Love – Fruit of the Spirit

I recently began a study on the fruit of the Spirit that is going to take a fair amount of time. For September, love is the central topic.  I know that this is long, but these are just a few of the highlights of what God has taught me concerning the love that He has for the Son, for His children, and that we should have for Him and for each other.

God’s infinite love for us is not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, but rather His own character. There is not a shred of goodness or excellence in our souls that might cause God to love us. Despite the fact that we were created in His image and for His glory, we have submitted to depraved passions, our hearts have become so blackened by sin and death, and we have lived in complete rebellion to His will. We have fallen and dwindled into our sin so point that would be irredeemable and un-lovable if it were not for God’s character. But because God is a god of compassion, we are able to experience that love which was shown in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The love of a man toward God is shown in the actions it prompts – through obedience. Christ said that if I love Him, I will keep His commandments (John 14:15). Any love that I have in my heart (which is enabled through Christ’s redemption) will be spent in utter devotion and worship of my God and Father. As a believer, my love for God should be evident in all that I say and do. Disobedience to His commandments is the uttermost rebellion. But even when I am rebellious and disobedient,  His love for me as I confess renders me forgiven.  John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Christian love is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not focus only on those for whom an affinity is discovered. Regardless of emotions or circumstances, I am called to love all people always. Heedless of anything that might stand in the way of my love for God and for others, I do not take into account a wrong suffered, I do not suffer my attitude be provoked, I do not submit to any temptation toward pride or lust, knowing that love is the only thing that can make a difference in a person’s life. It may be that I am “not in the mood” to love, or that this person is not the “easiest” person to love, but I love them anyway because of the Christ’s command. II Corinthians 13:4ff, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly…”

I owe an eternal debt of love because of Christ’s love for me. Christ’s love was so incredibly infinite and powerful. He died, perfect, sinless, and righteous as He was, for a world of wicked, depraved, and corrupted souls without hope for redemption apart from His grace. Because I have accepted His gift of love and compassion, because my sin has been eliminated in His grace, I am under an eternal debt of love that can only begin to be paid off through a lifetime of loving every single person I come into contact with. My life is worth nothing aside from Christ’s love, and the love He gives me must ever be spent on the lives of the lost and saved. Romans 13:8, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

In essence, love is borne of Christ. He showed infinite and perfect love in a sacrificial death and a miraculous resurrection. It is because of Him that I can and do love. Love begins and ends with the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I John 4:7-9, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”

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Comments
2 Responses to “Love – Fruit of the Spirit”
  1. wisejunction says:

    Great topic! If we only could comprehend how much He loves us! How much more ready would be to obey and show our love in return.

  2. jwswift22 says:

    Thanks for posting your scripture lead thoughts. There is not a day goes by that I do not have to remind myself that both my salvation and security have been accomplished through Christ alone. It is the epic battle of the believer to trust in this work. It’s also great to think about the Trinity in relation to these things as you’ve stated ,

    “Love begins and ends with the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

    Thank-you.

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