Love: The Spirit’s Fruit

February 2012 Blog:

  Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control: against such there is no law."
According to Paul in the verse above one of the functions of the Holy Spirit, is to bear fruit in our lives. The fact that they are “fruit” and not “fruits” suggest that they originate from one source- just like an apple tree can only produce apples and a peach tree, only peaches; the Holy Spirit can only produce “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

The first and most important attribute on the list of spiritual fruit Paul provides begins with love. Working on the assumption that the ordering of the list is significant, we can conclude that love is the key that provides access to the other attributes. So why is love so important in our cultivation of spiritual fruit? The first epistle of John, 4:16 tells us simply that “God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God”. In addition, “whoever loves God, must love his brother.”

Evident from the above is that the spirit of God, can only impart to us the fruit of his own nature: which is love. It is only when we truly love God; that we will begin to love others. The love that God conveys to us is unselfish and unconditional. When we are enveloped by divine love, we will seek to share it with others.

1 John 4:9-12 states: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Evidence of God’s love for us is manifested in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ- his only begotten son, who became an atonement for our sins, so that we could be reconciled to him and receive our inheritance as his sons and daughters. As children of God, we are expected to live in a way that is pleasing to him, by following the example of our spiritual older brother Christ.

In contrast to the spirit’s fruit, Paul describes “the acts of the sinful nature” in Galations 5:19-21. Prior to our acceptance of Christ, our nature is devoid of love and bears the following fruit: “sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like”. We are warned in this text that “those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Our acceptance of God’s love is a matter of life and death: if we accept it as a free gift of his grace- we have the promise of eternal life and an eternity spent sharing his riches of with others who have also chosen his love over love of self.

Love is the vital ingredient for a fruitful life in the here and now and an abundant life throughout eternity. When God invites us to love him and others, he is encouraging us to partake of his divine nature. As soon as we accept his offer of salvation through the atoning sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ- we are exchanging our sinful nature for God’s. As his children, we enter into his will for us which naturally leads us to want what he wants for us and love in the way he loves.

In closing, I would like to leave you with two verses that encapsulate the essence of divine love- which is simply “knowing God by accepting Christ’s example”: 1John 4:8 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” and John 17:3 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

As we walk with God each day, let us ask for him to cultivate the fruit of the spirit in our lives, for in doing so, we are paving the way for an eternity spent with him- not just ourselves, but for those that we have been sent to witness to.
© hopecalls.org, 2012 (all rights reserved)



HopeCalls Blogs

Joy Comes In The Morning (March 2015)

Joy, God's gift to mankind which helps us to appreciate His Goodness and the Blessings of His Presence...more

Come See A Man (March 2014)

I want to paint a picture of what experiencing the good news ought to be like. To do this, I want to use that well known story...more

The Parable of The Misunderstood Father (June 2016)

The Prodigal son’s story has been replaying in my mind over and over again...more

The Birth of Hope (January 2011)

I can recall when Hopecalls was born, I remember the surge of inspiration, in the surroundings of the New Forest...more

How’s Your Faith Today? (April 2017)

In Romans 12:3, we all have a measure of faith. In fact, if it were not for that measure, we would not be part of this group...more

Reflections on Humility (February 2011)

I have been praying about developing the ability to deny self for a little while now...more

Fear: Casting Pearls Before Swine (March 2011)

I spoke to a friend recently who'd also been experiencing testing times with fear she found a practical answer in claiming the following promise...more

Happiness: Our Walk With Christ (April 2011)

Oh how I wish it was me- I would sit at our Lords feet, nothing could drag me away from His warmth and gentle wisdom. Perhaps I would be different from them...more

Anger: Zeal for Righteousness (May 2011)

We too can grow up to become solid and sturdy, robust and promising- but in reality we are working for ourselves and not the master...more

Beside Still Waters (January 2012)

Probably the most famous Psalm of all, the well known, well loved and well remembered, "The Lord's Prayer" seems to have world wide appeal...more

Salvation: A New Beginning (Nov 2013)

When we are separated from God's goodness, we are unable to thrive. As the opening text describes- God's grace saves us when we believe in Him...more

Who Is God To You? (December 2015)

When Moses boldly approached God as a friend and asked him to show him his glory I wonder what he expected...more

Goodness Stored Up! (August 2014)

Part of my exposition of the Goodness of God is to provide his own words in his Word. The wonderful thing about the Word of God is that it is living...more

Repentance: The Only Way Home (August 2013)

Where is God when we need Him? Perhaps this has more to do with the gradual erosion of God, the commandments and anything that appears remotely Christian, as opposed to "religious", from society...more

Peace: The Fruit Of Righteousness (March 2013)

We live in a world where peace is seen as a poor relation to fun, excitement, fame, fortune and popularity...more

Faith: The Substance of Our Hope (January 2013)

As believers, there is another type of faith which is more definate as it relates to faith in God...more

A Weary Soul's Rest (October 2012)

Liberally distributed throughout the bible are important statements- bible promises of rest whether physical, emotional or spiritual...more

Peace (August 2012)

Once implemented, the benefits of this exercise so fortify the Christian that they are able to withstand persecution, reviling and insults for their faith...more

Prayer: A Marvellous Journey (June 2012)

I can't deny that in the early days, prayer was like a verbal "talisman" something that I had to say to feel safe at night just in case something happened...more

If Trees Could Walk (May 2012)

Stick with me on this journey while I make this point. When we see people as trees and walking ones at that- we are not seeing our fellow man in the way God intended us to see them...more

Magnify the Lord with Me (April 2012)

Mary must have been a teenager with outstanding faith. Just imagine the scene- she is engaged to be married to Joseph and an angel appears...more

Depression: Tending the Flock (March 2012)

In these brief lines (Isaiah 40:11) we find the manifold qualities of God the Shepherd of His sheep...more

Love: The Spirit's Fruit (February 2012)

According to Paul in the verse above one of the functions of the Holy Spirit, is to bear fruit in our lives...more