|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.
Verse 9. - For the fruit of light is [shown] in all goodness and righteousness and truth. The exhortation is confirmed by this statement of what is the natural result of light - goodness, the disposition that leads to good works; righteousness, rectitude, or integrity, which is most careful against all disorder and injustice, and renders to all their due, and especially to God the things that are God's; and truth, meaning a regard for truth in every form and way - believing it, reverencing it, speaking it, acting according to it, hoping and rejoicing in it, being sincere and honest, not false or treacherous.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the fruit of the Spirit,.... Either of the spirit of man, as renewed, or rather of the Spirit of God; the allusion is to fruits of trees: the believer is a tree of righteousness; Christ is his root; the Spirit is the sap, which supports and nourishes; and good works, under the influence of his grace, are the fruit: the Alexandrian copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, read "the fruit of light"; which agrees with the preceding words: and the genuine fruit of internal grace, or light,
is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth; the fruit of "goodness", lies in sympathizing with persons in distress; in assisting such according to the abilities men have in a readiness to forgive offences and injuries; and in using meekness and candour in admonishing others: "righteousness" lies in living in obedience to the law of God; in attending the worship and service of him; and in discharging our duty to our fellow creatures; and this as goodness, is very imperfect, and not to be boasted of, or trusted to, nor is salvation to be expected from it: "truth" is opposed to lying, to hypocrisy, to error and falsehood; and where the Spirit of God, and the work of grace are, there will be more or less an appearance of these fruits.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. fruit of the Spirit—taken by transcribers from Ga 5:22. The true reading is that of the oldest manuscripts, "The fruit of THE LIGHT"; in contrast with "the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph 5:11). This verse is parenthetic. Walk as children of light, that is, in all good works and words, "FOR the fruit of the light is [borne] in [Alford; but Bengel, 'consists in'] all goodness [opposed to 'malice,' Eph 4:31], righteousness [opposed to 'covetousness,' Eph 5:3] and truth [opposed to 'lying,' Eph 4:25]."
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