(FOR THE FRUIT OF THE LIGHT
CONSISTS: o gar karpos tou photos:
All verbs in
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Note that the
Textus Receptus has Spirit in place of light, the latter
being favored by what most scholars feel are the more accurate
manuscripts. This is not a major difference for Paul describes
goodness as part of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians writing...
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit (karpos)
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
(gar) is a
term of explanation
that we do well to learn to observe and interrogate. As explained by John Eadie
for "is used here, as often, to introduce
a parenthetic confirmation. The verse not only explains what is meant by
walking as children of light, but really holds out an inducement to the
duty = “The fruit is” (Ephesians
used in its literal sense to refer to fruit, produce or offspring, which
describes that which is produced by the inherent energy of a living
organism. Karpos is what something naturally produces.
Figuratively, karpos is used of the consequence of physical,
mental, or spiritual action. In the NT the figurative (metaphorical)
uses metaphorical uses predominate and this is particularly true in the
Gospels, where human actions and words are viewed as fruit growing out
of a person's essential being or character.
Karpos refers to that which originates or comes from something
producing an effect or result (benefit, advantage, profit, utility).
Karpos is used 67 times in the NT -
Mt. 3:8, 10; 7:16, 17, 18; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34, 41, 43; Mk. 4:7,
8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Lk. 1:42; 3:8, 9; 6:43, 44; 8:8; 12:17; 13:6, 7, 9;
20:10; Jn. 4:36; 12:24; 15:2, 4, 5, 8, 16; Acts 2:30; Ro 1:13; 6:21, 22;
15:28; 1Co. 9:7; Gal. 5:22; Eph. 5:9; Phil. 1:11, 22; 4:17; 2Ti 2:6;
4:13; Heb. 12:11; 13:15; James. 3:17, 18; 5:7, 18; Rev. 22:2
The fruit or effect of divine illumination
consists in all the forms of goodness, righteousness, and truth.
(phos) in context speaks of spiritual light that God is and which
He has bestowed on believers, making us light in the Lord.
Fruit of Light
In Our Face
is told of the time when the great missionary to Burma,
here) was home on
furlough, and happened to pass through the city of Stonington,
Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of
Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he
seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister
to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with
him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot
all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years
afterward that boy—who could never get away from the influence of that
wonderful face—became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In
a book of memoirs Trumbull penned a chapter entitled:
"What a Boy Saw in the Face of
That lighted countenance had changed
his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so
shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ!
the original story in context of H C Trumbull's life story)
IN ALL GOODNESS AND
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUTH): en pase agathosune kai dikaiosune kai aletheia:
(Psalms 16:2,3; Romans 2:4;
15:14; 1Peter 2:25; 3John 1:11) (Philippians 1:11; 1Timothy 6:11;
Hebrews 1:8; 11:33; 1Peter 2:24; 1John 2:29; 3:9,10) (Eph 4:15,25; 6:14;
that the idea of the phrase in all goodness (etc) means "that the fruit is
always associated with goodness as its element or sphere. These
qualities uniformly characterize its fruits.
profitable, benefiting others) describes active goodness, virtue,
beneficence. It is high moral character reflected in to being good in
both nature and effectiveness. Agathosune finds its fullest
and highest expression in that which is willingly and sacrificially done
for others. It is moral and spiritual excellence manifested in active
kindness. Agathosune describes a positive moral quality
characterized especially by interest in the welfare of others.
Agathosune refers to active goodness as an energetic principle. It
is the generosity which springs from the heart that is kind and will
always take care to obtain for others that which is useful or
beneficial. Thayer says that
agathosune is found only in Biblical and ecclesiastical writings.
then describes behavior that benefits others instead of self. A good
person is concerned for the well-being of others, spiritually and in
every way. The child of light who walks in daily dependence on the Holy
Spirit, brings forth goodness as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Since
it is fruit, it takes time to develop, but over the years, children of
light are to be growing in all goodness.
according to Eadie signifies "that moral excellence which springs
from religious principle (Gal 5:22-note;
and leads to kindness, generosity, or goodness. It here may stand
opposed to the dark and malignant passions which the apostle has been
reprobating (kakia). (Ephesians
Recall also that
goodness is one of God’s attributes (see
God's goodness), so to
live in all goodness is to imitate our Father (cp Eph 5:1,2-note).
writes that agathosune refers "to that quality in a man who is ruled
by and aims at what is good, namely, the quality of moral worth.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
is a fruit of the Spirit and a fruit of the Light. Agathosune is moral goodness found
only in believers and only as the
result of the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who
submit to His divine will and power. Paul prayed for this fruit of
goodness to be manifest in the lives of the believers at
Thessalonica and was convinced it was being manifest in the lives of the
saints (the body of Christ) at Rome. Paul had heard about their
goodness, implying that the way they lived and interacted with
others gave proof of their possession of the Spirit and His fruit.
writes that agathosune "is a peculiarly Bible word and does
not occur in secular Greek). It is the widest word for goodness; it is
defined as “virtue equipped at every point.” What is the difference?
