Part 2: “The fruit of the Spirit is love”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

I want to look at the face of a life filled with the Holy Spirit more from the practical side, and to show how this life will show itself in our daily walk and conduct.

Under the Old Testament you know the Holy Spirit often came upon men as a divine Spirit of revelation to reveal the mysteries of God, or for power to do the work of God. But He did not then dwell in them. Now, many just want the Old Testament gift of power for work, but know very little of the New Testament gift of the indwelling Spirit, animating and renewing the whole life. When God gives the Holy Spirit, His great object is the formation of a holy character. It is a gift of a holy mind and spiritual disposition, and what we need above everything else, is to say: “I must have the Holy Spirit sanctifying my whole inner life if I am to really live for God’s glory!”

You might say that when Christ promised the Spirit to the disciples,  He dis so that they might have power to become witnesses. True, but then they reveived the Holy Spirit in such heavenly power and reality that He took possession of their whole being at once and so fitted them as holy men for doing the work with power as they had to do it. Christ spoke of power to the disciples, but it was the Spirit filling their whole being that worked the power.

Let’s go to the passage of Galatians 5:22 as listed above. “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” We read that Love is the fulfilling of the Law,” (Romans 13:10) and I want to mention love as a fruit of the Spirit with a twofold object. One is that this word may be a searchlight in our hearts, and give us a test by which to try all our thoughts about the Holy Spirit and all our experience of the holy life. Let us try ourselves by this word. Has this been our daily habit, to seek the being filled with the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of love? “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” Has it become our experience that the more we have of the Holy Spirit, the more loving we become? In claiming the Holy Spirit we should make this the first object of our expectation. The Holy Spirit comes as the Spirit of love.

One of the great causes why God can not bless His Church is the want of love. When the body is divided, there cannot be strength. Remember that if a vessel that ought to be one whole is cracked into many pieces, it cannot be filled. May the Lord melt us together into one by the power of the Holy Spirit; let the Holy Spirit do His blessed work through us. Give yourself up to love, and the Holy Spirit will come; receive the Spirit, and He will teach you to love more.

Now; why is it that the fruit of the Spirit is love?

1. Because God is love

It is the very nature of Godto delight in communicatingHimself. God has no selfishness, God keeps nothing to Himself. God’s nature is to be always giving. In the sun and the moon and the stars, in every flower you see it, in every bird in the air, in every fish of the sea. God is love, and He imparts His brightness and His blessedness to all His creation.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1. John 4:16)

2. So He can restore love to this world

When man sinned, why was it that he sinned? Selfishness triumphed – he sought himself instead of God. And look! Adam at once begins to accuse the woman of having led him astray. Love to God had gone, love to man was lost. Look again: of the first two children of Adam, one becomes the murderer of his own brother. God gives His scarificial love to us, hoping that we will spread that special love in this sinful world.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34)

3. Because nothing but love can expel and conquer our selfishness

Self is the great curse, whether in its relation to God, or to our fellow man in general, or to fellow Christians, thinking of ourselves Christ came to redeem us from self. We sometimes talk about deliverance from the self-life – and thank God for every word that can be said about it to help us – but I am afraid some people think deliverance from the self-life means that they now are going to have no longer any trouble of serving God; and they forget that deliverance from self-life means to be a vessel overflowing with love to everybody all day… A person filled with God’s love – who is unselfishly following the Lord – is easily recognized.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

4. Because without this we cannot live the daily life of love

In dealing with daily living, we encounter problems like temper, and contolling our tongue. If you are angry at people or flap your mouth with nasty gossip or foul language, you are revealing that you don’t live the daily life of love. Once again, if we live in accordance to God’s Word and live in His love, people will see that love. That is one of the things that compelled me to want to be a Christian. I saw God’s love shared, and I knew that I did not possess such love. Only when we are close to God can we display such love, and His perfect love shines through for others to see. We are made perfect in His love.

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1. John 4:12)

5. Because the Spirit will exhibit the divine power that God can give to His children

In the second and the fourth chapter of Acts we read that the disciples were of one heart and of one soul. During the three years they had walked with Christ, they had never been in that spirit. All Christ’s teaching could not make them of one heart and one soul. But the Holy Spirit came from Heaven and shed the love of God in their hearts, and they were of one heart and one soul. The same Holy Spirit that brought the love of Heaven into their heartsmust fill us too. Nothing less will do. Even as Christ did, one might preach love for three years with the tongue of an angel, but that would not teach any man to love unless the power of the Holy Spirit should come upon him to bring the love of Heaven into his heart.

6. Because this is the only power in which Christians can do their work

Yes, it is what we need! We want not only love that is to bind us to each other, but we want a divine love in our work for the lost around us. Oh, we do not often undertake a great deal of work, just as  men undertake work of philantrophy (to improve the well-being of human kind), from a natural spirit of compassion for our fellow men? Do we not often undertake Christian work because  our minister or friend calls us to it? And do we not often preform Christian work with a certain zeal but without having had a baptism of love?

People often ask: “What is the baptism of fire?” I know no fire like the fire of God, the fire of everlasting love that consumed the sacrifice on Calvary. The baptism of love is what the church needs, and to get that we must begin at once to get down upon our faces before God in confession and plead: “Lord, let love from Heaven flow down into my heart. I am giving up my life to pray and live as one who has given himself up for the everlasting love to dwell in and fill him.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: