Love is the first of the Spirit’s fruit in the life of the believer. Love testifies to a believer’s new life and is the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling Presence. The presence of love in a new believer is a manifestation of the Spirit’s power and willingness to change a sinner in to a saint.
Love, like other spiritual fruit, differentiates the new creature/creation in Christ from the old creature/creation in Adam. The Lord Jesus says, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? and if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? The Lord says those things as He teaches what Biblical love is and or what Biblical love looks like. Before the above quote the Lord said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you…” He then says, we will be like our Father in Heaven and therefore like Him if we love as He loves. In other words, to love Biblically one would bless others, do good to others, and pray for others. This would include one’s neighbors, brethren, and enemies.
The Spirit would further manifest His Presence by the believer having a deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus and His Words, His Ways, and His Works. A loving loyalty will ripen as the believer learns more and more of and from the Lord. The believer will begin to adopt the ways of Christ; he will begin speaking like and or quoting Christ as Christ’s Words hold great weight with him and he will be zealous of good works as His Master is. He will look for opportunities to do good, he will look for people he can help. He will look for ways to be a blessing to others.
This new love will extend to the brethren. The new believer will look at other believers as family. He will prefer other believers above unbelievers. If this brotherly love is absent the professing believer is false. The Apostle John asks the question, ” How can you love God Who you haven’t seen and love not the brethren, who bear the image of God, that you do see? (paraphrased)
The new believer will also have great love for the Word of God as it was the means the Spirit used to bring the sinner to salvation. The Word of God will open a whole new world for the believer; it will color and change His world view. He will see the Scriptures as being his companion and guide. The Book will be seen as the closest one can come to the Physical and Living Christ.
Christ-ian love is the circumstantial evidence of the Indwelling Spirit of Christ. Without this love a person cannot be considered a true Christ-ian. Christ said that the world would recognize us as His by our love one for another. He further teaches that Christ-ians should love each other as He has loved His own. Love is the first-fruits of our salvation.
Paul says it best, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love] , I am nothing And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing.”