Fruit of the Spirit is Love (John #51)

Text: John 15:8-17

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love…

The word love is used for almost anything these days.  I love my dog.  I love ice cream.  I love baseball.  Love is also associated with certain feelings.  The poets and philosophers disagree on what love is.  They range in their descriptions from the highest heights to the lowest depths. Hollywood has taught us that love is an uncontrollable emotion that one can fall into, hence they “fell in love”.

It is the first fruit of the spirit.  It is the first and preeminent fruit the Lord wants to produce in his people.

Maintaining (vss 9-10)

  • Keep, continue, abide describe maintenance required to allow the fruit to grow
  • You can be saved and not love God.
    • Your love could have faded over time
    • Some circumstance could have caused your love to stop
    • Your love for God could never have been developed
  • Difficulties the disciples will face
    • Adversaries.  Adversaries would cause the disciples to wonder about the love of God.  Romans 8:31 If God be for us, who can be against us?
    • Necessities.  Need would cause the disciples to wonder about the love of God.  God gave us his Son, the greatest gift that he could possibly give.  God the Father would rather Jesus Christ die on a cross than to see a sinner go to Hell.  Now, what makes you think God wouldn’t provide for you everything you need?
    • Accusations.  Accusation would cause the disciples to wonder about the love of God.  It is God that justifieth.  Who could possibly bring an accusation against someone God has justified?
    • Condemnations.  Condemnation brings out in us the desire to defend ourselves.
    • Trouble brings questions about God’s love.
    • Physical separation brings question about God’s love.
  • Love doesn’t exist in a safe place.  Just like tending a garden, and tending to the fruit of the garden, you’ve got to make sure the weeds don’t choke the fruit.  Make sure there is the right nourishment to grow the fruit.  Make sure there is enough water.
    • Newfound love of the Lord is easy, sort of like a relationship.  You look past all the warning signs and ignore any obstacles.  But as time goes on and infatuation fades, you notice the things you overlooked.  You ask does that happen with Jesus Christ?  Yes it happens in your relationship with Jesus Christ and for some of you it’s tough to get back to where you were.
  • Iniquity shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold.  Because walls were not set up to protect and to keep iniquity out of their lives.
  • Temptation is the thing that draws you away from obedience

Motivating (vs 11)

  • The true desire and motive of God’s love is to bring joy
  • Because joy is a motivation of love, when you love someone:
    • You want to talk to them – these things have I spoken unto you...
    • You want to hear what they say
    • You want to be near them
    • You miss them when you are apart
    • You are not ashamed of them
    • You want to know everything about them

Measuring (vss 12-13)

  • To ask you if you love God as much as you should: The question is not do you love God as much as you should.  We are safe in generalities.  Oh, I know I don’t love Jesus Christ as much as I should.  That doesn’t mean anything.
  • Love measured by its sacrifice
  • Blueprints for love
    • Fruit after its kind.  Lemon tree reproduces lemons and that’s all it has ever or will ever produce.
    • Fruit has within itself the seed containing the blueprints to reproduce that fruit.
    • Source of love is the Lord 1 John 4:7-11
    • Jesus Christ modeled God’s love and then commanded us to do what he showed us how to do – 1 John 3:16, Ephesians 5:25
    • God doesn’t just say love, He tells you how so you don’t go away with the same delusions about love that you came with.
  • Nonexistent love – 1 John 2:15-16
    • Maybe nonexistent because it was never there.
    • Maybe nonexistent because your affections are focussed on something else.

Manifesting (vss 14-15)

  • Friends with God, enemies of the world.  Friendship with the world, enmity with God.  So the Lord Jesus Christ says, Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.
  • From now on, I call you friends because I’m going to let you know what I’m doing.

Mandating (vss 16-17)

  • Ordination is an appointment.  President appoints staff members.  You delegate and invest in them the responsibility of serving a particular function in a cabinet.  The Lord Jesus Christ says to his disciples I’ve ordained you to bring forth the fruit of the spirit.
  • With responsibility comes some authority to carry out that task.
    • He will first give them His Holy Spirit.
    • Second, the Lord makes the throne of grace available anytime, anywhere so that prayers can be made for the purpose of fruit bearing.
    • Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
  • Opportunity to ask
    • Prayer in religion is often an exercise, an obligation; religious maintenance
    • When the Lord Jesus Christ characterizes prayer he it is none of those things.
    • Prayer is asking.
    • Failures are prayer failures.
      • We stopped availing ourselves of God’s invitation to ask him.
      • Excuses in prayer – see prayer promises and say well those apply to someone else because we have no power with God; there is no effect with our prayer.
      • Ye have not because you ask not.
      • Maybe the motive was something other than bearing fruit.