Love – the Fruit of the Spirit

Study Series on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5:22,23


I.         Introduction (Gal 5:22,23; 1Pet 4:7,8)


A.      There are NINE fruits placed in the life of the believer at salvation – list them

B.       These are God’s replacements for the seventeen WORKS of the flesh

C.       In contrast:


1.        The works of the flesh occur naturally – they “just happen” – they are the results of doing NOTHING – that’s why LAZINESS is the source of the majority of our sins folks!

2.        The fruit of the Spirit is a direct result of my personal walk and relationship with Jesus Christ

3.        Without spiritual fruit in my life, I am barren, empty


D.      But the Christian was not saved to live that way

E.       The FRUIT of the Holy Spirit is what we need – not the gifts of the spirit

F.       If a Christian is living an empty life spiritually, then they need to realize that Christ has given them all they need already to defeat all 18 sins

G.       The fruits of the Spirit can be intimidating. Working all nine of these traits into your life seems impossible, and indeed it is. But the moment you became a Christian, the Holy Spirit began a divine work to produce Christ's character in you. Regardless of who you are, the Spirit works from the same model, Jesus Christ. The Spirit looks to Christ in order to find the blueprint for your character.

H.      It is as natural as the growth of fruit on a tree. You do not have to orchestrate it on your own. It automatically begins the moment you become a believer. How quickly it happens depends upon how completely you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit's activity.

I.         This message will focus on the first fruit of the Holy Spirit - Love!


II.       Background ()


A.      If you are a born again child of God, you have TWO loves inside you


1.        Natural love – love of the flesh, for things of the flesh (Jn 8:44)

2.        God’s love – love of the Holy Spirit of God, for the things that are of God (Mk 8:33)


B.       Every moment of every day, we are using one of those two loves


1.        One of them is poured down the toilet of this world’s system – never makes a difference – always ends up loving THINGS, the CREATION, instead of the Creator!

2.        The other one transforms both the receiver, AND the giver of the love


C.       If only we could get used to loving with God’s kind of love, every moment of every day!

III.     Message


A.      Love is a Planted Fruit (Rom 5:5; Jn 5:39; 1Jn 4:7,8)


1.        Not a normal kind of love, or a natural love – it is planted in us by the Holy Spirit


a.       People sing a lot about love - the best songs truly are love songs

b.       But just because the whole world is so focused on love, and singing about love, and so many books are written these days about romance, and love - that doesn't mean they know the slightest what they are talking, writing and singing about!


2.        The fruit of God’s Spirit is God’s love - it is called Charity, and it is like nothing this world has ever seen before! Whatever this kind of love is, according to 1 Peter 4:8, it is capable of covering, burying a multitude of sins - which is an amazing power!

3.        The Meaning of Charity. What Charity is and is not


a.       Charity is a distinctly Christian term - not a word normally used outside of Christianity. Modern bibles, and modern christians only talk about "love", but there are different words for love, with different meanings


1)       If you say "love" you could be talking about:


a)       Having "affection" towards someone or something

b)       An "attraction" (I'm in luve) - infatuation

c)       An "attachment" (I can't live without them) - "my girl"

d)       Having an "affair," a fling

e)       The physical “act” - making love


2)       Do any of those sound very Christian? Not necessarily wrong, but, not much of God in any of them

3)       Talking about a form of love unknown to the world (John 15:19; 1John 3:1)

4)       Christian love is something that originated only in the Bible, and through personally knowing Jesus Christ through the new birth


b.       Charity is not affection (fondness), or an attraction, or an attachment, or an affair, or an act


1)       It is not love for lovely objects (Rom 5:6-8)

2)       It is not shown towards someone like you (Mt 5:46,47) - has to be greater than normality

3)       It is not initiated, or sustained by feelings or emotions


c.       Charity however, is:


1)       The by-product of being loved (1 John 4:8-11)


a)       Starts with God (Dt 7:7,8) - a choice, simply because that is how God is (Jer 31:3). He is eternal, so also is His love!

b)       It is Invested in an unworthy sinner. You have no life without the Source of life in you; and you have no real love until the Source of love dwells in your heart by faith!

c)       It's then Reflected into a dark world - more than you can hold

d)       He who has a problem with loving others, simply has not received the love of God, and does not know God!


