The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

About Love and Fruit (PDF) PDF version

About Love and Fruit

When asked, I found it difficult to say what love actually is. It was much easier for me to describe love.

God is love and He cannot be seen. But we know of His existence. The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made (Romans 1:20). It is therefore possible to see God’s love when we look around us, the flowers, the plants and the trees that He created in all their diversity. We find them all over the world, they provide food for us, we can build houses of wood, we can enjoy them and we can just marvel about them as we observe the changes in the seasons. And we haven’t even mentioned any of the animals that God created.

The film “Love actually“ shows in different episodes relationships between people and the kind of love they experience for one another. It’s about the way they treat each other because they love.

So, how does it manifest when I love someone? I am happy to see the other, to be with him, gladly do him a favor, tell him nice things, get him a present and rejoice when he rejoices.

God is love. What did He do to show His love to us? The Bible tells us in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The outstanding fact in this verse is for me that God loved the people so much that He gave. We, you and me, were lost. God wanted to rescue us because we would have been eternally lost otherwise. Likewise it is with our relationships towards other people:

It’s not about us, it’s about the other one. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12 that we should know that God gives His children of His Spirit, that it is possible and vital to manifest this gift in every day life. He continues to say in 1 Corinthians 13:1 that if I speak in the tongues of angels but don’t love, I am nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

I don’t know about you, but at least for me this seems rather challenging. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul lays out the excellent way, the best way of all, for exercising the gifts of the Spirit. The gist of it is: Let’s do it with God’s love. The necessity and importance of it is that we all need love.

The good thing is that Paul didn’t leave the Corinthians alone, letting them figure out what he could have meant by that and then doing it their way. They had already been living their “Christian” lives their way and Paul was not pleased at all with the result. Paul understood that the Corinthians needed to grow in expressing their love in caring for the body of Christ. That’s why he gave them a description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

The nine characteristics of love we find are: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, good temper, guilelessness, and sincerity. These nine characteristics or expressions of love communicate love of one human being to another regardless of background. No one will naturally express his love in all these ways, of course. Some people are patient and kind by nature, but they lack humility. We all need God’s help to love His way. The good thing is that He already did His part to help us by shedding His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us (Romans 5:5). This kind of love is not limited in any way. So we can give it away freely and abundantly without fearing to run out of it.

Very often the Bible relates to Christians as to trees. We find an example for this in Psalm 1:1-3:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

I would love to be like a tree planted by the river that gives fruit. I was always wondering how to bring forth fruit in my life. For much of my life I focused on the gifts of the Spirit rather than the fruit. When you plant a tree, eventually fruit is expected. And you know what kind of fruit to expect when you plant a cherry tree. God sowed Christ and He reaps Christians.

God says in His Word that everything should bring forth fruit after its kind (Genesis 1:11). So what did God sow into us? Let the following verses speak to you:

Matthew 13:23 (the parable of the sower and the seed):
”But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Ephesians 1:13
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”

1 Peter 1:23
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”

John 15:8
“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

No doubt God wants us to be fruitful. In the Gospel of John we find that chapter 15 is all about how we can actually be fruitful. The main thing is to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ because He is the vine and we are the branches. THEN we will bring fruit.

Let me summarize what you read in this article so far: God loves us. He showed His love towards us by giving His Son. Love is about how we treat someone. It’s not about us, but about the others. The apostle Paul outlines the best way how to exercise Spiritual gifts – with God’s love. This way seems impossible but it is possible because God poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit so that we have a source for His love; from God through us to others. God wants us to have a fruitful life. Jesus Christ is the Vine, we are the branches. When we stay connected with Him we will bring forth fruit.

Now that we learnt all that, what kind of fruit should we expect? God’s Word clearly states the answer for us in Galatians 5:22-23:

Galatians 5:22-23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ”

I was almost shocked to see how this passage about the fruit of the Spirit corresponds to the characteristics of love.

I encourage you to write down the nine characteristics of love that we saw in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 next to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Prayerfully review them, examine your love and allow God to show you where you can improve to grow more and more in His love.


Remember that

- The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

- Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:33).

Andrea Kioulachoglou