Yesterday Pastor Steve spoke to us on the first listed fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5, Love. He reminded us of the four kinds of love: erotic, empathic, brotherly, and the greatest Love of all, Agapé Love, the Love God has for you and I, unconditional and sacrificial.
This is the kind of love God wants to grow in us… as we abide in Him… the Vine. The Vine itself supplies the Life that bears this fruit. That Life is the Holy Spirit, the new Life within us, the only power that makes the manifestation of this Love possible in us.
And the manifestation of this sort of Love, this unconditional and sacrificial love for one another, is not just a special virtue for the most devout, it is His command… to all believers…
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:12-14)
What does this sort of love look like in the day-to-day? How does it manifest through us other than in dying for another? I mean you can only do that once, right? How do you show this Agapé Love of God on everyday days, days when your brother’s life is not in mortal danger? Days like most days.
Someone has suggested that Love is the principal fruit of the Spirit out of which all others find their expression. The reasoning goes like this: God is Love (1 John 4:16): Joy is love bubbling over; Peace is love at rest; Patience is love in control; Kindness is love involved; Goodness is love pure; Faith is love received; Gentleness is love concerned; Self-control is love shared.
This may be correct, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, “love is…” all these things (1 Cor. 13:4-7). Some men will give their life but not for another; they do it in the belief of greater self-indulgence in some perverted afterlife. But scripture is clear, even self sacrifice is nothing without Agapé Love to motivate it (1 Cor. 13:3).
What does this sort of love look like in the day-to-day? It looks like Jesus.
As Peter spoke to the household of Cornelius,
“You know… how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:37-38).
And God is with all who call upon Him as their Saviour and Lord. His Holy Spirit dwells within you to bear in you this great fruit of Love. “Go and do likewise,” (Luke 10:37) commands the Master. Go and Love this world with the Agapé Love of God.
To hear Pastor Steve’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website, click on ‘Media’ and select the April 28th message.