(Click on author’s name for earlier lessons)
The qualities of Holy Spirit fruit are ultimately found in the character of God.
Because mankind is created in God’s image, there is a part of him that appreciates the list.
However, to the natural man, Holy Spirit fruit is distasteful and extreme. Instead of the pure fruit, he is satisfied to enjoy “canned” fruit and artificial fruit.
I. The importance of love – 1Corinthians 13:1-3, 13
Faith and hope are also abiding, but Love stands before them
Our message, our authority, our sacrifices are all empty without love
- How many people do you know that have quit church because they say, “I was not loved?”
- The devil does not need to convince the saint that the preacher is lying or hypocritical; he only needs to convince them that he is proud and unloving.
- Loveless activity and orthodoxy in Ephesus – Rev 2:1-7
II. What exactly is Love?
“It is hard to find words in the language of men, to explain the deep things of God. Indeed there are none that will adequately express what the Spirit of God works in his children (Wesley).”
English Bible – over 550 references to love or charity
- Love first appears in Gen 22:2 – Abraham was called to sacrifice the son he loved
- Exodus 20:6 is the first reference to man loving God and demonstrating that by obedience (especially in the matter of idolatry). It becomes a command in Deut. 6:5
- Man is first commanded to love his neighbor in Leviticus 19:18, 34
- God declares His love for the first time in Deut 4:37
- God’s love existed in eternity past – the Father always loved the Son
- Love originates from God; we fall in love with Him.
According to Webster:
In a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification.
In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual; … In other words, the Christian loves God with the love of confidence in his attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interests of his kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favors received.
Old Testament Love
The Hebrew word for love parallels the English word
The Character of the Love must be determined by the context
- It can describe everything from sacrificial love to sinful lust.
- It can express a love for people, for food, for money, etc.
New Testament Love
The Greek language distinguished the difference between sexual passion, familial unity, and common friendship.
The Greek words AGAPE and AGAPAO are Biblically used.
•They were rarely used before the Biblical writers used them
*They are nearly exclusively used in the Bible (80% of NT references).