Galatians 5:22-23 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Recently I’ve been listening to the series Understanding the Kingdom by Dr. Michael Lake. Now the topic I’ve chosen isn’t yet one that he’s covered in this lecture series. But this morning listening to one a new thought came to me in regard to this particular passage of scripture. Yahuah has a way of giving me new insights in a way that I’d not thought about before. The last time I had a similar insight was with the scripture calling us to put on the full armor of God. The realization that the fruit of the Spirit is not the fruit of my imperfect human spirit rather it is the fruit of the perfect Holy Spirit of Yahuah. This inspired me to pen what that means to me.
As a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, niece I love all those in the family in which I was born and the family into which I married and the offspring of that union. Human love can only be a mere reflection of the love that our Creator has for his creation; mankind, humans, being the chief beneficiary of his love. He loved us so much that he gave us the free will to either choose or reject his will for us. It was his will for us to live eternally in a paradise in which he set the first humans.
At the beginning, just as any parent, Yahuah gave his children direction, commands if you will. When he created them he told them to be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and take dominion over it; all these were commands, positive direction. He gave them all seed bearing plants for food and told them they could eat of any tree in the garden except one. The tree in the center of the garden known as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil God told them not to eat, the only forbidding command. Like all children they disobeyed the only rule that said not to touch something. Being children they disobeyed and took of that tree and ate. As when our children disobey, there are consequences to disobeying. The first immediate consequence was that their eyes were opened and they realized that they were naked. Now I don’t think that they were naked before as we see naked, rather they were clothed by the glory of God and when they ate of that fruit they lost the covering of God. As a result of their disobedience, sin, there were the curses to first the serpent, then the woman in childbirth, and the earth because of the man’s sin in eating of the fruit. God still loved them, just as we still love a child who misbehaves. Love, true love, is unconditional. Still, sin separates us from God and this separation was manifest in sending man out of the Garden of Eden when they sinned. When God clothed Adam and Eve in the garden before evicting them, he killed an animal and took the skin and clothed them. That was the first animal sacrifice used to cover their sin of disobedience. All mankind from there on out were born with a sinful nature. Still, God loved us.
The love that Yahuah has for his children is agape love. What kind of love is this agape love? Agape is a love that has at heart the best interests of the one loved. There is a strong moral element to agape in which love is an act of will involving faithfulness and commitment. One of my favorite parts of the Bible is the description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
5 does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
The first line of the next verse (8) says that love never ends. Some versions say love never fails. We as imperfect humans really have no way we could love as deeply as Yahuah does. But with his Spirit abiding in us then we can love one another as God does. God loves us, mankind, so much that he had a plan from the very beginning to redeem us, to close the gap that separates us because of sin in the world.
John 3:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
This then is love, that while we are yet sinners God provided a redeemer to be the sacrifice, the propitiation, atonement, expiation for our sins. See, only blood will pay for the sin and only the blood of a perfect man can be the atonement for the sins of humanity. God sent his Son who was born as a man, lived a perfect and sinless life then gave his life as the perfect atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind from the beginning to the end. Through believing in and accepting Yahshua’s sacrifice we will have that eternal life in paradise just as God originally willed for his creation, mankind. That is the depth of Yahuah’s love for us. When we accept this atoning sacrifice of his Son his Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, then the fruit of the Spirit of God will manifest in us. Only through his Spirit can we truly love. For God is love (1 John 4:8). When we have the love of God in our hearts, then we will be able to truly love others. The fruit of the spirit is God’s love made manifest in us.
Next time will be the fruit of joy. I was going to try and cover all the fruit of the Spirit, but, after writing this much on love, I think that one fruit per post will be a better way of doing this. Until then…
Be blessed with the love of God,