NOT A QUESTION OF GRAMMAR

Wednesday: October 14, 2020

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

There is a classic melody composed by Rev Newlove Annan titled ‘Your Grace and Mercy’. By following the expected rules of the English language, a couple of lines appear grammatically inaccurate. Amongst them, ‘your grace and mercy has brought me thus far’ and ‘your grace and mercy is all I need’. Considering the appearance of two nouns, it would be expected that the plural form ‘ARE’ would have been used but the singular ‘IS’ seems to be the preferred choice. The question is ‘why?’

I heard an exposition on these lines during the launch of the PAX choir album while at university and the highlight was ‘such is the close link between these two themes in the operation of God that ignoring the grammatical context does no harm’. This background is also very appropriate for the context of today’s text because there is another singular-plural mismatch.

“The fruit of the Holy spirit is…” one would expect a single word to follow but there is a rather tall list, all of which make up the ‘fruit of the Holy Spirit’. You can look at it as a package holiday, ‘all in one’. The fruit comes with the person of the Holy spirit. Simply, where He goes, His fruits follow. Clearly and without much argument, that list of fruit is one that ought to warrant our interest to prompt us to desire to know better the person with whom and from whom they come.

#sly

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