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The Unforbidden Fruit
Why power, knowledge, orthodoxy, faith, and service are not the mark of a true Christian.
One biblical text has been especially significant to me over the years. I have quoted it in prayer daily, I think, for 20 years. I have come to see it as of key importance to anyone concerned about holiness. I refer to Galatians 5:22-23, the great verses about the fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (all Scripture quotations NIV). From these verses come five affirmations about love.
The first is that love is the pre-eminent Christian grace. It is quite true that the apostle lists nine qualities that he calls the fruit, or the harvest, of the Spirit, but love has pride of place; it is the first fruit of the Spirit. . .
John R.W. Stott
John R.W. Stott, (1921 – 2011) is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as Rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books, including Why I Am a Christian and The Cross of Christ, have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages.