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The Fruit of the Spirit

Winward, Stephen | Eerdmans, 1984


p. 21

Must we try for holiness? Yes. In the NT the Christian life “is described not only by verbs denoting receptivity: hearing, trusting, receiving, resting, relying, but also by verbs denoting activity: striving, working, running, fighting, casting away, putting on, etc. Analogy: we work for our daily bread while also praying for it as God’s gift. “The earth produces of itself” (Mark 4:28), so “the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth” (James 5:7). “Yet before and besides waiting comes ploughing, harrowing, sowing; afterwards comes harvesting, threshing, grinding, baking.”

p. 25

Winward is much impressed with actual holiness as the test of Christlikeness. “How we relate to and get on with others is the supreme test of Christian character. Progress in holiness can best be measured not by the length of time we spend in prayer, not by the number of times we go to church, not by the amount of money we contribute to God’s work, not by the range and depth of our knowledge of the Bible, but rather by the quality of our personal relationships. . . . This is the most searching test of Christlikeness. How do I get on with especially . . . the people I dislike, the people who rub me the wrong way?”