The Meaning of Galatians 5:22 Explained

Galatians 5:22

KJV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

YLT: And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

Darby: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity,

ASV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Discover Galatians 5:22

What does Galatians 5:22 Mean?

Study Notes

But the fruit
Christian character is not mere moral or legal correctness, but the possession and manifestation of nine graces: love, joy, peace--character as an inward state; longsuffering, gentleness, goodness--character in expression toward man; faith, meekness, temperance-- character in expression toward God. Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ, and may be taken as the apostle's explanation of Galatians 2:20 "Not I, but Christ," and as a definition of "fruit" in John 15:1-8 This character is possible because of the believer's vital union to Christ; John 15:5 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13 and is wholly the fruit of the Spirit in those believers who are yielded to Him. Galatians 5:22 ; Galatians 5:23 .

Context Summary

Galatians 5:13-26 - Produce The Fruit Of The Spirit
That Christ has freed us from the Law as a means of salvation does not free us from moral restraint, but brings us under the constraint of a higher law, the law of love. We do not keep this law to be saved; but, being saved, we keep it out of love toward Christ. The power of the new life is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Unite yourself with His life that you find rising up within you. Live in the Spirit. A child was much disappointed because when she took a cupful of water out of the blue lake, it did not look blue in the cup; so her teacher told her to throw the cup into the midst of the lake and leave it there. As we live and walk in the Spirit, we are safe.
The Holy Spirit brings influences to bear which act upon the germs of sin, as a disinfectant upon the germs of disease. If we yield ourselves to these influences, and are filled with the Spirit of Jesus, we shall be delivered from the self-life, which the Apostle describes as the flesh. As Jesus is more and more formed in us, the new flower and fruitage of the risen life will appear, while the corrupt works of the flesh will shrink and drop away, [source]

Chapter Summary: Galatians 5

1  He wills them to stand in their liberty,
3  and not to observe circumcision;
13  but rather love, which is the sum of the law
19  He lists the works of the flesh,
22  and the fruits of the Spirit,
25  and exhorts to walk in the Spirit

