Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion

School

Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, MA

First Advisor

Kim Papaioannou

Second Advisor

Laurențiu Moț

Third Advisor

Zoltan Szallos-Farkas

Abstract

Problem

The topic of the Holy Spirit and especially the meaning of "being filled with the Spirit" is a relevant topic. Generally, it is thought to be related to miracles, healings, and explosive church growth among Adventists or to speaking in tongues and other manifestations, especially among Charismatic Christians. Few identify the fullness of the Spirit with holiness of character. In Paul, the presence of the Spirit in the life of the believer results in the presence of the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:22). Just like an apple tree produces apples, a person filled with the Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit. By understanding the nature of fruit, one can thus understand better what being filled with the Spirit entails.

Method

To that aim, this investigation focused on an inter-biblical thematic study of the word "fruit" with its corresponding Hebrew and Greek terms פְּרִי and καρπός. --

Results

The results of this investigation were the following: (1) that fruit in the spiritual realm has to do with character traits and (2) to be filled with the Spirit has less to do with giftedness but more with holiness of character.

Conclusions

The concept of fruit is a major theme throughout the Bible. God is not only Creator and Provider of all fruits in nature but also in the spiritual realm where He additionally performs a cleansing work to increase the fruit. In the NT, where the concept of fruit is related mainly to the spiritual realm, it has to do with character traits and sanctification. This sanctification process is illustrated by the properties of the growing and maturing of the fruit. To be fruitful is not a goal in itself but has the purpose of glorifying the Father, to prove to be Jesus's disciples, to prepare the harvest for the Second Coming, and to determine one's true essential nature. In Gal 5 where Paul describes the "fruit of the Spirit," he uses four distinctive verbs to indicate how a fruitful Spirit-filled life can be obtained so that God’s holy character can be restored in the life of the person. While most Christians associate the work of the Spirit with supernatural exciting manifestations, it actually has to do with holiness of character. The work of the Holy Spirit during the latter rain is to prepare the character of God's people for the kingdom of God.

Subject Area

Fruit of the Spirit; Holy Spirit; Spiritual life; Bible. Galatians 5--Criticism, interpretation, etc

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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