Love – The Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Love is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 which says: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Love is an essential part of the nature and character of God. 1 John 4:8 says that “…God is love”.
According to John 3:16 when God sent Jesus Christ to pay for the sins of the world, God’s primary motive was His love for the world.
John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The Bible also reveals that the evidence of God’s love to us is that whilst we were sinners or enemies of God, the Lord still loved us and therefore sent Christ to pay the penalty for our sins.
Romans 5:8 says: But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Therefore just as love is one of God’s most essential motivators for anything He does, then we too as Christians must learn to be motivated by love.
Ephesians 5:2 says that we should “walk in love just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us.”
So God wants us to love, just as He loves.
So what is love? How do we show love?
Love is more than a feeling. Love is more than an emotion. Feelings come and go. Feelings can be dictated by different circumstances.
Love is not something we only demonstrate to people we like, but it is the type of love we also must show to our enemies.
Matthew 5:43-44 says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
The love related to the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a choice.
The Holy Spirit’s fruit of love is an Agape love; it is a pure, committed, willful and sacrificial love.
Agape is the highest form of love and it is a love which only the Holy Spirit can help us to express if we allow Him.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
So according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 love is not a warm fuzzy overwhelming feeling – but love is a choice we make to live righteously in Christ. Love is not only something we feel – but it is something we do.
Love is a decision we make with the objective of pleasing God.
In John 14:15 Jesus says “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
1 John 5:3 says “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome”
Love involves obedience to the word of God. Love must be the primary motive for most of what we do in life. Our love must be directed towards God and towards others because Jesus commanded gave us 2 greatest commandments, which is to love God and to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
We cannot learn to love without the help of the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The love we need as we live the Christian life, is the love that is sourced solely from God and not from man or the world. Only God can teach us how to love. God has given us an example of true love through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore Jesus is our ultimate example of how to live a life of practical love.
So to walk in love, we need the participation of the Holy Spirit who will help us to copy the example of Christ. Therefore in faith we must yield to the Holy Spirit while living in obedience to God’s word.