Agathosune might, and could, rebuke and discipline; chrestotes
can only help. Trench says that Jesus showed agathosune when he
cleansed the Temple and drove out those who were making it a bazaar; but
he showed chrestotes when he was kind to the sinning woman who anointed
his feet. The Christian needs that goodness which at one and the same
time can be kind and strong. (Ephesians 5 Commentary)
is found 13 times in the
(Jdg. 9:16; 2Chr.
24:16; Neh. 9:25, 35; 13:31; Ps. 52:3; Eccl 4:8; 5:11, 18; 6:3, 6;
7:14; 9:18) and 4 times in
the NAS (see below).
Romans 15:14 (see note)
And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you
yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and
able also to admonish one another.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit (karpos)
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit
of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and
2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this
end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of
your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work
of faith with power
And righteousness -
Righteousness (and goodness) is the fruit of the Light and of the Spirit
Who motivates our will to consider and then enables or empowers (Php
rightness of character (ultimately Christ-likeness) before God and rightness of actions before men.
Both goodness and righteousness are based on truth, which is conformity to the
Word and will of God.
= just, righteous = root idea of
conforming to a standard or norm) is derived from a root word that means
“straightness.” It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative
standard or norm and so is in keeping with what God is in His holy
character. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is
the definition and source of all righteousness. God is totally righteous
because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of human beings
is defined in terms of God’s.
in Biblical terms describes the righteousness acceptable to God and thus
which is in keeping with what God is in His holy character. Rightness
means to be as something or someone should be.
In short, the
righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all
that He demands, all that He approves and all that He provides (through
the gospel of Jesus Christ, the perfectly Righteous One.) So here the
fruit of light is a life that is righteous, rightly related to God and
rightly interacting with men. We are now light in the Lord and as we
walk in that truth in the power of the Spirit, He bears fruit one
component of which is righteousness.
Eadie says that righteousness "is
integrity or moral rectitude (Ro 6:13-note;
1Ti 6:11), and is in contrast not only with the theft and covetousness
already condemned, but with all defective sense of obligation, for it
rules itself by the Divine law (cp how this is possible in Php 2:13-note),
and in every relation of life strives to be as it ought to be—and is
opposed to adikia. (Ephesians
from alethes = true in turn from a +
lêthô = that which is hidden or lanthanô = conceal, this
combination meaning out in the open, containing nothing that is hidden)
describes the body of reality (facts, events, etc) or the content which
is true, or which is in accordance to what actually occurred. Truth
is the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an
appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter. Truth
is the correspondence between a reality and a declaration which
professes to set it forth. Truth is a declaration which has corresponding
reality, or a reality which is correctly set forth. Since God is Himself
the great reality, that which correctly sets forth His nature is
pre-eminently the Truth. Obviously whatever God says is "the truth",
and in fact "the Truth" is actually embodied in the Person of
Eadie writes that "Truth stands opposed to insincerity
and dissimulation—pseudos. These three ethical terms characterize
Christian duty...For the good, the right, and the true, distinguish that
fruit which is produced out of, or belongs to, the condition which is
called “light in the Lord,” and are always distinctive elements of the
virtues which adorn Christianity (cp the idea of "adorn" in Titus 2:10-note).
Words are true when they correspond with objective reality and Paul has
just spoken of speaking the truth in love as well as laying aside
falsehood and speaking truth with our neighbor. As we walk in
light, the fruit that comes from lips will be truth or words spoken in
Persons and things are true when they correspond with
their profession. So we as believers are walking in the light, letting
the Spirit empower us, we are demonstrating to the world that our walk
corresponds to our profession of Christ as our Lord. We are a living
demonstration of the truth of the gospel that takes an "old man"
and clothes him in a robe of righteousness, making him a "new man" in
In the context of Ephesians truth stands in stark contrast to the
life of unbelievers, who are deceived (Eph 4:22; 5:6). Believers having
been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:24) are
able to speak the truth in love (Ep 4:15, 25). Practically, we as
believers are to be people of our word, maintaining integrity in all
that we say (and do). And because walk in the light, we are people of
all truth and are to have nothing to hide (this even includes our
thought life dear saint -- no secret thought life allowed for that is
darkness and not light!)
