Sunday, April 13, 2008

fruit of the Spirit (1) bad fruit

Is it a waste of good fruit to throw an apple round the room so you can use it as a Sunday School illustration? Or a waste of of money to deliberately buy a woody pear and a wrinkled kiwi fruit?

I'm taking two baskets of fruit to Sunday School today - one bad and one good - to show the different kinds of fruit which come from different kinds of trees. Our first lesson on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is about fruit.

In the grand tradition of over-preparation, I enjoyed discovering how much the Bible has to say about fruit. The places God gives to his people - Eden, Canaan and heaven - abound in fruit-bearing trees; God's people are like a fig-tree or a vineyard, which all too often bear only bad fruit; and every one of us, like a tree, produces fruit in keeping with our nature.

Our attitudes and actions show what we are really like:
    No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-34
Of course, a thorn-bush can't turn itself into an apple tree. We can't make ourselves good.

But when we trust in Jesus, God gives us his Spirit to help us to live his way. Then we bear this kind of fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentlenes and self-control (Galatians. 5:22-23).

One fruit for each week of term.

In the meantime, my collection of bad fruit is growing.


Gordon Cheng said...

hey but isn't the 'fruit' singular? ;-)

good on you for overpreparing though, that's one small step for scripture teacher, one giant leap for scripture-teacher-kind.

Jean said...

Well, I guess one rotten banana would have been cheaper. But you know me, thorough as always!! Nothing but a bowl would do.

And my good friend Jenny thinks my over-preparing SS - which I defend by saying, somewhat boastfully, "no-one prepares adequately for SS - is really just a cover for my perfectionism. Oh, how well she knows me!!

Is there a theological point you are making re singular fruit? It got lost on me! But I'd love to hear it.

Gordon Cheng said...

I think the point Paul is making in Gal 5 is that you can't have one fruit without having all. You can't be a 'love' Christian and not be a 'joy' Christian. You can't be a 'peace' Christian and not be a 'patience' Christian.

The Greek 'karpos' is singular in Gal 5:22.

Perhaps no big deal for a Sunday School class! Probably none of them will grow up to be psychopathic serial killers just because they got a bit muddled on singular and plural. But I think the point is there in the passage.

Jean said...

Thanks, Gordo.