Date of Award
Master of Arts in Religion
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
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.
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. --
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.
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.
Fruit of the Spirit; Holy Spirit; Spiritual life; Bible. Galatians 5--Criticism, interpretation, etc
Selinger, Timothy, "A Biblical Overview of the Concept of Fruit with an Emphasis on the "Fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians 5" (2019). Master's Theses. 140.
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