJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Anyway, this way we have a small inventory of fruit memorized. Comes in handy if there’s ever any question whether these things are fruit.

Defining the words.

Obviously whenever people quote this verse, it’s to list the fruits, and to define ’em. And for that, they bust out the dictionary—and if they have any sense, they bust out the Greek dictionary, since our English dictionaries only tell us how popular culture defines stuff.

I’ll quote Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament.

ἀγάπη/agápi, from ἀγαπάω/agapáo. Love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast—(feast of) charity(-ably), dear, love.

χαρά/hará, from χαίρω/haíro. Cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight—gladness. Or “greatly” (or “be exceeding”) “joy(-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).”

εἰρήνη/eiríni, probably from a primary verb εἴρω/eíro (to join). Peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity—one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

μακροθυμία/makrothymía, from the same as μακροθυμώς/makrothymós. Longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude—longsuffering, patience.

χρηστότης/hristótis, from χρηστός/hristós. Usefulness, i.e. morally, excellence (in character or demeanor)—gentleness, good(-ness), kindness.

ἀγαθωσύνη/agathosýni, from ἀγαθός/agathós. Goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence—goodness.

πίστις/pístis, from πείθω/peítho. Persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (gospel) truth itself—assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

πραΰτης/praýtis, from πραΰς/praýs. Mildness, i.e. (by implication) humility—meekness.

ἐγκράτεια/enkráteia, from ἐγκρατής/enkratís. Self-control (especially continence)—temperance.

Other dictionaries will analyze these words in greater detail, and of course you can do a word study on each of ’em to see how the bible’s authors used these words.

Anyway these are some of the traits which should be obvious in a growing Christian. Having this verse memorized means we can more easily identify other Christians as growing… or not. But more importantly, we can identify whether we are growing… or not. It’ll remind us to be fruity.