Charles Hodge explains that "the fruit or effect of divine illumination—consists in all goodness,
righteousness and truth. Here goodness is what
makes a person good, and righteousness is what makes a person
righteous. The Greek words differ from each other just as the
corresponding English terms do. Goodness is benevolence and
beneficence; righteousness is adherence to the rule of right. Yet
both are used for moral excellence in general. The evil and the good
included all classes of the vicious and the virtuous. “Good works” are
works of any kind which are morally excellent (Ed: They are good if they
are initiated by and empowered by the Spirit of Christ - cp Jn 15:5.
Some "works" look good but they are not genuine "good works" for they
originate from the heart and mind of fallen man, and include base
motives - see 1Cor 4:5). When, however, the words are contrasted, as in
Romans 5:7 (note),
or distinguished, as in Romans 7:12 (note),
“good” means benevolent or beneficent, and “righteous,” just or upright.
Goodness is that quality which adapts a thing to the end for which it
was designed and makes it serviceable (Compare the Greek word
arete). Hence we speak of a good tree,
of good soil, as well as of a good man. Righteousness can correctly be
predicated only of people or of what is susceptible of moral character,
as it means conformity to law; or if predicated of the law itself, it
means conformity to the nature of God, the ultimate standard of
rectitude (Ed: Ultimately such acceptable righteousness is in Christ and
is worked out as we allow Him to life His righteous life in and through
us - cp 1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21, Php 3:9 -note
- based on these truths we can carry out Ro 6:13, breastplate of
righteousness = Eph 6:14-note).
Truth here means religious or moral truth, or religion itself. The fruit
of the light, therefore, includes all the forms of piety and virtue. (Ephesians 5
Wayne Barber writes regarding
goodness, righteousness and truth that...
these are categories into which you
put everything that you do, say or think. They are going to fall into
three categories. One is goodness. The word there is
agathosune which describes that which is always spiritually edifying
and beneficial to everybody you come in contact with. How do you know
that someone has the garment of light on? Just get around him, and you
are going to find out. You are going to walk away either convicted or
lifted up because everything he does is spiritually beneficial to
everybody who comes in contact with him. Hey, do you want to raise your
family in a manner pleasing to the Lord? Put that garment on and once
you get that garment on, the fruit of the Light that is a part of that
garment is going to reach out and touch those kids like you wouldn’t
believe. It will send a message. You don’t even have to tell them you
love them. Its goodness which flows out of you.
Righteousness is that which conforms to all the claims of Christ
over us. In other words, what comes out, whatever deeds they are,
somehow is going to conform with everything He has as a right over us.
It has the idea of how we live under the rights of God over us. It is a
mark upon people who are righteous that they live submissive to the One
Who has rights over them.
Then thirdly is the word truth. That means all honesty,
reliability and integrity. There is something about being around
somebody who has the right garment on. There is something about being
around somebody who has the light and walks as a child of light because
you can trust them. They are reliable. They are honest. They are filled
It is an incredible mark you make on the world when you live a life that
bears the fruit of the light, having His nature within you. I’m
telling you what, the people you work for can’t get over it because of
the way you will work. The people you live with can’t get over it
because of the way that you live. This is the fruit of the light.
As Children of Light)
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Here is a devotional from
Our Daily Bread: A Daily Devotional
entitled "Seeing the Gospel" -
A man once asked a new acquaintance
in a remote area of the world, "Have you ever heard the Gospel?" "No,"
the other replied, "I have never heard it, but I have seen it." "What do
you mean by that?" the Christian responded. "Simply this," he said,
"there is a man in our village whose life has been greatly influenced by
a missionary who passed this way. Never have I seen such a change in a
person! Before he met the man of God, alcohol ruled his life. He was
lazy, neglected his family, and showed no interest in anyone else. Since
then, however, his manner of living is completely different. He is no
longer a slave to liquor. He works hard and is a good husband and
father. I would be proud to have him as my neighbor. Yes, I have seen
the Gospel and like it so well I would now like to hear it!" Because the
Gospel had been lived eloquently, it could be told effectively.
To be faithful in our witness for Christ, it is essential that the
message of His saving grace and transforming power be shown as well as
told. If our deeds contradict our words, we might better remain silent.
May the example of our lives be so consistent with the testimony of our
lips that no one could ever say to us, "Your actions speak so loud that
I can't hear what. you say."
The walk of the believer should be a living sermon. The world is
watching us with a critical eye. Let us be careful, then, making sure
that others are "seeing the Gospel" at its very best!
Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light, Like a little candle
burning in the night, In this world of darkness we must shine, You in
your small corner, and I in mine.
Jesus bids us
shine, first of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it if our light is dim;
He looks down from Heaven, sees us shine,
You in your small corner; and I in mine! —Warner
The only sermon
that never wearies us is that of an eloquent life!
