Summary: Love is the first aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. As Paul said, W/O love I am nothing.
Fruit of the Spirit – Love
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such things there is no law. [NKJV]
OPENING REMARKS –
1. Word Study
One of the most common ways to help one determine or unlock what a passage from Scripture is teaching is to look at particular words in the passage. This method of study is referred to as: Word Study.
Word Study of the Bible is when one takes a microscopic look at the origin, definition, occurrences, and uses of a particular word, especially as it relates to the context of a passage of Scripture.
----- [Rick Warren, Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God’s Word, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006, p 133 (adapted)] -----
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Even though the average Christian does not know these languages, it is still possible for them to do an effective Word Study because of the availability of excellent word for word translations and several reference tools. Two of the easiest and best reference tools offered for the average Christian to utilize are: 1) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and 2) Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words. However, please note that these references are keyed to the KJV translation. So if you use a different translation you will need to use the same passage from the KJV to determine its translation of the word you wish to study.
2. Study of Fruit of the Holy Spirit - Love
The passage of Galatians 5:22-23 gives the reader nine (9) particular aspects that make up the Fruit of the Spirit. These are: Love – Joy – Peace – Longsuffering – Kindness – Goodness – Faithfulness – Gentleness – Self-Control.
The study at this time will look at the Love – the first aspect of the fruit of the Spirit.
LOVE DEFINED –
A. According to a child –
.. What does love mean? – For years I have been told that if you want to know the definition of word – ask a child. This is where we begin today.
. Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.
. When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth. – Billy, age 4
. Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other. – Kari, age 5
. Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired. – Terri, age 4
. Love is when mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure that taste is OK. – Danny, age 7
. Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss. – Emily, age 8
. If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you [don’t like to play with]. – Nikka, age 6
. Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday. – Noelle, age 7
. Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well. – Tommy, age 6
. Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken. – Elaine, age 5
. Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than [Brad Pitt] – Chris, age 7
. Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day. – Mary Ann, age 4
. I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones. – Lauren, age 4
. When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you. – Karen, age 7
. You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget. – Jessica, age 8
----- [Courtesy of Kids (adapted): http://romancestuck.com/quotes/kids-quotes.htm - 10/11/2003 (adapted)] and [http://www.xenomed.com/forums/general-talks/745-definition-love-children.html (adapted), downloaded 05/17/08] -----
B. Greek -
In the NT times three words were used by the Greek speaking world for love. These are: Phileo, Eros, and Agape.
a. Phileo - is a tender affection – such as toward a friend or family member. Think of Philadelphia: The city of brotherly love.