Summary: Active love is the first fruit the Spirit grows in us

Fruit of the Spirit – Love

Galatians 5:22-3

Gad & Elaine share

Intro Fruit of the Spirit

…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

What is this thing called Love?

Obsession, lust, … passes for love these days

Warm feelings, affection…

Love for “humanity” – called to love real people – the people God gives you. Most of us can have a much greater effect on the people that we are in contact with daily than we could ever have on the larger population

Bible definitions

Jesus’ definition: Sacrifice:

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)

I think that we would all like to imagine that we would give up our lives for those we love if we were asked to do it, It would be hard, but we would. We would brave the burning building, search the sinking ship, we would jump into the surging river.

Since we don’t often get the chance to die for our loved ones, and then only once, I think that the more difficult, but more practical way to live up to this definition of love is the little sacrifices that we make for each other every day. By giving up little things like preferences, or plans, the remote control… or even the big things like dreams, so that the other can reach their dreams, we are giving up our lives for them. We are saying to them “You are more important to me that the other things that I have held dear.”

No light thing – we are to be like Jesus in our sacrificial love – living sacrifices.

Isaiah 58:9-10 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

Paul’s Definition

1 Corinthians 13

Paul didn’t write 1 Corinthians 13 to be read at weddings! It is actually a passage that was written to talk about how we should treat each other in church. It is specific to the Holy Spirit – it is bracketed by two passages about the gifts of the Spirit. Paul says that love is far grater than any of the gifts

Put it is not just a nice sentiment – it is a deep truth.

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in human or angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body [to hardship] that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

He tells us Christians, it doesn’t matter how spiritual I appear – you might speak in tongues, prophesy, know your Bible in and out, perform miracles, give all your money away and even get martyred for the faith, but if you don’t love the people around you, all that powerful spirituality is meaningless!

Paul isn’t talking about the way that we feel, but about the way that we act toward each other

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