Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Love
In this series of Bible studies we will look into each of the spiritual fruits given to believers and followers of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love.
The love that is given by the Holy Spirit is a supernatural love that can only come from God. It is “agape” love. Agape love is a love that is far greater than human love. When a believer is filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit, God fills the believer with a love that is far above the human capacity to love.
“…but be filled (completely controlled) with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Love
Agape Love Can Only Come From God
Our capacity to love God and others is very limited compared to the agape love of God. Human love is typically conditional love, based on certain conditions and requirements. If people meet these conditions and requirements, then we will love them.
Another limitation of human love is that it can change or end. The high divorce rate of 50% or more is evidence of the human love that can fail or diminish over time. Interestingly the divorce rate of people in the church is as high as it is outside the church. This is a sign that many church people are not being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
When we fully submit to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to take control, God is able to fill us with His Spirit. And this means that He is able to produce in us and fill us to abundance with His love, and joy, and peace… His love is the agape love. God’s agape love is unconditional love. Filled with God’s love you will love others no matter what they do or say. You will place no conditions or requirements on others. In your heart you will simply love them no matter what.
And God’s love never runs out. There is no time limit or other type of limitation on God’s love. As the psalmists wrote and sang, God’s love endures forever. It will never end or diminish over time.
” Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1-3
Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Another Characteristic of God’s Agape Love
Another key characteristic of God’s divine agape love is it is a selfless love. It is a love willing to sacrifice for the good of others. God’s agape love places others in front of self. This love is far above and beyond our human capacity. It is not natural to love others like this, and to place them in front of self. It is part of our sinful human nature to be self centered and selfish, and not to love God and others above self.
Jesus demonstrated this selfless agape love when He left His place of glory in heaven and came to earth. He came here driven by His love for God the Father, and by His love for us. And Jesus came here to suffer terribly and die a most horrible death on the cross. All because He loves you. And because He loves every single person in the world like this. And because He wants all people to be saved and have a restored personal relationship with Him.
“God wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,” – John 15:13
“We know love by this, that He (Jesus) laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” – 1 John 3:16
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Other Characteristics Of God’s Agape Love
There are other characteristics of God’s amazing agape love. Some of the best verses to describe God’s great love are found in 1 Corinthians 13. These are the characteristics of God’s agape love, and not of human love. This is the love that God wants to fill your heart to overflowing abundance with. So that you can love Him first with this type of love. And secondly so that you can love others like this.
“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. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
The characteristics of God’s agape love are as follows:
- Not jealous
- Does not brag
- Not arrogant (Is humble)
- Does not act unbecomingly
- Does not seek it’s own
- Is not provoked
- Does not take into account a wrong suffered (loves unconditionally)
- Does not rejoice in unrighteousness
- Rejoices with the truth
- Bears all things
- Believes all things
- Hopes all things
- Endures all things
- God’s love never fails
Other Examples Of God’s Love & The Fruits Of The Holy Spirit
Jesus is always our best example to follow when it comes to loving God and loving others with agape love. There are other examples to see in the Bible of people filled with God’s love and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The early church in Acts is a great example for us to follow. It is what the church ought to be. Look at the great love they had for God and for others.
“And all the believers were together and had all things in common. And they would sell their property and possessions and share them with all, to the extent that anyone had need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” – Acts 2:44-47
These true followers and lovers of Jesus were filled with God’s life, and love, joy, peace, patience… They were filled with the abundant life and love of God because of their total commitment to Jesus. To the point that they sacrificed a lot for others, and some even died for following and obeying Jesus. All out of love for God and for others.
May we as followers of Jesus be so fully surrendered and committed to Him, that we will be filled to overflowing with the abundant life of Jesus and the powerful agape love of God. So that we can love God as He deserves, and love others as God loves them.
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