2)       Charity is the very Person of Jesus Christ - not an ideal, but a reality!


a)       Interactive love - He lived, moved, interacted among us

b)       Proactive love - Jesus was way ahead of our senses and desires. His love, charity was able to see what was really needed - that He lay down His life for us (John 15:13). Didn't have to be asked

c)       Mature love - one that when everyone and everything went against Him, He remained for them


B.       Love is a First Fruit – first on the List for a reason!


1.        The FIRST thing in the life of the believer after salvation will be the love of God shed abroad in our heart, and GOD deserves that fruit FIRST


a.       The world, your family, your boss will see the change in you and will seek to drain away all the new found love you have

b.       Make sure you give God your love first, and then there will always be more for every other person – same with money!


2.        Always for God (Pr 3:9,10; Mt 22:37,38)


a.       Towards God Himself

b.       Towards His word (Jn 14:23)


3.        If love for God is settled every day, then love for anyone else will be easy


a.       Toward believers

b.       Towards family

c.       Towards even enemies


4.        The Priority of Loving God (1Cor 13:13; 16:14)


a.       More important than Bible knowledge (1Cor 8:1)

b.       More important than a life of good works (1Cor 13:1-3)


5.        God’s love is the FIRST fruit to cultivate, so that the other fruits blossom


a.       Peace is love's security

b.       Long-suffering is love's patience

c.       Gentleness is love's conduct

d.       Goodness is love's character

e.       Faith is love's confidence

f.        Meekness is love's humility

g.       Temperance is love's victory


6.        Without God’s love active in our lives, all the rest of the fruits are ruined


C.       Love is a Delicate Fruit (2Pet 1:7)


1.        Because sin deadens our love (Mt 24:12) – therefore, don’t waste God’s love on things of this world (1Jn 2:15-17)

2.        Because unconfessed sin holds us back (Lk 7:47)!!!

3.        To grow a garden of vibrant fruits in your garden:


a.       Clear out the rubbish, weeds, rocks – seriously repent


1)       Of any bitterness, distrust, unforgiveness, long memories

2)       Empty out yourself – dump the rubbish bin of your life


b.       Plant good seed – the word of God

c.       Put up fencing – to protect against foxes and trampling – standards and convictions

d.       Water and feed – stay in God’s Word daily

e.       Check on every chance you get – make sure to KEEP it clear


4.        It is easy to neglect this fruit – as did Ephesus (Rev 2:19)

5.        As Christians, we MUST protect our love life towards God, or EVERYTHING else falls apart, and we become worse off than the world


D.      Love is an Unpopular Fruit


1.        Commanded to love those that don’t love you (Lk 6:32)

2.        Love without dissimulation/particularness (Rom 12:9,10)

3.        We owe it to people (Rom 13:8)

4.        We owe it even to our enemies (Mt 5:44)

5.        God says for us not to work any ill towards anybody (Rom 13:10)

6.        If a Christian is going to love with God’s love, you will suffer long for it


a.       Because you will most often be misunderstood (2Cor 12:15)

b.       Did you know that to speak the truth in love IS love?

c.       Did you know that Faithful are the WOUNDS of a friend?!

d.       Jesus love caused Him to suffer, and suffer He did!

e.       Why do you think you can get away with anything less?


E.       Love is the Best Fruit (1Cor 13:13)


1.        It holds everything important in your life together (Col 3:14)

2.        It makes every battle, and every scar worthwhile

3.        Most of all, it keeps me free from the works of the flesh


IV.    Conclusion


A.      Which love are you trying to love God with? Most are trying with their sensual, fleshly love, and God can’t satisfy that kind of love, and God is not satisfied with that kind of love – anymore than a wife or a husband would be

B.       Have you ever received the Love of God into your sin-cursed life? His name is Jesus! HE is the love of God (Jn 3:16)!

C.       For many of you, there was a day when you did open the door of your heart, and let Jesus in, and God’s love spread all over inside, but iniquity has abounded and your love has grown cold – sin keeps us from loving God, loving God’s people, and loving God’s word! You need to repent!

D.      Because, love, God’s kind of Love is the best fruit to have in your life!