Pristine Grace

Love
by Jim Byrd
Love

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).

    Love is as much a fruit of the Spirit as is faith (read Galatians 5:22-23).  Even as it is true that where there is no faith, there is no presence of the Spirit, so it is equally true that where there is an absence of love, there is the absence of the Spirit of Christ.  If I have been born from above, the Holy Spirit will produce love in me.

  1. LOVE FOR THE TRIUNE GOD.  I will love the perfections of the trinity, after all, it is written that “we love Him, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  The Father is loved who is set forth as the Author of redemption.  The God who chose a people unto salvation in Christ gave His Son to be “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2).  The Son is loved, for He is the Redeemer of His people, our Surety and Savior.  Christ died for our sins, was buried and arose again according to the Scriptures.  The Holy Spirit is loved for He has come to us in regenerating power and gifted us with repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  2. LOVE FOR THE FAMILY OF GOD.  These are my brothers and sisters in Christ, chosen in the same election of grace by our heavenly Father, redeemed by the same bloody sacrifice of our Savior and regenerated and effectually called to come by faith to the Lord Jesus by the same Holy Spirit.  The one true gospel is made effectual to all the Lord’s children.  We are all to enter into the same fair haven of rest someday.  “Beloved, let us love one another.”
     
  3. LOVE FOR ASSEMBLING WITH THE SAINTS.  Like David, all of the Lord’s children say, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).  The children of the Lord love to gather together for public worship and to fellowship with other believers.  
     
  4. LOVE FOR THE WORD OF GOD.  Of the scriptures we read, “more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).  The Word of God is the children’s bread.  “Great peace have they that love Thy law: and nothing shall offend” (Psalm 119:165).  Amidst the many storms and tempests of this world, there is a blessed peace that the Lord gives as He speaks to us from His Word of Truth.  How refreshing the gospel is to our souls.
     
  5. LOVE FOR PREACHERS OF THE GOSPEL.  We do not exalt them above measure, but we understand how vital the ministry of the Word of God is and therefore we love them for preaching the truth to us.  “How shall they hear without a preacher”(Romans 10:14).  “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).  We “esteem them (preachers) very highly in love for their work’s sake” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).  “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth” (Isaiah 52:7).