Love is the first fruit mentioned in the “Fruit of the Spirit,” and rightfully so. Paul’s great treatise on love in 1 Corinthians 13 elevates love far above spiritual gifts. He says that unless our gifts are accompanied by love, the love of God and love for God, they are of no useful purpose, worthless.
The love that Paul refers to is uniquely Christian and a gift accompanied by the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is part and parcel of being born again. In Romans 5, he says that agape love has been “poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” The unregenerate heart does not have the Holy Spirit and, therefore, cannot know of this great love.
If we went by the world’s definition of love, it would be an emotional thing. The love that Paul refers to, agape love, is a God-thing. We accept by faith that He has poured it out into our hearts, and causes us to love His way. Sure, we can quench that love and grieve the Holy Spirit (many do!), and fail to demonstrate the fullness of that love. When that happens, the first thing to do is repent and reclaim the gift of love.
Do you think the Holy Spirit loves the Father and the Son? If you do, then an indication you have this love is an ever-growing adoration of God.
Do you think the Holy Spirit loves the Words of God? If you do, a reasonable expectation is that you love the Word of God, trust its truth, and rely on it as your roadmap of life.
Do you think the Holy Spirit loves people? If you do, another sign that He is living in you is a growing love and servant heart for others.
R.C. Sproul once said, “Sin, ultimately is a failure to love ordinately. Either we fail to love enough, as when we mistreat others, or we love too much, as when we elevate love of God’s gifts above love of God.”
“All you need is love,” the Beatles sang. Although they weren’t singing about the love given by the Holy Spirit, I want to use their idea and take it a step further. All you need is to give love to that which love is due — in the right way, and in the right proportion.
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5.5