In my last blog post, I wrote about what Fruits of the Spirit is according to Jesus Christ. Today, let’s talk about Love.
If you are interested in a bible study portion of Fruits of the Spirit, you can purchase the books by Robert Strand: Nine Fruits of the Spirit.
Colossians 3 12-15
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Love: It’s who we are, not what we do
Matthew 7:16 “By their fruit you will recognize them.”
1 Peter 3 8:9 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
In Paul the Apostle’s day, Corinth, Greece was a hub of worldwide commerce. It’s there he built a church (Acts 18:1-17) to teach about Christ. (Church refers to a group of people, not a building). Corinth may have been bustling with commerce, but it was filled with a degraded culture and idolatrous religion. This letter is a good example of Love as a fruit of the spirit.
First Corinthians is Paul’s first letter to that church (again, he refers to a group of people, not a building), addressing the problems and struggles of a church situated in a Pagan society filled with immorality, questionable practices, lawsuits and more.
The first part of his letter, he is reminding them who they are: servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1). His words are stern, yet gentle as he moves into their poor behavior.
What is Love?
This is addressed in the middle of his letter, chapter 13. Remember, the Nine Fruits of the Spirit speaks of our inner nature of who we are rather than what we do. Think about the last time you attended a funeral. What was the first thing you thought about that person? Was it about who they were such as: “She was so nice” or how about something like: “He was always considerate of others.”?
There is a favored passage in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in chapter 13, verses 4 through 8. It says this:
1: Love suffers long and is kind ( love is patient)
Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 17:9 – He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, But he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
2: Love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not arrogant
Galatians 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
3: Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, keeps no account of evil.
1 Corinthians 10:24 – No one should seek their own good, but the good of others
4: Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth
Romans 1:32 – Who knowing the judgment of God either of the law of God, the law and light of nature, by which they might in some measure know the difference between good and evil, and what was right and wrong; or the judiciary sentence of God against sin.
2 John 4 – It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
5: Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
6: Love never fails, but whether they are prophecies, they will fail. Whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (In other words, use their Spiritual Gifts to serve others rather than show them off.)
1 Corinthians 12:4-10 – There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. There are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works in them all. The manifestation of the Spirit is give to each of us for the profit of all.
The Gifts of the Spirit
a: To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom
b: To another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit
c: To another faith by the same Spirit
d: To another gifts of healing by that one Spirit
e: To another miraculous powers
f: To another prophecy
g: To another distinguishing between spirits
h: To another speaking in different kinds of tongues
i: To another the interpretation of tongues
I hadn’t expected there to be this much in the Fruit of the Spirit we call Love. (It’s a many splendid thing.)
Stay tuned for the next installment. Until then, please feel free to share your thoughts on the above blog post in comments section below.
Have a blessed day my brothers and sisters in Christ, I love you all 🙂