Greek Commentary for Galatians 5:22

The fruit of the Spirit [ο καρπος του πνευματος]
Paul changes the figure from works (εργα — erga) in Galatians 5:19 to fruit as the normal out-cropping of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a beautiful tree of fruit that Paul pictures here with nine luscious fruits on it: [source]
Love [αγαπη]
Late, almost Biblical word. First as in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, which see for discussion as superior to πιλια — philia and ερως — erōs Joy (χαρα — chara). Old word. See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:6. Peace See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:1. Long-suffering (makrothumia). See 2 Corinthians 6:6. Kindness See 2 Corinthians 6:6. Goodness (μακροτυμια — agathōsunē). See note on 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Faithfulness Same word as “faith.” See Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Corinthians 13:13. Meekness (prautēs). See 1 Corinthians 4:21; note on 2 Corinthians 10:1.Temperance See Acts 24:25. Old word from egkratēs one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence. [source]
Joy [χαρα]
Old word. See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:6. [source]
Peace [eirēnē)]
See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:1. Long-suffering (makrothumia). See 2 Corinthians 6:6. Kindness See 2 Corinthians 6:6. Goodness (μακροτυμια — agathōsunē). See note on 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Faithfulness Same word as “faith.” See Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Corinthians 13:13. Meekness (prautēs). See 1 Corinthians 4:21; note on 2 Corinthians 10:1.Temperance See Acts 24:25. Old word from egkratēs one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence. [source]
Long-suffering [makrothumia)]
See 2 Corinthians 6:6. [source]
Kindness [ειρηνη]
See 2 Corinthians 6:6. Goodness (μακροτυμια — agathōsunē). See note on 2 Thessalonians 1:11. Faithfulness Same word as “faith.” See Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Corinthians 13:13. Meekness (prautēs). See 1 Corinthians 4:21; note on 2 Corinthians 10:1.Temperance See Acts 24:25. Old word from egkratēs one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence. [source]
Goodness [μακροτυμια]
See note on 2 Thessalonians 1:11. [source]
Faithfulness [pistis)]
Same word as “faith.” See Matthew 23:23; 1 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Corinthians 13:13. Meekness (prautēs). See 1 Corinthians 4:21; note on 2 Corinthians 10:1.Temperance See Acts 24:25. Old word from egkratēs one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence. [source]
Meekness [prautēs)]
See 1 Corinthians 4:21; note on 2 Corinthians 10:1. [source]
Temperance [χρηστοτης]
See Acts 24:25. Old word from egkratēs one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence. [source]
The fruit of the Spirit [ὁ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος]
The phrase N.T.oFruit, metaphorical, frequent in N.T., as Matthew 3:8; Matthew 7:16; John 4:36; John 15:8; Romans 1:13; Romans 6:21, etc. We find fruit of light (Ephesians 5:9); of righteousness (Philemon 1:11); of labor (Philemon 1:22); of the lips (Hebrews 13:15). Almost always of a good result. [source]
Love [ἀγάπη]
Comp. love of the Spirit, Romans 15:30. In Class. φιλεῖν is the most general designation of love, denoting an inner inclination to persons or things, and standing opposed to μισεῖν or ἐχθαίρειν tohate. It occasionally acquires from the context a sensual flavor, as Hom. Od. xviii. 325; Hdt. iv. 176, thus running into the sense of ἐρᾶν which denotes sensual love. It is love to persons and things growing out of intercourse and amenities or attractive qualities. Στέργειν (not in N.T., lxx, Sirach 27:17) expresses a deep, quiet, appropriating, natural love, as distinguished from that which is called out by circumstances. Unlike φιλεῖν , it has a distinct moral significance, and is not applied to base inclinations opposed to a genuine manly nature. It is the word for love to parents, wife, children, king or country, as one's own. Aristotle (Nic. ix. 7,3) speaks of poets as loving ( στέργοντες ) their own poems as their children. See also Eurip. Med. 87. Ἁγαπᾶν is to love out of an intelligent estimate of the object of love. It answers to Lat. diligere, or Germ. schatzen to prize. It is not passionate and sensual as ἐρᾶν . It is not, like φιλεῖν , attachment to a person independently of his quality and created by close intercourse. It is less sentiment than consideration. While φιλεῖν contemplates the person, ἀγαπᾶν contemplates the attributes and character, and gives an account of its inclination. Ἁγαπᾶν is really the weaker expression for love, as that term is conventionally used. It is judicial rather than affectionate. Even in classical usage, however, the distinction between ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν is often very subtle, and well-nigh impossible to express. In N.T. ἐπιθυμαῖν todesire or lust is used instead of ἐρᾶν . In lxx ἀγαπᾶν is far more common than φιλεῖν . Φιλεῖν occurs only 16 times in the sense of love, and 16 times in the sense of kiss; while ἀγαπᾶν is found nearly 300 times. It is used with a wide range, of the love of parent for child, of man for God, of God for man, of love to one's neighbor and to the stranger, of husband for wife, of love for God's house, and for mercy and truth; but also of the love of Samson for Delilah, of Hosea for his adulterous wife, of Amnon's love for Tamar, of Solomon's love for strange women, of loving a woman for her beauty. Also of loving vanity, unrighteousness, devouring words, cursing, death, silver. The noun ἀγάπη , oClass., was apparently created by the lxx, although it is found there only 19 times. It first comes into habitual use in Christian writings. In N.T. it is, practically, the only noun for love, although compound nouns expressing peculiar phases of love, as brotherly love, love of money, love of children, etc., are formed with φίλος , as φιλαδελφία, φιλαργυρία, φιλανθρωπία . Both verbs, φιλεῖν and ἀγαπᾶν occur, but ἀγαπᾶν more frequently. The attempt to carry out consistently the classical distinction between these two must be abandoned. Both are used of the love of parents and children, of the love of God for Christ, of Christ for men, of God for men, of men for Christ and of men for men. The love of man for God and of husband for wife, only ἀγαπᾶν . The distinction is rather between ἀγαπᾶν and ἐπιθυμεῖν than between ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν . Love, in this passage, is that fruit of the Spirit which dominates all the others. See Galatians 5:13, Galatians 5:14. Comp. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; 1 John 2:5, 1 John 2:9-11; 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:14-16; 1 John 4:7-11, 1 John 4:16-21; 1 John 5:1-3. [source]
Joy [χαρά]
Comp. joy of the Holy Ghost, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, and see Romans 5:2; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 6:10; Philemon 1:25; Philemon 4:4; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 John 1:4. [source]
Peace [εἰρήνη]
See on 1 Thessalonians 1:1. Here of mutual peace rather than peace with God. [source]
Long suffering [μακροθυμία]
See on be patient, James 5:7, and comp. Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 1:11. [source]
Gentleness [χρηστότης]
See on good, Romans 3:12; see on easy, Matthew 11:30; see on gracious, 1 Peter 2:3. Better, kindness; a kindness which is useful or serviceable. [source]
Goodness [ἀγαθωσύνη]
PoSee on Romans 3:12. [source]
Faith [πίστις]
Trustfulness. [source]

What do the individual words in Galatians 5:22 mean?

- But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness
δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ Πνεύματός ἐστιν ἀγάπη χαρά εἰρήνη μακροθυμία χρηστότης ἀγαθωσύνη πίστις

  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
καρπὸς  the  fruit 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: καρπός  
Sense: fruit.
τοῦ  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Πνεύματός  Spirit 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: πνεῦμα  
Sense: a movement of air (a gentle blast.
ἀγάπη  love 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ἀγάπη  
Sense: brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence.
χαρά  joy 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: χαρά  
Sense: joy, gladness.
εἰρήνη  peace 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: εἰρήνη  
Sense: a state of national tranquillity.
μακροθυμία  patience 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: μακροθυμία  
Sense: patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance.
χρηστότης  kindness 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: χρηστότης  
Sense: moral goodness, integrity.
ἀγαθωσύνη  goodness 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ἀγαθωσύνη  
Sense: uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness.
πίστις  faithfulness 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: πίστις  
Sense: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it.

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