The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Love

The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Love

Just as trees produce certain fruits, Christians must produce certain qualities and characteristics.
These qualities and characteristics are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and are identified as “the fruit of the
Spirit.” When people repent and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus Christ, they
receive the gift of God’s Spirit (Acts 2:38). Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, they are empowered by
the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16) who dwells within them (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19) to demonstrate
the fruit of the Spirit. A part of the fruit of the Spirit that we are to produce is love.

Scripture has much to say about love. We serve a God who “is love” (1 John 4:8). In fact, God
loves sinful humanity so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
In response to testing from the Pharisees, Jesus gives the two greatest commandments: love God with
your entire being and love your neighbor as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). God loves us;
therefore, we are to love Him and all of those who have been created by Him. Jesus even teaches us to
love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

Love is not just a feeling or emotion. In Scripture, love is action. Paul describes this in 1
Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It
does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices
with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” If we truly
love Jesus, we will obey the commands that He has given: “If you love me, you will keep my
commandments” (John 14:15). Love restrains us from doing or saying anything that might hurt others:
“For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You
shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:9-

For Christians, living a life of love is not optional. If we are going to follow Jesus, our lives must
be defined by love. Regardless of what we do or say, if we do not have love, we are and gain nothing (1
Corinthians 13:1-3). If we want to abide in God, we must abide in love: “God is love, and whoever abides
in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).
In 1 Corinthians 16:14, Paul says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” Let’s allow that to be a
challenge for us. Let’s be very intentional and thoughtful; in whatever we do, let’s do it in love.

-Tyler Alverson


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