Galatians 5:22–23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Our last lesson was about the fruit of the Spirit generally. Today we talk specifically about the fruit of love. The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), so when we bear the fruit of love, we are becoming like God, and the Lord wants His children to be like Him. So by walking in love, we walk in God.
1. You must be convinced that God loves you before you can bear the fruit of love
- Jesus said, “As I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34b)
- He also said, “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)
- Paul wrote, “…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
- John said, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Everyone has been hurt and wounded in life. Because we've suffered wounds, abuse, and rejection, many of us have a poor self-image, being fearful and insecure, and our hearts have become angry, hard, and bitter. As long as we have hardened hearts, we cannot love with the love of God…until our hearts are healed. But—and this is the good news—Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. (Luke 4:18) His love has the power to forgive, soften, and heal our wounded hearts, making them whole again.
Let’s compare a heart-wound to a wound in the natural? If we had a gash in our leg and it was bleeding profusely, we wouldn’t just do nothing and bleed out. We would stop the bleeding, clean the wound, recuperate, and start living again. Jesus wants to make you whole and complete. Yes, it takes time to heal, sometimes a few years. But with Jesus as your Healer, you will be made whole and able to move forward in life again.
2. Your love causes your faith to work.
Walking in the fruit of love is a secret of great faith. In Galatians 5:6 we read that faith works by love. When our faith is not working, the first thing we need to do is check our love walk. If we are not walking in love, we have a troubled conscience, and a nagging conscience interferes with our faith. But when we walk in love toward people, our conscience is peaceful. So, to walk in strong faith, we must also walk in love and have a conscience void of offense toward others. To discover more about what love means, let’s go to the Love Chapter of the Bible, which is 1 Corinthians 13. Here we see how the love of God should manifest through His people.
3. The Love Chapter
Vss 1-3: The Love Chapter tells us how to bear the fruit of love. Spiritual actions without love (selfless concern for others) are nothing, including:
- speaking in tongues
- teaching deep spiritual mysteries and theological knowledge
- having mountain-moving faith
- giving all our belongings to help the poor
- giving our body as a martyr
- Love is patient, or even-tempered while enduring trying circumstances
- Love is kind, warmhearted, considerate, sympathetic
- Love does not envy or boil over with jealousy
- Love does not parade itself by bragging
- Love is not puffed up, proud, arrogant, conceited
- Love does not behave rudely, dishonorably, inappropriately
- Love does not seek its own, selfishly demanding its own rights or its own way
- Love is not provoked, is not touchy, becoming upset easily or stirred up quickly
- Love thinks no evil and does not keep a record of wrongs suffered
- Love does not rejoice in injustice or unrighteousness
- Love rejoices together with others in the solid foundation of God's truth
- Love bears all things and endures unpleasant things or on behalf of another
- Love believes all things and believes the best of every person
- Love hopes all things under every circumstance
- Love endures all things without weakening
- Love never fails! or falls, fades out, or comes to an end.
Vs. 13 (AMP):
- And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
So to walk in love, think about how you sound when you talk to people. Do you sound angry or mad even when you are not? How do you act? What is your body language? Are you sending a message of love or something else? Walking in love is not difficult; it is simply being good to people. Sometimes it’s the small acts that mean the most to people.
Check out the Introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit.