Summary: A look at Love as the primary manifestation of the fruit of the spirit, it’s character in 1Cor 13 contasted with the gifts of the Spirit in 1Cor 12
The Fruit of The Spirit - Love
Gal 5:22-23 & 1Cor 13
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self–control. Against such there is no law.
Last week we examined this passage discovering that the abundant life that God intends us as believers to experience is through our yielding to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. That in so doing it is not merely a strong act of our human will, but a surrendering of it to the will of the Holy Spirit. In so doing the Holy Spirit is then able to produce in us the life of the Spirit that manifest it’s self as fruit, principally qualities of character found in Christ sometimes referred to as graces of the Spirit. God wills that our life be so submitted to the influence of the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit that our lives would like a beautiful diamond manifest and radiate with the splendor and glory of Christ.
Today as we continue in the examination of this passage I want us to examine the first manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit described for us as “LOVE!” “The Fruit of the Spirit is love….”
1. Love Is the Sum of God
1Jo 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1Jo 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
These verses show to us that God does not just love us, but rather that God IS LOVE! That the entire being of God is manifested in this – He Is Love!
“Never was a more important declaration made than this; never was more meaning crowded into a few words than in this short sentence—God is love.” (Barnes N.T. Notes)
God is not merely a loving God – HE IS LOVE! Agape!
The warm word agape is the characteristic term of Christianity.
Unlike the English language which only has one word for love the Greek language has three words.
Eros was the word used in Greek literature to express sensual physical love and is never found used in the scriptures.
Phileo was the word used to express “tender affection” or brotherly love.
The third word while used in Greek literature at the time was not as common. It is the Word Agape. It was this third word that the Apostle Paul and other N.T. writers ceased upon to describe the Love Of God.
It signifies properly a love which chooses its object and implies implicit obedience. It is used in the N.T. exclusively to express that spiritual bond of love between God and man and between man and man, in Christ which is characteristic of Christianity.
Agape love indicates the nature of the love of God toward His beloved Son "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." John 17:26
- Toward the human race generally
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8
- toward those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ().
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:21
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Love found its perfect expression in the Lord Jesus, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Tit 2:14
Is it any wonder then that the Apostle Paul trying to write and instruct us in walking in the Spirit, that the first manifestation of the Spirit’s indwelling presence and effect in our life should be to manifest it’s self in LOVE!
2. Love Is the More Excellent Way
The Apostle Paul when writing to the Corinthian Church in 1Corinthians chapter 12 describes the multiplicity of the gifts of the Spirit and how they are divided amongst the members of the body serverally and separately by the will of the Holy Spirit and that every member receives by the Spirit individual giftings. That one gift is greater or lesser in importance and that one should in no way envy another’s gift or boast of his own.