Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday, 1/8/12 -- Love: The Outflow of God’s Grace

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heart treeSERIES: Stop Doing and Start Growing

TEXT: Peter 3:18; Galatians 5:22

TITLE: Love: The Outflow of God’s Grace



· “Grow in grace” – What is GRACE = the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life

· The Fruit of the Spirit listed here in Gal 5:22-23 are what is known as the Graces of the Spirit.

· There is a different from the:

o Gift of the Spirit (Salvation): Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

o GiftS of the Spirit (Service): mention in 1 Cor. 12 – the diversities of gifts and abilities to be used within the body of Christ.

o Graces of the Spirit (Christian Character) : Galatians 5:22-23

· Before we talk specifically about the first fruit, notice the wording in 5:22.

o “Is” –The word “fruit” is singular, indicating that these qualities constitute a unity, all of which should be found in a believer who lives under the control of the Spirit. In an ultimate sense this “fruit” is simply the life of Christ lived out in a Christian.[1]

· Possibly “singular” because it is produced by a singular seed: Holy Spirit.

o EX: Apple tree=apple seed – Peach tree= peach seeds.

· It can be said that the first fruit listed, Love, is the primary and foundational fruit, and from it STEM and GROW all others.

o Love:

o What is listed in 5:22-23 are NOT several spiritual fruits that are to be collected, but a single fruit of the Christian life.

· Paul’s other writings seem to back up this idea that love is the primary fruit and from which stem all others.

o 1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (agape), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

· So then, what does the Bible mean when it says LOVE?

o It is not the sensual love thought of by most of society today.

o The Gk word used here is agapē, agapaō, which means love, or love feast.

o It is the most common word used in the NT for love.

o This is one of the least frequent words in classical Greek, where it expresses, on the few occasions it occurs, that highest and noblest form of love which sees something infinitely precious in its object.[2]

· It is a divine, self-sacrificing, self-giving love.

o It has been said that the early church took this rarely used word for love – agape – and infused it with new meaning to describe God’s special love.


· Knowing how God loves us will help us to learn how we are to love.

a. His Love is the Source

i. To understand that God is the source of love, it will help to go back to 5:13-15.

ii. A misunderstanding of liberty causes Christians to live a life of self-indulgence.

iii. True liberty is the not the ability to do whatever we want, but to live the life that God has created us to live for Him.

            1.  EX: Fish out of water – not liberty, but death.

iv. 5:16-21 - The flesh, or our old sin nature, produces works of the flesh.

v. There is a difference between “works” in 5:19 and “fruit” in 5:22.

          1. Works are manufacture, like in a machine.

          2. Fruit is something that is grown.

          3. Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

vi. But when we tap into the power source of God, washed in the blood of Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit, God produces fruit within us and through us.

vii. This is what John 15 (Vine/Branch) is all about.

       1. W/Out Him, we can do NOTHING!

       2. No fruit, no root.

       3. But if there is a root, then there should be some spiritual fruit. This is contrary to the “Easy-Believism” that permeates Christianity today.

        4. James (Wed night) is a good book that teaches the biblical truth of fruit, or works, following our conversion.

viii. John 15 shows us that our spiritual fruit should grow and grow from “fruit, to more fruit, to much fruit.”

ix. McGee - He wants us to bear much fruit. Now the fruit is produced by the Lord Jesus using the Spirit of God in our lives. He wants to live His life through us. That is the reason I keep saying that you are never asked to live the Christian life. You are asked to let Him live through you. No believer can live the Christian life himself. The old nature cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit.[3]

x. Branches don’t WORK UP fruit; they just produce it because the source of power flows it through them.

b. His Love is Sacrificial

i. God is love and loves the world

       1. 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

       2. John 3:16

ii. Such self-sacrificing love that sent Christ to die for sinners is the kind of love that believers who are Spirit-controlled manifest.[4]


a. To Himself

i. Matthew 22:15–22 15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? 19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? 21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. 22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

ii. Love is God’s, and comes to us from God, for He is the creator and owner of it. Therefore, we love God by giving back to Him what is already His.

iii. What we give, and what we give to, shows what source our love comes from.

      1. If work…family…hobbies, etc. come first, then God is not the source of our love.

      2. But when God is first and foremost in our life, then we know that God is the source of that love.

iv. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

v. The only reason we have the ability and desire to love God is because He first loved us!

b. To Others

i. We love God first, and then to others for His sake.

ii. We are to use the liberty we have in Christ, not for our own wants and benefits, but to serve others in love.

iii. 1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

iv. The gifts of the Spirit that I mentioned at the beginning of the message are for the benefit of the body of Christ.

v. The grace of the Spirit, and love in particular, are the collective attitude that is needed to perform these gifts.

vi. It is possible to exercise your Gifts of the Spirit without exercising the Grace of the Spirit.

vii. A bad spirit, attitude (anger, harshness, unforgiving, verbally hurtful, etc.) WHILE TRYING TO SERVE GOD is a great indicator that something is not right spiritually.


God is love; He is the source of all love. And His love is a sacrificial love.

Do we exhibit love that flows from God, through us, to others?

[1] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[2] Wood, D. R. W., & Marshall, I. H. (1996). New Bible dictionary (3rd ed.) (701). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.

[3] McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 46: Thru the Bible commentary: The Epistles (Galatians) (electronic ed.). Thru the Bible commentary (101–102). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ga 5:22–23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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