Chardon church of Christ

Sermons from the Chardon church of Christ

The Fruit of The Spirit - Love

Posted by Chardon in Galatians 5, 1 Corinthians 13

The Fruit of The Spirit - Love

Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 13

 

INTRO:

Good morning.   We have had some lessons on worship to God, what repentance is and about the ties that bind us.   Today I would like to start to look at the Fruit of the Spirit.

 

I want to encourage you to take out your Bibles and look at the scriptures I mention. If you have any questions about anything I say, I’ll be glad to talk to you about it. If I’m wrong, I will stand corrected.

 

We're going to begin in Galatians 5:22-23 – “22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

  1. gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Our sermon this morning is going to be a study on the fruit of the spirit, love.

Have you ever wondered; Why do you exist?   Just think about it for a moment.   We are alive.  The creator of the universe has chosen to give us existence.  Why?

Why are we here?

What's the purpose?

Why have you created me?

Why have you given me life?

What do you want from me?

 

In Matthew 22:37-39 – “37. Jesus said to him, " `You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38. "This is the first and great commandment. 39. "And the second is like it: `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” This is why you exist.  This is what God desires from you.

 

This is what we as Christians strive, throughout our life, to attain.   To reach the point in our relationship with God where we love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.  Then we strive in our relationship with people in the world around us to love our neighbor as we love our self.

 

In the text in Matthew we're talking about the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.   We realize these two commandments are also the very core, the very center of the new covenant of Christianity, the New Testament, and our relationship with God.

 

You hear the word love used repeatedly in songs, in poetry, and in the movies.   You hear the word love over and over again.   Yet it seems that in our world, where the word love is used so often, we don't understand what it is and the seriousness of it.

 

We have heard a multitude of sermons on this subject.   I ask you to listen attentively because, folks, this is what it's all about.  This is why we exist.   This is what God expects us to develop in our life, in our relationship with Him, and in our relationship with other people.

 

  1. Notice the importance of love in Colossians 3:14 – “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”    Then in 1st Corinthians 13:13 – “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  Notice that all these verses I have used so far, use superlatives.   The greatest commandment is love, above all things put on love, and the greatest of these is love.   It is the most important thing for us to develop in our life and since it's so important it would be nice if we knew what it was.

    1. We find that the word love is used many times in all kinds of songs.   We hear people using it in their everyday vocabulary.   Yet, I believe that there are people out there that don't know what it is or understand it.

