J. V. Fesko’s The Fruit of the Spirit Is . . . explores the fruit of the Spirit in connection with the Old Testament, and it examines how we truly obtain godliness. Too often, Fesko points out, we try to achieve godliness by good intentions and religious strivings—efforts that always fall short. Here he looks at Paul’s famous fruit of the Spirit passage in Galatians 5, showing that this work of the Spirit is not merely a New Testament idea, but is written throughout the pages of Old Testament history—from creation, the Exodus, through the prophets, to the fulfillment of promised blessings in the work of Christ. This practical and engaging text explores how when this fruit is displayed in our lives, God is fulfilling ancient promises of redemption through Christ and the Spirit and we are experiencing and manifesting the very things God promised over 2,500 years ago.
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“Rather, self-control is the ability to deny ourselves the indulgence of our sinful desires even when no one can see us, even when no one can know our thoughts. Self-control is ultimately the ability to be controlled, not by the sinful self, but by the Holy Spirit.” (Page 64)
“Rather, at the centre of love is sacrifice and selflessness.” (Page 57)
“Godliness is not simply an attitude of moral superiority but, rather, exhibiting the moral characteristics and qualities of God himself: righteousness, integrity, love, mercy, patience, wisdom, and the like. Godliness, therefore, is most certainly something that is to be desired.” (Page 11)
“Fourth, the righteousness that we see described in the fruit of the Spirit is first and foremost characteristic of Christ. We must not idealize these moral qualities in an abstract manner but rather define them in terms of God’s revelation in Christ.” (Page 57)
“Paul is not placing new legal demands on God’s people, ‘You must be patient, kind, loving, etc, otherwise you will not inherit the kingdom of God.’” (Page 56)
John Fesko encourages us to pursue godliness in this insightful examination of the fruit of the Spirit. This little book is no narrow study of Galatians 5:22-23, however, but a thoughtful and practical exposition of godliness in relation to Christ, the Spirit and the Old Testament. If you desire to be more holy—and you should—this book will help.
—W. Robert Godfrey, president, Westminster Seminary, California