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Without love - nothing!

‘If I do not have love’, Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, ‘I am nothing’ (1 Corinthians 13.2). He did not view its acquisition as an optional activity but the bedrock foundation of the Christian life — an absolute necessity. Not surprisingly, when he is describing what the transforming power of the Holy Spirit will look like in practice, he lists a string of qualities which each depend on and flow out of the greatest characteristic of godliness — love.

Notes to Growing Christians David Jackman

Chief manifestation

Take a moment to think about this pen-portrait of the growing Christian, from Galatians 5.22-23. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ At first, this might look like a string of pearls, or a collection of different qualities needing to be added separately to our character. But the best way to understand the verse is perhaps to recognise ‘the fruit of the Spirit is love’ — and the way that love will manifest itself is in the joy, peace, patience and so on, which are its expression in our daily lives and relationships, first with God, then with one another in God’s family and with the watching world.