Answering Those Who Would Accuse Us of Not Manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit


Sometimes when we use certain words or phrases, we are accused of behaving contrary to Galatians 5:14-26 by not "loving our neighbor as ourselves," by "biting and devouring one another," and by not manifesting "the fruit of the Spirit." The Galatians passage is as follows:

"For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in [this]: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, Walk in [the] Spirit, and you will not fulfill [the] lust of [the] flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. But if you are led by [the] Spirit, you are not under Law. Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit [the] kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law. But the ones belonging to Christ crucified the flesh with [its] passions and lusts. If we live in [the] Spirit, let us also walk in [the] Spirit. Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another."

We most certainly need to heed this passage. But when we use certain words or phrases, are we guilty of what our accusers charge? Let us take a look at what the Bible says.

Just two verses before the Galatians 5:14-26 passage, Paul says that he wishes that the professing Christians who brought in a false gospel would literally emasculate themselves (cut off their private parts). Was the Apostle Paul guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he said this?

Was Paul guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people haters of God (Romans 1:30), fools (1 Corinthians 15:36) accursed (Galatians 1:8-9), dogs (Philippians 3:2), liars (1 Timothy 1:10) and bastards (Hebrews 12:8)?

Was John the Baptist guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people vipers (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7)?

Was Jesus Christ guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people hypocrites (Matthew 6:2,5; 7:5; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13,14,15,23,25,27,29; Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42; 11:44; 12:56; 13:15), vipers (Matthew 12:34; 23:33), dogs (Matthew 7:6; Revelation 22:15); swine (Matthew 7:6), children of hell (Matthew 23:15), fools (Matthew 23:17,19; Luke 11:40; 12:20; 24:25), blind (Matthew 15:14; 23:16,17,19,24,26; Revelation 3:17), serpents (Matthew 23:33), of their father the devil (John 8:44), liars (John 8:55; Revelation 2:2), and a synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9)?

Was James guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people adulterers and adulteresses and enemies of God (James 4:4)?

Was David guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people fools (Psalm 14:1; 53:1; 92:6; 94:8; 107:17), brutish men (Psalm 92:6), and haters of God (Psalm 21:8; 68:1; 83:2; 139:21)?

Was Isaiah guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people fools (Isaiah 19:11), brutish (Isaiah 19:11), blind (Isaiah 56:10), dogs (Isaiah 56:10,11), seed of the adulterer and whore (Isaiah 57:3)?

Was Jeremiah guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he called certain people liars (Jeremiah 50:36) and said they had a whore's forehead (Jeremiah 3:3)?

Ezekiel likened those religionists who spoke peace to and fellowshipped with and worshipped with idolaters to fornicators , adulteresses, prostitutes, and whores. He said that they prostituted themselves, s pread their legs to all who passed by, multiplied their fornications, played the whore, poured out their lewdness, and bared their nakedness in their fornication (Ezekiel 16). Was Ezekiel guilty of not loving his neighbor as himself, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when he said these things?

Of course, the answers to all these questions is a resounding NO. NONE of these people were guilty of not loving their neighbors as themselves, of biting and devouring others, and of not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control) when they said and did these things. In fact, they are examples to us as to what kinds of words we should use to describe unbelievers, especially the self-righteous religionists, whom most of these words in the Bible are describing.

May we, the people of God, conduct our lives, including our words, according to the Word of God. At times this includes calling unbelievers ( especially self-righteous religionists) God-haters, fools, accursed, dogs, liars, bastards, hypocrites, swine, children of hell, blind, serpents, sons of the devil, of a synagogue of Satan, adulterers, adulteresses, enemies of God, brutish, fornicators, prostitutes, and whores. These words describe the awful, grave condition that unbelievers are in and at the same time show how vile and disgusting they are, especially the self-righteous religionists.


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