Editorial - ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love’, Gal. 5. 22
John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
‘The fruit of the Spirit is love’, Gal. 5. 22.
Evidence of spiritual life is paramount in any new Christian but you expect to see spiritual progress and development in every believer. None of us can be complacent.
One of the most fundamental aspects of a changed life at conversion is given in our text, ‘love’. In the world it is a quality that is often talked about but not often seen. The Lord said, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’, John 13. 35. Part of our testimony to the world should be the love that we display toward one another. Equally, it might be argued that many other fruits of the Spirit flow out from this first grace. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘Love suffers long’, 1 Cor. 13. 4 NKJV.
Love is a very practical thing. Picking out just a few of the fruits of the Spirit we can see how practical it is. To demonstrate longsuffering when under prolonged attack necessitates great love and patience towards the brother or sister who attacks you. To show gentleness and self-control when under extreme provocation is, perhaps, a stronger clue to the spiritual character of the provoked than any so-called ‘stand for the truth’. The issue is not whether we should ‘stand for the truth’ but how we ‘stand for the truth’. If we do not demonstrate all the truth of God in our manner of life, and in our handling of the word of God, then any appeal we make for its maintenance is little more than empty rhetoric.
Sadly, I fear it might be worse than that. ‘But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another’, Gal. 5. 15. It is difficult to imagine such activity, which mirrors that of the adversary, 1 Pet. 5. 8; Rev. 12. 4, among fellow believers and yet the Corinthian and Galatian Epistles provide ample evidence. Yes, the truth of God must be defended but even after addressing such a fundamental doctrine as the truth of the resurrection, which was denied by some in Corinth, the apostle addresses them thus, ‘my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast’, 1 Cor. 15. 58 [emphasis mine]. If we do not wish to contribute to the decline of Christian testimony then in our stand for the truth of God we all need to manifest this fundamental fruit of the Spirit – ‘love’!
The original aim of this magazine was to ‘encourage the study of the scriptures, the practice of New Testament Church principles, and interest in gospel work’. As we continue with that endeavour it is good to see writers prepared to support the work, providing expository, practical, heart-warming, and challenging ministry. May the Lord be pleased to use the magazine to the blessing of His people and for the furtherance of His work and to His glory!