“You will make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy.” Ps 16:11

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these (Galatians 5:19-21). God’s moral law summarized in the Ten Commandments stands opposed to such things. On the other hand, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

As we begin to examine this contrast by way of a look at the fruit of the Spirit, we see the priority of love. There is no law against love. God’s law defines love. “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The Ten Commandments give you a way to express love. You express love for God when you put His desires before your own, when you gladly worship Him, when you call upon His Name and pray to Him, and when you honor Him by setting aside one day in seven from regular work for corporate, family, and private worship study and meditation.

You love those around you when you respect age and position, when you preserve life, when you live chastely outwardly and inwardly, when you work to make a fair wage and support yourself and your family, when the truth is important and your word is your bond, and when you live this way in a state of contentedness. This love for God is not a burden to you but a joy.

This love also has certain characteristics. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:5-8). This is a description of love.

Love patiently and kindly tells the truth. Love assumes positions of authority without arrogance. Loving fathers do not demand tasks be done exactly the way they would do them. They do not demand their own way. Loving mothers are not easily provoked by the antics of their children. The love you express in following the Ten Commandments should bear the marks of this description.

Finally, such love springs from the heart. In fact, it is an attitude of heart. Philippians 2:5 exhorts, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” Attitude here refers to inclination of the heart or disposition. You do not want to be known as a person with an ugly disposition. You want to be a person inclined to love. You express this loving inclination, disposition, or attitude through the Ten Commandments as 1 Corinthians 13 describes. This attitude of heart is a fruit of the Spirit. It comes from God. If you lack in love, you should seek God for a new attitude. You should study the Bible to see how Godly love lives and acts.

Such love is also a witness. “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12). Attitudes of love, gladly expressed through the Ten Commandments, as 1 Corinthians 13 describes, testify to God’s presence. Unbelievers entering a congregation where God’s love is being perfected, where Christians express such love, will get a glimpse of the Divine. They will see God.

2016-10-29T15:11:20-05:00 December 9th, 2013|