By Sarah Morrison
Staff writer for The Daily Grace Co.
The book of Galatians is a letter written by Paul the Apostle to a group of churches who fell into a vicious trap: thinking they could work to earn their salvation. Jewish orthodoxy was taking over these churches that once believed so firmly in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its sufficiency to save. They replaced the grace of Christ with circumcision. They desired the Old Law which required sacrifices and rituals instead of the free sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
In his letter, Paul speaks at length to the grace of Christ and the freedom believers in Him are granted. Paul notes the superiority of Jesus to the Old Testament covenant. He speaks to the power of Christ’s blood to form a supernatural family, a family that is made up of Jews and Gentiles but are held together because of the New Covenant that we have in Christ.
Towards the end of his letter in the final chapters, Paul takes time to apply what he spoke about in the first half. He illustrates that where the Law condemns us, Christ gives us freedom, but in that freedom, we have a way which we ought to live. We ought to live in a way that serves one another and serves Christ. Nestled in chapter 5 is a passage you’re likely familiar with: the Fruit of the Spirit.
In this excerpt of Paul’s letter, he outlines in garden imagery what the life of a Christian should look like. He starts by telling them what to flee from and finishes by setting out a list of qualities that the Spirit produces in us. Paul shows us through this metaphor that in pruning away the works of the flesh, we give room for growth of the qualities that are Spirit-like. When we flee from sin, the Spirit does work within us to allow His fruit to grow in its place. In this way, the fruit of the Spirit are crucial to the Christian’s life.
In this study, we will examine the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit put forth by Paul in this passage. Each aspect of the Spirit’s fruit will be looked at in depth with both a cursory understanding of the Greek and cross references of the word’s usage elsewhere throughout scripture. The study is three weeks long with 6-day work weeks. Each day includes a short commentary reading with 3 reflection questions, and the sixth day of each week focuses on the week’s reading as a whole along with 6 reflection questions to help further meditate on the Scripture.
Study Suggestions:At the very beginning of this study book you will find a list of helpful study tips to encourage you to get the most out of your Bible study.
Flow of Thought Through Galatians:This infographic traces the flow of thought, or themes, that run through Galatians as a whole, breaking the book down into an outline.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit: This chart provides cross references throughout the New Testament, tracing the relationship between Jesus Christ on earth and the Holy Spirit.
Greek Words and Translations:This infographic provides each aspect of the fruit of the Spirit with its Greek word, pronunciation, and synonyms in English.