His Fruit

The Love of the believer, toward the Father, Son, Spirit, fellow-believers and the lost is a gift from God, and is not the mere putting forth of the human will to obey God’s commands to love. The Law of Moses commanded love: “Love God with all your heart; and you neighbor as yourself.” But the Gospel directs us to lay down our lives for our fellow-Christians, and to share the Gospel at all sacrifice, even that of life itself.

We see in the Gospel an altogether different principle than that in the law. It is right that we should love our Father—we are His children, and we owe all to Him. It is right that we should be ready to share His benefits with our “neighbors.” But the Gospel speaks in a wholly different way. Beloved, if “He laid down His life for us—we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” And Paul, describing that “love of Christ,” which “constrained” him (Greek carried him along), says he judged that “one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him Who for their sakes died and rose again” (2Cor 5:14, 15).

Two things appear here: (1) Those who are in Christ died with Him. (2) Their life now in Him is to be lived unto Him, as a life of constraining love. They are regarded as freed from their old man in His death, and also, as filled with a consuming devotion to Him Who has thus redeemed them.

Now the Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer, is He who both sheds abroad in our hearts God’s love to us (Rom 5:5), and also gives that love, which is His direct working to all others. Unless we see that it is “the love of the Spirit” in us (Col 1:8; Rom 15:30), and let Him bear His own fruit in us (the first and the greatest of which is love, Gal 5:22), we shall get directly back in spirit under the law. The law simply said, “Love others as yourselves.” You see, the law told us to love, but did not supply the power to love. The Gospel shows us that its proper fruit is love, and tells us that the Lord Jesus, by the Holy Spirit in us, will love others through us. So we do not try, but yield and trust (yielding to God’s work of love avoids us trying to love out of our own power, and rightly so because it’s not the fruit “of” the believer but “in” the believer—NC).

Hence while we find love to be the fundamental and essential fruit of the Gospel, we find also with great joy that it is the blessed Holy Spirit, given freely unto the Father’s children, who “bears” (not produces—NC) that fruit. “The fruit of the Spirit is Love,” and our Lord has told us in John 15:8, that the Father is glorified in our “bearing much fruit.”

Abiding in the Lord Jesus above, walking by faith hourly in the Spirit, expecting the Father, Who “spared not His own Son,” to freely grant us to bear fruit—the great fruit of love—by that Spirit He has made to dwell in us, we shall find how He does “exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.”

“As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord (in child-like faith), so walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established by your faith . . . abounding in thanksgiving.” In short, it is not only faith in the doctrinal portion of Romans (chapters 1-11), but the glad surrender to the Father, the Author of all these great mercies, that gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to bring forth in us the fruit of our faith, which is preeminently, love.

Those who teach the doctrines only, without beseeching for full surrender of the life, bring believers into knowledge, but leaves them ineffective. Those who preach the need of surrender only, do not give believers the motive (“the mercies of God”) that brings about the fruit of faith. However, the walk after surrender is one of simple faith—faith that knows the Father, and drawn by the knowledge of His mercies, walks in love.

- Wm R Newell

Devotional by Miles J Stanford: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/