Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | June 29, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit: Love and Joy

Love is the first of the fruit of the Spirit, the one trait of God that exemplifies His character. Research shows us that the word rendered love is agape in the Greek, which in the Christian context refers to unconditional love.The word love appears 319 times in the Old Testament and 232 times in the New Testament (NIV Bible). So when you total that, the number comes to roughly 551 times throughout all 66 books of the bible. 1 John 4:8 says He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Its safe to say that since God is love, he would require us to exhibit love as a Christian. Love is a central theme that runs throughout the Bible. One scripture that comes to mind that stands out amongst all other scriptures in the Bible is Mark 12:28-31

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Clearly, according to this scripture there is only ONE God! That’s easy to see. We are then commanded by the teachings of Jesus to love God with your entire being (heart, soul, mind & strength). Then Jesus puts a twist to this teachings. After you exhibit this love for God, you are then to love your neighbor as you love yourself. So in essence, if you can love God (whom you cant see) you need to go ahead and love the person sitting right next to you whom you CAN see. Praise our God! When you love your neighbor you should not exclude anyone or any group because of social status, a supposed character fault, religious difference, racial difference, ethnic difference, citizenship difference, etc. We can see now why those who are Holy Ghost filled are commanded to turn their love for God into that unconditional love for your neighbor. Further research of the love God wants for us can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (The Message Bible)

Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
   Love doesn’t strut,
   Doesn’t have a swelled head,
   Doesn’t force itself on others,
   Isn’t always “me first,”
   Doesn’t fly off the handle,
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

Today, lets all pray that we put into action the Love that only God can give. This will make us a better and effective Christian.

“The Greek word for ‘joy’ is chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for ‘grace.’ This is important to note, for it tells us categorically that chara is produced by charis of God. This means ‘joy’ isn’t a human-based happiness that comes and goes…Rather, true ‘joy’ is divine in origin…it is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 1:6, the Thessalonians were under great stress due to persecution; yet in the midst of it all, they continued to experience great joy. In fact the Greek strongly implies that their supernatural joy was due to the Holy Spirit working in them. Paul even called it the “joy of the Holy Ghost.”

Joy is mentioned 165 times in the bible. In my research, I found that JOY and the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit) is mentioned together 4 times (Acts 13:52; Romans 14:17; Romans 15:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Having the Holy Ghost in our lives is the secret of happiness. The Holy Ghost provides us direction and encouragement to be in right standing with God. Without the Holy Ghost in our lives we are left to our own devices that result in sin and ultimately death. The Holy Ghost in us helps us to stay in right standing with God. By being in right standing with God (to be righteous) we can have peace and joy in our lives (Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”).

Joy in simple terms is happiness. Not depression, oppression, sadness and hanging your head down low as if “no one knows the trouble your going through”. Instead, God wants us to have JOY (happiness) and only true joy comes from the Holy Ghost (do you see why its important to be Holy Ghost filled now). Joy cannot come from being in a relationship, having fancy cars, a pretty house to live in. No no, the Joy of the Holy Ghost (which as we learned above is NOT a human based happiness). Its literally supernatural. God knew that there life’s trials and tribulations would cause one to be unhappy at times, that’s why he wants us to cultivate His joy (the joy of the Lord) which strengthens us in time of trouble.

No more do I have to sit here and be depressed and upset about the monkey wrenches life throws my way. Instead I can have JOY unspeakable. In conclusion, take the joy of the Lord today and put it into action into your life today for indeed, the joy of the Lord is your strength!



  1. The lord has lead me to teach in the fruit of the Spirit in this season as well. great lesson, God Bless.


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