Love Joy and Peace

Love, Joy, and Peace (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Fruit of the Spirit is formed in us through the working of the life of Christ within us, through the Holy Spirit flowing out from our reborn spirit. This fruit of holiness is formed by the initiative and grace of God, but our co-operation is necessary. God works in us both (1) to will and (2) to work His good pleasure. He (1) forms the attitude of Christ in our soul, and then (2) empowers us to act accordingly, so that we bear fruit in our life. We must (1) receive His love into our heart, which changes our inner motivations, and then (2) release that love in our life, by yielding to it through loving words and acts (obedience). In this way, by our obedience, we work out His salvation (saving life) into our soul and life, which God has already worked within our spirit (Philippians 2:12-13). God continually pours out His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit, enabling us to love God and others (Romans 5:5), and when we yield to that love by obeying His command to walk in love, the fruit of love grows and is developed in our soul (John 15:9-10). In this way, although we are not constrained by an outward law, we are constrained by the love of Christ working within us, causing us to no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ, who loved us (2Corinthians 5:14). We make a special study of "love, joy and peace", describing the wonderful nature of these realities that only the Holy Spirit can produce in our us - see also Romans 14:17: "The Kingdom of God is righteousness (love) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Love is rightly mentioned first, as love (agape) summarises the perfect moral nature of God, and is therefore the ultimate requirement and fulfilment of the Law. All the other 8 flavours can be seen as different aspects of love (see 1Corinthians 13:4-8,13).

19 Sep 2022

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