Study 40: Gal.5:22-26
The fruit of the Spirit (1)
Unity Love in our hearts
The Love of God Let us Love
Perfect Love One example
But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the
Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking
one another, envying one another.
It is worth restating the fact
that the word Paul uses for fruit is in fact in the
singular, in contrast to the word for works, which
is in the plural. With regard to the fruit we have
to conclude that by living in the Spirit there
is a oneness in
the believer's life. By that is meant a consistency of
that which is manifested, namely the life of Jesus Himself. This is neither
surprising nor unique in scripture revelation. In other places we have the oneness in God being
One example is the
passage quoted above that deals with the body of
Christ. In this section Paul deals with the
manifestation of the Spirit, what is commonly called the
'gifts of the Spirit'. The main emphasis though is on
the unity of the body, and that in all the
manifestations of the Spirit there is a oneness. By new birth a person is made to
be partakers of His one Body and so everything
done in the Spirit has a oneness about it: manifesting
the life of the Lord Jesus. There are other passages,
which show this
but this is one will suffice.
For as the body is
one, and hath
many members, and all the members of that
one body, being many, are one body: so also
is Christ. For by one Spirit are we
all baptized into one body, whether we be
Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or
free; and have been all made to drink into
one Spirit. For the body is not one
member, but many.
2. Love in our hearts
On new birth we are baptised by and in the
Spirit and into the body of Christ. At that moment we have the life of God
planted in us and we become partakers of the Divine
nature II Pet.1:4.
As a result God's love is shed into our hearts, this is
not something we achieve or learn, but rather it is
the very nature of God being shed abroad in us. God
is love, and we having His Spirit also become love.
No wonder Paul puts this at the top of the list of
the fruit of the Spirit.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by
the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
If God's love is shed abroad then it will
manifest itself in our lives, therefore the love we
demonstrate will be the same that Jesus manifested. So in
keeping with what we said in the previous study we will
consider God's love as manifested in the Lord Jesus.
3. The Love of God
Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us: and we
ought to lay down our lives for the
I Jn. 3:16
Greater love hath no man than this, that
a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I
John in his first epistle makes it
abundantly clear as to how we know the Love of God: He
laid down His life for us. This is true at Calvary, where the greatest
expression of that love was shown, and also during the
earthly life of the Lord Jesus.
died for us
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the
love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the
Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For
when we were yet without strength, in due time
Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely
for a righteous man will one die: yet
peradventure for a good man some would even dare
to die. But God commendeth his love toward
us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us.
That love which is shed in our hearts is the
same love that sent Jesus to die for the world. His love
moved Him to come from His glory, lay aside all that He
had with His Father and take on
the form of a servant becoming obedient unto the
death of the Cross. He held nothing back but laid down
His life in order to take the punishment for our sins, and
indeed the sins of the world.
something else here that is worthy of note: namely
that Christ died whilst we were still enemies of God!
In our sinful and God rejecting state He took the
initiative to reach out and die for us. What manner
of love is this indeed? This ties in well with
Jesus' remarks in the 'Sermon on the Mount'
Ye have heard that it hath been
said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and
hate thine enemy. But I say unto you,
Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray
for them which despitefully use you, and
persecute you; That ye may be the
children of your Father which is in heaven:
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil
and on the good, and sendeth rain on the
just and on the unjust. For if ye love
them which love you, what reward have ye? do
not even the publicans the same? And
if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye
more than others? do not even the publicans
so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as
your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Jesus says that we are to be perfect as our
Father in heaven is perfect, and this is equated
with us loving our enemies. God loved His
enemies and demonstrated this by sending all that He
had, His beloved Son, into the world to die for it. Whilst we were still sinners, enemies
of God, Christ died for us in order to bring salvation.
In fact no one could have loved God unless He had
first loved us (I
Jn. 4:19) so unless He had loved His enemies no
one would have been saved.
Now it goes without saying that
no one now can die for the sins of the world, Christ's death
was unique and is NEVER to be repeated;
it was a one
off, there is no more sacrifice for sin. If anyone
rejects the only provision of God then they can not be
saved. So then as believers although we cannot make sacrifices
for sin we can still demonstrate the love of God to
others in the same kind: to love as Christ loved by
service to others both to the brethren and our
If it be possible, as much as lieth in
you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but
rather give place unto wrath: for it is
written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay,
saith the Lord. Therefore if thine
enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give
him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap
coals of fire on his head. Be not
overcome of evil, but overcome evil with
Christ lived for us
Look not every man on his own things,
but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of
God, thought it not robbery to be equal with
God: But made himself of no reputation,
and took upon him the form of a servant, and
was made in the likeness of men: And
being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death,
even the death of the cross.
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my
feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth
not save to wash his feet, but is clean
every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
For he knew who should betray him; therefore
said he, Ye are not all clean. So
after he had washed their feet, and had
taken his garments, and was set down again,
he said unto them, Know ye what I have done
to you? Ye call me Master and Lord:
and ye say well; for so I am. If
I then, your Lord and Master, have washed
your feet; ye also ought to wash one
another’s feet. For I have given you
an example, that ye should do as I
have done to you. Verily, verily, I
say unto you, The servant is not
greater than his lord; neither he that is
sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Ever before Christ died for our sins He lived a
life that demonstrated that love. The key words for our
present purpose are 'servant and obedient'. Of course
one can not be a servant unless one is obedient, both go
hand in hand. In the
incident of the washing of the disciples' feet Jesus
gave us an example of His service. We are to be
servants one of another and being humble be willing to do
the very menial of tasks in service one to another.
