Galatians 5v22-23 Fruit of the Spirit - Love
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, [longsuffering] kindness, [gentleness] goodness, faithfulness [faith], 23 gentleness [Meekness] and self-control [temperance]. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
The first in the list, and the first priority in life. In many ways the Bible is a book of love stories, human and divine.
What examples are there of human love in Scripture?
Adam and Eve
Isaac and Rebecca (the only monogamous Patriarch)
Jacob and Rachel
Genesis 29:20 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. (NIV)
Ruth and Boaz
David and Jonathan
1 Samuel 20:17 17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. (NIV)
Song of Solomon
Exodus 34:5-7 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (NIV)
The response he desires is love.
Deuteronomy 6:5 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV)
Deuteronomy 7:9 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. (NIV)
7 times the expression covenant of love appears in scripture.
How do we define love?
32 times God’s love is described as unfailing.
26 of those are in Psalms!
Proverbs 19:22 22 What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar. (NIV)
Which is why he is unsatisfied outside of God.
Proverbs 20:6 6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find? (NIV)
This need is met in Christ
Romans 5:5 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)
Romans 5:8 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV)
Romans 8:39 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (NIV)
The response of the believer must be to love God faithfully.
Hebrews 13:5 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (NIV)
A special duty of love is owed to the people of God.
1 Peter 2:17 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honour the king. (NIV)
1 John 3:1
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (NIV)
1 John 3:10 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (NIV)
1 John 3:17 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (NIV)
1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)
1 John 4:16 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (NIV)
1 John 4:20-21 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (NIV)
1 John 5:2-3 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, (NIV)