      1. I thought about giving you the definition of love by going to a lexicon and a concordance, giving the definition of the words used for love but we have done that before.   Actually, the definition for love is found in the scriptures.
      2. It is in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 where we find love defined by God.   The way in which God defines love is by the things that it does and the things that it does not do.   How love is manifested in someone's heart and in their life.
      3. Let’s look at 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 – “4. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5. does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6. does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails.” You’ve probably read and heard these verses a number of times. In the richness of scripture God gives us even more information than this.
    2. I would like to look at another text where the Word of God helps us understand love.   We are going to look at the text dealing with the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit because in the works of the flesh and the list of the fruits of the Spirit we again can find a definition of what love is by its actions.
      1. Notice this if you will.   In First Corinthians 13:4 we have the first characteristic of love—it suffers long.  When we go to Galatians 5:22 where it talks about the fruit of the spirit, we find in the description of the fruit of the spirit, is its long suffering.
      2. Again, First Corinthians 13 for the very next definition of love is; love is kind.  When you go to the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22 the fruit of the spirit is kindness.
      3. First Corinthians 13:4 says love does not envy.   When you go to the works of the flesh over in Galatians 5:19-21 we find one of the works of the flesh is jealousy.
    3. Now when we look at the works of the flesh, I want us to realize that everything that is listed in the works of the flesh—that's not love.  It is the exact opposite of love.   Everything listed in the works of the flesh is the opposite of the definition of love.
      1. Look at this some more. First Corinthians 13:4 – “love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” and in verse 5 - does not seek its own. But when you go to the works of the flesh you find the one of the works of the flesh is selfish ambitions.   Do we see the opposites?   Love is not self-seeking it does not seek its own, but a work of the flesh is selfish ambition, the exact opposite.
      2. Again, we find in First Corinthians 13:5 that love does not behave rudely.   When we go over the Galatians 5 and listed in the works of the flesh are hatred and contentions.  
      3. First Corinthians 13:5 – Love is not provoked.  In Galatians we find one of the works of the flesh is outburst of wrath.  Again, the opposite.
      4. First Corinthians 13:5 says thinks no evil.   In Galatians we find in the works of the flesh hatred and jealousies.
      5. First Corinthians 13:6 – (love) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”. Go to the works of the flesh and we'll find listed among them; dissensions and heresies, people who get caught up in lies and false teaching.
      6. First Corinthians 13:7-8 – “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” When we look at the fruit of the spirit one of the fruits of the spirit is… faithfulness.
      7. By the way, notice again verse 13 in First Corinthians – “now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Faith, hope and love are the three motivators in the life of a Christian.
    4. If we want to know what love is, we read the text in First Corinthians 13. When we study the works of the flesh, we find that the work of the flesh is the exact opposite of love.
      1. I want to go a little further on that because remember in the works of the flesh, one of the works of the flesh was adultery and another one was fornication.
      2. A lot of times you can hear people say: “Oh we're in love!” when they're involved in fornication.   No, they are not, they are in lust.  Adultery is not love either, that's lust.
      3. Outbursts of wrath are not love, hatred is not love.  If we look at the works of the flesh every single one of them, that's not love.   Love is the opposite of them.
    5. God expects us to develop this characteristic in our hearts, in our life and our relationship with Him first, and then in our relationship with our fellow human beings. We should understand this is what it's all about.  This is the greatest commandment.  This is what we are to put on above all things.
  2. That being said let's go to First Peter 1:8 and get down to the application of love. First Peter 1:8 – “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” [ESV].
    1. In our relationships with each other we can see each other.   We can interact with each other. We can come to know each other by just talking with, interacting with and seeing.
    2. We have not seen God. How can we love a God we’ve never seen?
      1. I have a question for all of us. How do you feel about God? Please be honest. Answer that question in your own heart. How do you feel about your creator? Do you understand what it is He wants from you?
      2. He wants us to love Him and not just love Him, He wants us to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. He wants us to love him more than we love anyone. Total, complete love for him.
      3. How can we love someone that much when we’ve never seen them? You see we still link love with sight, don’t we?   We may say we love an animal because they are so cute, but to love our unseen God with an all consuming love?
    3. In First John 4:19 – “We love Him because He first loved us.” We realize the only way we're going to be able to get to that level of loving God, is going to be through faith.  That's right.  Our love for God is the strongest development of our faith.
      1. Remember what we learned earlier about faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love?  As I said. those are the motivators in the life of every Christian.

        1. Faith is dealing with things not seen.  We walk by faith not by sight.
        2. Hope is dealing with things not seen. We are hoping for eternal life in heaven which we have not seen and yet we believe in it to the point that we're rebuilding our entire life and all our actions around it.
  • The strongest development of something in our relationship with God, who we have not seen, is love.  Love is the strongest level of faith.
  1. You love Him because He first loved you.  How do we know He loves us? First John 4:16 says “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”  Look at this very slowly with me.

    1. We have known.
    2. And believed.
  • The love that God has for us.
  1. How do you know God loves you?   Do you believe the creator of the universe is conscious of you, the individual, the person, and knows you individually and loves you personally?
  2. That's a very important question to answer because if you are not conscious of His love for you, if you are not aware of the magnitude of His love for you, you will not love Him back, and you will struggle in your relationship with God.
  1. That's why we began this part of the lesson by asking the question: how do you feel about God?

