Summary: The first of the nine graces of the Fruit of the Spirit is love.
The Spirit of Love
We mentioned that there are nine graces that are the Fruit of the Spirit. These graces are not to separated in the sense that we have been given some of them, because they all make of the Fruit of the Spirit.
See: 1 Cor. 12:1-4, 7 We see the gifts (plural) of the Spirit and are told that we are given at least one gift and different gifts among us.
Point: This is not so with the fruit of the Spirit because we all have been given these nine graces.
Statement: It is these nine graces of the fruit of the Spirit that determines the effectiveness of the gifts we have been given.
I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago that I personally believe though all these graces are equally needed they appear to be in a descending order.
Example: The first of the nine graces is Love
Mention: 1 Cor. 13:2-3 If we have not love we are nothing despite having the most coveted gifts.
Comment: Defining love is difficult for most of the world to do because we have been taught all our life love is an emotion and not an objective reality.
If one wants to understand the true definition of love then it must be obtained from the Bible!
1. The Action Of Love
See: James 2:8 The royal law is to love thy neighbor as thyself
Then: 1 John 3:11 The message from the beginning that we should love one another
Romans 13:8 Owe no man anything but to love one another
John 15:12 That ye love one another as I have loved you
God has an entirely different concept of love than the world. To God love is not so much something that happens to us. It’s not something that we experience. Love is something we DO.
See: 1 John 3:18 Love in deed and in truth
When God commands love He is not commanding an emotion. He is not commanding us to have a warm fuzzy feeling towards one another. He’s commanding an action!
Mention: 1 Cor. 13 We are told what love does and doesn’t do and not about emotions
2. The Attitude Of Love
Comment: In order for us to proper understand God’s love we must realize that it is not natural unto us. It is one of the nine graces of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Contrary to the sentiments expressed so often when we say ’I love you,’ love is NOT simply passion, affection, close ties, and friendship. Love is more accurately described by words like unconditional and sacrificial.
This takes us beyond a view of love as easy and natural. True Love exposes itself to pain, and we by nature back away from pain. Love requires sacrifice, and we by nature avoid such sacrifice.
Love demands unconditional commitment, and we by nature fear committing ourselves completely.
Mention: 1 John 4:7 For love is of God
Mention: Galatians 5:19-21 These are natural behaviors of man
Point: This is why we are told to walk in the Spirit; not just our struggles against sin but also our selfish behavior.
Comment: When we repented of our sins and placed our faith in the finish work of Cavalry, God gave us His Spirit to manifest His love in us.
How do we know He is manifested?
1. The Absence of Selfishness
1 Cor. 13:5 seeketh not her own
Love is not sought, but given!
2. The Attitude Toward Sin
See: 1 Peter 4:7-10 Love treats everyone the same, holds no grudges.
Point: How has God been towards us concerning our sins against Him.
3. The Action of the Saints
Mention: Matt. 22:37-39, John 13:35 By this all men shall know you are My disciples