The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (John 15:9-17)

The Fruit of the Spirit is Love (John 15:9-17)

Love flows through the Vine

The Father loves Christ, and Christ loves His Church. As branches abiding in Christ we are continuing in His love. The love of the Father flows through Christ, and the love of Christ flows through us. This is why the defining characteristic of a Christian is love (John 13:35.) Love is the first fruit of the Spirit.

Love is keeping Christ’s commandments

God’s Law teaches us how to love Him and how to love each other; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law (Romans 13:10.) If we love God we will worship Him, not distort His image, reverence His name, and set aside time to worship Him. If we love our parents we will honor them; if we love our spouse we will keep our marriage vows. If we love people we will not kill them, steal from them, lie to them or about them, or desire their possessions.

A life of love and obedience is filled with joy

The second fruit of the Spirit is joy. If we live a life of love and obedience we will be filled with joy. We know this instinctively. Hatred, bigotry, racism, murder, robbery, adultery, etc. are associated with bitterness not joy. The most giving and loving people are the most joyful.

Loved defined

Jesus defines love as living for the highest good of another while disregarding self. Herein is the secret to the Christian life and the source of our joy. We live for God’s glory and other’s good, not self. Selfishness will suck the very life and joy out of your soul. To love is to be selfless.

Predestined to love

Jesus chose to love us and give His life for us. Salvation is by His choice, not ours. Properly understood this boosts our understanding of salvation. Predestination is about love: God’s love for sinners transforming them so that they love Him and others. Does a man freely choose Christ? Yes! He chooses Christ because Jesus has first chosen to love Him and cause His love to flow into and through the man transforming him so that he desires, loves, and chooses Christ. Simply put, we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19.) We have been chosen to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ Who is the very definition of love (Romans 8:29, 1 John 4:8.) It is this love of Christ that has made us His friends and transformed us into His image.

Application

Do you see the love of Christ flowing through your life? Will you repent of your selfishness?

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