    1. If we're struggling in that relationship, (and that's what this is all about you know, that's what our existence is all about, our relationship with God)... if we’re struggling, then we need to be trying to figure out what's wrong.
    2. Do you know and believe the love that God has for you?
    3. How do you know He loves you?
    4. First John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” This is how we know the love of God and the love of Christ.
  2. Let’s look at it this way. Which one of us would give a child of ours as a sacrifice for anyone here? I would go as far as to say I love many of you very deeply but I'm not giving my son or my daughter to die for you.
    1. We've heard it a thousand times.   We can all quote it. God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son. Don't let that wash over your heart and brain like water over a rock. Let it sink in. God knows us personally.
    2. He knows you individually and He loves you so much He gave His only son to die for you.
    3. What about us?   Would any of us die for another in this room?   Would we be willing to go out and be scourged and beaten and whipped?   Would we be willing to be crucified and be tortured for six hours on a cross for someone here?
    4. Jesus does love you that much.   He was scourged.  He accepted every stroke of the whip, because He loves you.
  3. Paul says in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,…”[para]
    1. Notice the last part of the verse, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    2. What Paul is doing is individualizing the love of God, coming to know and believe the magnitude of the love of God in Christ for you.
    3. When we know, when we believe; - we realize, that was done for me!   He loves me that much!  He made that sacrifice and went through all that suffering for me.
    4. As we become conscious by faith of who Jesus is and what happened at Calvary, what will be developing in our heart will be love.
    5. We will find ourselves loving God, whom we've never seen, because we know and believe the magnitude of the love He has for us.
    6. We will find ourselves loving a savior whom we've never laid eyes on because we have come to know and believe the sacrifice that He made.   That is personal, individualized, love of God and Christ for us and we believe it, we know it.
  • Let’s look at Luke 7:47 – “Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  I wanted to look at this verse because I believe this is another reason why we love God whom we have not seen.   It has to do with our consciousness of forgiveness.   The reason Christ died for us, motivated by His love for us, is because He understood that sin was separating us from God.

    1. As long as that situation continued, we would have no hope of being with Him in heaven.  Is there anybody here who is not conscious of this reality?   We are sinners and left on our own we are lost.

      1. When the judgment day comes and we know it is coming, if every one of us got what we deserved we would have no hope of being with God.
      2. Is there anybody here this morning who can say I have only been forgiven a little? No.   The truth of the matter is, we have all been forgiven much.
      3. Consciousness of forgiveness and the magnitude of that forgiveness produces love.
    2. The two things for us to see in this part of the sermon is first; know the love of God for you and the sacrifice of Christ.   Be aware of the blessings of life that are given to us by God, because He loves us, but also at the same time in our relationship with God - be conscious of forgiveness.
      1. Be conscious of the sins that you and I have committed. They have been removed by the power of the blood of Christ and we stand before Him forgiven.
      2. I don't know what else to say to Him on the Day of Judgment other than thank you and I sure do appreciate it.
      3. The more I am aware of what the magnitude of this is… the more I find myself loving somebody I’ve never laid eyes on. Yet it is not enough to just have an appreciation of God and what He does, is it?
    3. God wants a perfect relationship, a total, absolute love, with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. When that is true then in our day to day living you can see a manifestation of our relationship with God.
      1. First John 2:5 says; “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” Actions tell what's in our heart.   We can tell what kind of relationship we have with God by the way we speak and the way we live.   If we really love Him, we're going to want to live a life pleasing to Him.  

        1. We all understand that in the relationship of husbands and wives.   If you love someone you want to live a life pleasing to them.
        2. In our relationship with God, if we really love Him, we'll keep His commandments.   You don't want to harm the relationship.  You don't want to be separated from Him.  You want to be with Him.
        3. If we want to be with Him that sort of brings up the question; what's heaven?
        4. Let me give a good definition of heaven.  Heaven is being with God.  I don't care where it is. I don't care what it looks like.  I just want to be with Him.  That's what heaven is.   Wherever He is, is heaven.
      2. One of the spiritual health checkup questions we ask ourselves is; what kind of relationship do I have with my creator?   Understand this is why we exist.  This is why we are alive.  This is what we are expected to attain to in our existence.
    4. First John 4:11-12 – “11. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.” What is John talking about here? He is talking about the brethren. Remember what we learned earlier. The second command is likened to the first and it is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.   When we're dealing with the commands of God, the majority the commands are dealing with our interaction with other human beings.
      1. Thinking back to the Old Testament and the list of the Ten Commandments the first few of the commandments are dealing with our relationship with God, but the last ones are dealing with our relationship with people.   When we love one another, we are showing our love for God.
      2. As a matter of fact, if you continue First John 4:20-21 – “20. If someone says, "I love God,'' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21. And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
        1. We see each other, we interact with each other.   If we do not come to the point where we love each other, the truth of the matter is we really don't love God either.   Learn to honestly love people.
        2. God loves everybody.  He loves you. He loves the vilest sinner so much that He gave His son to die for him.
        3. Jesus loves the most despicable person we could ever meet.  Learn to love our fellow human beings.

