A list of the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5:22-23 reveals love as the first and probably the most notable one. The New Testament speaks abundantly of God’s love for us and in turn, teaches us to love each other. This love which comes from God and is spread in our hearts by the Holy Spirit is not a natural quality found in humanity. This love transcends all human love. It is the perfect expression of a holy God whose intention is to create in man a character similar to his.
John 3:16 speaks to the fact that God so loved humanity that he gave his Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from the ravages of sin. This was done while the whole human race was the enemy of God (Rom.5:8). The love of God for us is totally selfless. We have done nothing to merit that wonderful love. It was God who made the first move to demonstrate his awesome love for us in such a tangible way (John 4:10).
God does not only show us his love; he gives us his love that we can have the capacity to love like him. The Holy Spirit spreads the love of God into our hearts (Rom.5:5). Every believer has been given the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and the capacity to truly love God and our fellow man. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated by obeying his teachings which include loving each other (John14:15,23; 1John 4:11). The Bible speaks of a love that ought to permeate every relationship of the believer. We are to extend the love of God to husband, wife, children, relatives, neighbors, countrymen, foreigners, the church, and even our enemies. Every believer should pursue a life of love as opposed to a life of self-centredness.
The subject of love is such an important one that the Apostle Paul wrote a whole chapter in the New Testament about it (1Cor.13). Paul’s instruction is that love should form the basis of all Christian action, thought, speech and motivation (1Cor.14:1).
Having love proves that we are children of God and that God is at work in our lives. Every believer who is serious about living for God will pursue a life that is filled with the love of God. He will be careful to remain in Christ who is the Vine, in order for him to bear the fruit of the Spirit – love (John 15:5).