Indeed the whole of Jesus' earthly life was one of
service to us.
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest,
shall be servant of all. For even the Son
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for
4. Let us love
In his first epistle the apostle John has a lot to
say about us manifesting the love of God. The one
thing that John emphasises is that love is the
proof of being in Christ.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love
is of God; and every one that loveth is born of
God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love. In this
was manifested the love of God toward us,
because that God sent his only begotten Son into
the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that
he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God
so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love
one another, God dwelleth
[=abides] in us, and his love is
perfected in us. Hereby know we that we
in him, and he in us, because he hath
given us of his Spirit. And we have seen
and do testify that the Father sent the Son to
be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever
shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth
[=abides] in him, and he in God. And we
have known and believed the love that God hath
to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth
[=abides] in love
[=abides] in God, and God in him. Herein
is our love made perfect, that we may have
boldness in the day of judgment: because as he
is, so are we in this world.There is no
fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment. He that feareth is
not made perfect in love. We love him,
because he first loved us. If a man say, I
love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:
for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath
seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And
this commandment have we from him, That
he who loveth God love his brother also.
Linking this in to Jesus' words in
Jn.15 we can see clearly
that to abide, remain/ dwell in God is the secret to
having the love of God manifested in us. And by that
love showing itself in us we demonstrate that we are
indeed dwelling in Him. We can not manufacture it at
all, it is only as a result of walking in the Spirit, to
use the phrase from Galatians. In the passage on
Jesus being the true Vine He makes this statement:
These things I command
you, that ye love one another. Jn.15:17.
This is repeated in John's epistle. Since John
says many things about love in his epistle, which expand
on Jesus' words in the fourth Gospel we will now consider some of the things John
says about love.
5. Perfect love
He that saith, I know him, and
keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him. But whoso
keepeth his word, in him verily is the love
of God perfected: hereby know we that we are
in him. He that saith he abideth in him
ought himself also so to walk, even as he
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and
his love is perfected in us.
Herein is our love made perfect, that
we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect
love casteth out fear: because fear hath
torment. He that feareth is not made perfect
in love. We love him, because he first
We have here three things in which it is said
that the love of God is perfected in a man or woman:
firstly those who keep His Word. In
Jesus, by His obedience to the Father, we see God's love
(completed in Him); not that Jesus was without love in
the first place, but rather its manifestation was
complete by His obedience. And the same is true of us.
The love of God is indeed shed abroad but is it being
manifested by our obedience to Him? Do we keep His word?
What God has wrought in our hearts must be worked out in
practice, and coming back to the Galatians' terms
we must walk in the Spirit.
Secondly, if we love
one another God's love is perfected in us. John has
a lot to say about us loving one another in this
epistles. We can see that we are abiding in the light if
we love the brethren I Jn.
3:7-12. Once more he tells us to lay
down our lives for the brethren and meet the needs
of them, loving in deeds and not in words,
I Jn. 3:16-18. These
are only some of the things mentioned. But the
message is clear, the true love of God will manifest
itself in loving the brethren.
Finally, being complete,
or perfect in love means that we have no fear. For
perfect love casts out fear. Fear means torment,
love casts that out. If we are full of God's love
what have we to fear? If we have God's love then we
are saved from our sins, we have our future secured
in heaven, and we have God who cares for us now.
Why then fear? We have the knowledge that we are
safe in Him. Look at the life of Jesus, He had no
fear for He continually dwelt in His Father's love,
knowing that He was in His
6. One example
And John answered and said, Master, we
saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we
forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for
he that is not against us is for us.
It must be remembered that the disciples in the
gospels were not born again, for that did not happen until the
day of Pentecost. The gospel records give
us an insight into them walking after the flesh, and
here is one such example.
A man was seen casting
out devils, yet he would not follow the disciples; note
that they said ' followed not with us' not ' followed
not Christ!', and they forbad him. That is they told
him to stop his work because he would not be part of the
disciples' band; he wasn't doing things the way they
expected anyone should. Jesus' response was to rebuke them.
( Could it be also that earlier in the chapter we
see that the disciples could not cast out a devil?-
Lk.9:40-41) As we
look into the gospel records we note that there
were many believers who were not part of the apostolic
band. Indeed Jesus on occasions would not have people
go with Him but sent them back to testify. ( eg
What we see here is
simply a sectarian spirit, which reveals a lack of
This mistake is repeated in these days by many
Christians, who put their own party spirit before
Christian love. For example if a believer comes into their midst,
wanting genuine fellowship and they detect that
that believer doesn't hold to their way of doing 'church
things', or whatever, then they forbid them to be involved or be a
part of them. Such an unloving attitude may well
that brother or sister, or worse still, stumble
them in the way
with all the dreadful consequences that may entail. The
disciples had an excuse: the love of God had not yet been
shed in their hearts, it was all before
Pentecost. We have no such excuse, let us beware!
What is the more
important: the love of the brethren (walking in the
Spirit) or man made ways (walking in the flesh) of
doing 'Christian things'? Our practice, and not our
words will reveal the true fruit and hence the
Love is the greatest (
I Cor.13:13) no wonder it heads
the list of the fruit of the Spirit. God's very
character is love, and it therefore follows that
those who are born again have that same love in
their hearts. It also follows that walking in
the Spirit means that love will be manifested. The
question is: do our lives show that love?