 

CONCLUSION:

Again, in First Corinthians 13:4-8 – “4. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5. does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6. does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails.”

Learn how not to think evil and how not to live with pride.

Learn how to rejoice in the truth and be glad when people obey the gospel.

Learn how to be patient with people; bearing all things believing all things enduring all things.  

 

Take the text and learn to live it in your relationship with everybody not just your mother and your father, your sons and your daughters—everybody.  That's the second great commandment.

 

First John 5:1-2 – “1. Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begat also loves him who is begotten of Him.

  1. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.” There it is again.   We're dealing with our relationship with each other by this we know that we love the children of God (how?) when we love God and (there it is) keep His Commandments.

When we're keeping His commandments, they're not chains to keep us from enjoying life. They teach us what real love is. - As I told you earlier, the word love is used all the time by people in the world who haven't got a clue what it really is.   Come to understand from the Scriptures what love is, and above all things… put it on.

 

The last verse we will look at is First John chapter 3:17-18 – “17. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

Verse 18 is putting it as clearly as it can be put, getting down to what we call the brass tacks of the application of love. We come in contact with a brother, or sister and they have no food. They’re in need and we do nothing.  We pass by on the other side.

When we do that, we don't love them, and we don’t love God.  Understand both of those are true.   When we pass by on the other side what we are saying is I don't care about you, but at the deeper level we don't care about God, the one who gives them life.

 

If we're really going to come to love God and love our neighbors as we love our self, we must stop passing by on the other side.   It's not just enough to say I love you.   I hope things work out.

 

Notice the last part of this verse let us not love in word or tongue.   That is the way the world looks at love, it is something you say.   Oh, yeah, I really care about you. Oh, that’s really bad.  Hope things work out. Bye. I gotta go.

 

He says let it be in deed, there's the action, and in truth. Let it be real!  Have we reached the level of loving God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our minds?

No.

Have we reached the level of loving our neighbors as we love our self?

No.

We spend all our life working to put this on.

 

The truth of the matter is every time we sin, every time, we are showing our lack of love for God and our lack of love for our fellow human beings.

Let me tell you something. Do you know there is going to come a time in your existence when you will reach the level of love that God desires of you?

 

Do you know where that's going to be? That's what heaven's all about.

In heaven you will love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind in a perfect relationship of love with God our creator and you will come to love everyone around you perfectly.

 

Does that surprise us?   There will come a time, and as a matter of fact, think about this, it's going to be the majority, the major part of your existence, where you will have reached the fulfillment of the primary command of learning to love.   But on this side of eternity what God wants us to do is to strive above all things to put it on, realizing it is the greatest, it is the primary thing, as to why God gives us life.   It is the first of the fruits of the spirit.

 

There may be somebody here this morning who hasn't obeyed the gospel of Christ.

If you believe Jesus is the Son of God and you're willing to confess your faith and repent of your sins we'd be glad to assist you and baptize for the remission of your sins as you put off the old man and put on the new man.  

 

As you put on a new man who you're putting on is Christ who lived the life of love perfectly. His love for God was perfect. His love for mankind was perfect.  What we do is we look to that example and we strive to learn to love God and love our fellow human beings.   That's what you're putting on above all things.

 

If you’re a child of God already and you find you are no longer being described in the way love is defined, the fruit of the spirit no longer describes you in your relationship with God and your fellow man; we would like to encourage you to make a change.   We would like to encourage you to start focusing at the very core of your relationship, coming to know and believe the love God has for you, coming to be conscious and aware of how much you have been forgiven, and then motivated by your love for God, keep His commandments, and learn to love your fellow human beings.

 

If a sin is standing between you and God, we'll be glad to pray for you to pray with you to do the very best we can to encourage you.

If anyone subject of the gospel call, in any way, let us know always stand and sing the song that’s been selected

 

Invitation song: ???

Reference sermon by: Wayne Fancher

 

 

 

 

      

 

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