“This is my command: LOVE each other.” John 15:17 NIV (capitals added)
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, which he lay down his life for his friends.” You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business.” John 15:10-15 NIV
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6 NIV
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 NIV
To understand the fruit of the spirit, we must first understand love- God’s love, not our definition of it. Let me allow scripture to explain.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete …” 1 John 4:6 NIV
How do we know God is love? His word defines love for us, and this proves that love is spiritual (spiritual fruit) because God is Spirit as well. Love is God’s spiritual character.
If we are to become apart of Christ, then we must take on this character as well, and it comes only with dedication and discipline.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 NIV
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:18 NIV
Looking into the pages of God’s word, we can find what not only is defined by God’s character but who He is. Most of us know that the actions of Jesus came from a place of loving kindness. But the realm in which He worked was Love. Repeatedly Jesus stated that He did not do anything on His own accord, it was done at the will of our Father and our Father who art in Heaven is love. Everything He does is from a place of love because He is the very definition! When we apply the definition to who God is, and what He has shown us in His character we can know that love has come full circle. It has changed not, it is reliable, and it is something that we can embody as believers today.
(Taken from “A whiter shade of love” Author Shannon Gilmour)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Spiritual fruit has a purpose, it forces our sin nature into dormancy and produces in us a godly character that reflects Jesus. This does not mean that we are to be like God in anyway, or infact are some sort of godly "enlightened" being, it simply means that bearing fruit is the evidence of our sanctification that brings us up to our title as heirs to God's kingdom.
( To continue with this study, please see A BELIEVER's LIFESTYLE)