Love can be a very interesting topic. In songs, books, movies, and social media, you will find different opinions and experiences about love. It is probably one of those topics that interest people the most. The Greeks define love in various types. Four of these types of love can be found in the Bible. There’s eros or romantic love; storge, or familial love; phileo, or brotherly love; agape, or unconditional love (the highest kind of love). You can find scriptures that mention love—the Greek words phileo and agape are specifically expressed, while eros and storge are merely implied. But we won’t be looking at each of their definitions as they will be discussed in their individual articles. We will be looking at the kind of love found in (Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,), the fruit of the Spirit that’s the first to be mentioned.
What kind of love does the fruit of the Holy Spirit bring? Here, Paul used the Greek word agape for the word love. He referred to unconditional love since this is the kind of love that only God can perfectly show. Man, with his sinful nature, is incapable of true unconditional love. When we love people, whether it’s through a romantic relationship, for family, or in friendship, there are always certain responses we expect from them. These conscious or subconscious conditions, if not met, normally cause a person’s love to dwindle or to eventually cease. A mother may lose love for a rebellious son, spouses may grow cold and apathetic toward each other from constant fights, or friendship bonds may be severed or become hostile due to unsettled differences. As limited beings, our concept and execution of love are also very much limited to only a certain degree.
In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul tells us that the works of the flesh are obvious—sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. When we allow the flesh to overcome our hearts, these things take fruit in us and hinder us from acting or responding in love toward others and, most of all, toward God. Immorality, jealousy, envy, and selfish ambition come out when we always look at our own desires and don’t see others with the eyes of love. We respond in hostility, rage, hatred, and division when we choose not to respond in love. Ultimately, we give in to all these fleshly acts because we don’t love God and allow ourselves to wallow in disobedience. Human beings are incapable of real love.
The good thing is that when we allow the Holy Spirit to change our perspective of love, we no longer have to be enslaved by the fruits of the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is love. It enables us to go beyond our limitations into a love that’s proactive and positively responsive, as in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”Now, our capacity to love God and people widens to the extent that we can love even our enemies. When the Spirit moves in a person’s heart, we see the amazing things that one can do because of love. We’ve seen and heard wonderful stories of restoration and forgiveness. Couples that used to be separated had remarried and had their relationship transformed by God for good. A broken and hostile relationship between father and son had been restored by forgiveness and love. There is even that powerful story of forgiveness and acceptance by a missionary in Latvia who adopted a young man and loved him even though the young man killed his own son. These testimonies are only a few of countless stories of what the Holy Spirit can do to a person’s heart.
This extraordinary kind of love reflects the character of our loving God. Despite our constant and grievous rebellion and betrayal against God, He never stops pursuing us. God’s love for us is so stubborn and relentless that Jesus had to come down from the comforts of heaven to suffer and die for us. It is not Judas, the Jews, or Pilate that put Jesus on that cross. His love for us put Him there and made Him endure the scorn and shame so that we don’t have to pay for the penalty of our sins. That is the kind of love by which the Holy Spirit empowers us to live. This love that He first demonstrated inspires us to love Him back and to also love others.
“ And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  We love him, because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:16,19 KJV)