Love – Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5v13 – 6v5
Does the world understand love? Think of how the word is used – often just a sentiment, which may change tomorrow, something that’s there to make me happy.
Look at what the Bible says – it’s the greatest commandment, and the second greatest as well: Matthew 22v37-39
Who and what should we love?
Have a look at these verses:
- God: Deut 6v5
- Strangers/immigrants: Deut 10v19
- God’s law: Psalm 119v97
- Wisdom: Prov 4v6
- Enemies: Matt 5v44
- Neighbours: Matt 19v19
- Jesus: John 8v49
- One another: John 13v34
- Wives: Eph 5v25
- Those over us: 1 Thess 5v15
- Husbands: Titus 2v4
- Children: Titus 2v4
- Righteousness: Heb 1v9
So can love mean different things in different contexts? It’s actually one thing that runs through all of these.
What is love?
Is it just a sentiment? Love is:
a) An attitude: Philippians 2
b) Which can be commanded: John 15v12, and all the verses we looked at in the earlier section!
- It won’t come naturally
- And it should be made to come
c) Which results in action
- John 14v15
- Heb 6v10
- 1 John 3v17
d) With the greatest example being Christ himself
- John 15v12-15
- 1 John 4v9-11
- 1 John 3v16
- Eph 5v25-29
- Rom 5v8
Love is sacrificing of one’s own for others – regardless of what they may be like to you
What does love look like in action?
Read 1 Corinthians 13.
It’s patience, kindness, humility, self-sacrifice, goodness, joy, faithfulness – it looks rather like the fruit of the Spirit!
As Paul says in Col 3v12-14, love is actually the fruit that binds all the rest together in perfect unity
So are these all the fruit of the Spirit, or the fruit of love then?
They’re both – God is love: 1 John 4v8
And we now partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1v3-4) so we should be producing the same fruit
- So are you patient, with your husband (or wife), as long as he doesn’t do that one thing that annoys you?
- Are you gentle with your children, as long as they remember their place and are respectful?
- Are you kind to your neighbours, when it doesn’t inconvenience you?
- Do you rejoice is knowing God, one day a week?
- Do you obey God, except for…?
- Do you have fuzzy feelings for one another, and that’s about it?
- Love the bits of God’s law you find easy to keep?
- Put up with immigrants if they don’t get in the way?
- Love those over us – as long as we agree with them?
Is that love?
What did Jesus do?
And if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. That’s one way too that we start loving God.