Kent Hughes offers all those who have been
delivered from darkness into God's marvelous light to walk as light in
the Lord for...
eternity we will be part of the shining light ourselves... I believe
that with all my heart. I do not understand it, but I believe that for
us as Christians there is a glory awaiting us that involves, in some
way, an even greater shining forth. I do not know if we will be 100
watts or 200, 300, or 1,000! We might be like fireflies or we might be
like supernovas. But somehow we are going to enter into the fame and
approval of God, and we will be glorious beings, far beyond all
But at the same time we are light right now. Jesus says, "You [you
alone] are the light of the world."
covenant with all our being to shine as brightly as possible in this
covenant to expose ourselves to the face of Jesus in prayer.
covenant to be visible for Him.
covenant to shine wherever He places us. Let us covenant to do beautiful
covenant to remind ourselves that we always will be light - and to live
in that reality. (Hughes, R. K.
Sermon on the Mount: The Message of
the Kingdom. Crossway Books)
The Light of Boris Kornfeld
One is reminded of the Russian Jewish
doctor, Boris Kornfeld, who one night in prison in Siberia sat up with a
man who was desperately ill and told him the story of his conversion to
Christ, shining forth the light and love of Jesus. That listening man's
name? The future Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who later
came to saving faith in Christ. In his modern classic
The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn recalls the Dr Kornfeld's light and how it
paradoxically shown forth in an almost completely dark room ...
Fervently he tells me the long
story of his conversion from Judaism to Christianity. I am astonished at
the conviction of the new convert, at the ardor of his words.
We know each other very slightly, and he was not the one responsible for
my treatment, but there was simply no one here with whom he could share
his feelings. He was a gentle and well-mannered person. I could see
nothing bad in him, nor did I know anything bad about him. However, I
was on guard because Kornfeld had now been living for two months inside
the hospital barracks, without going outside. He had shut himself up in
here, at his place of work, and avoided moving around camp at all.
This meant that he was afraid of having his throat cut. In our camp it
had recently become fashionable to cut the throats of stool pigeons.
This has an effect. But who could guarantee that only stoolies were
getting their throats cut? One prisoner had had his throat cut in a
clear case of settling a sordid grudge. Therefore the self-imprisonment
of Kornfeld in the hospital did not necessarily prove that he was a
It is already late. The whole hospital is asleep. Kornfeld is finishing
"And on the whole, do you know, I have become convinced that there is no
punishment that comes to us in this life on earth which is undeserved.
Superficially it can have nothing to do with what we are guilty of in
actual fact, but if you go over your life with a fine-tooth comb and
ponder it deeply, you will always be able to hunt down that
transgression of yours for which you have now received this blow."
I cannot see his face. Through the window come only the scattered
reflections of the lights of the perimeter outside. The door from the
corridor gleams in a yellow electrical glow. But there is such mystical
knowledge in his voice that I shudder.
Those were the last words of Boris Kornfeld. Noiselessly he went into
one of the nearby wards and there lay down to sleep. Everyone slept.
There was no one with whom he could speak. I went off to sleep myself.
I was wakened in the morning by running about and tramping in the
corridor; the orderlies were carrying Kornfeld's body to the operating
room. He had been dealt eight blows on the skull with a plasterer's
mallet while he slept. He died on the operating table, without regaining
That very night Kornfeld had shone so
brightly the light of Christ, he was clubbed to death. We must shine
wherever and whenever the Lord gives us a venue, redeeming the precious
moments for the days are evil.
Beloved, have you ever had someone
who saw the light of Christ in you later turn to the Lord? It is a
wonderful, glorious, mysterious gift of grace to experience. Dr Kornfeld
knows this today in glory in a way that we cannot even imagine. May his
Phil Newton has the following
R. L. Dabney told a story of a
very worldly-minded attorney in the 19th century that had nothing for
Christianity. After years of ungodly living and scorning of Christians,
as he grew old he went to live with his sister who happened to be a
Christian. Her son was a pastor, and he had opportunity to engage the
old man in conversation about Christ and even recommend some books to
him. Some time later, ill in health, the old attorney asked to confess
his faith in Christ publicly. The nephew was eager to get the full story
and wondered if his conversation had been the instrument of turning the
callused man’s heart to Christ. But as the story unfolded he discovered
that it was not the pastor’s words or even the books that he recommended
that the man read, but it was the godly life of the pastor’s sister,
still living at home and around the old man. He saw her godliness and
radiance as a Christian in every situation, and it caused him to seek
the Lord to know that same relationship to Jesus Christ. Dabney adds,
“The light of
a holy example is the gospel’s main argument”
[Discussions of Robert Lewis
Dabney, vol. I, 114]. Is your life a good argument for the gospel?
Power of Christians as Light)