Transcript based on a Sermon given 25 April 2009

Fruit Of The Spirit - Love

by Jon Bowles


The last time I spoke I mentioned about doing a series on the 'fruit' of the Spirit, and I stressed 'fruit' of the Spirit - singular - because once the Spirit of God is there all the fruit will be there. It's not just love, just joy, just peace, and so on. It is the whole gamut that should actually be there.

Turn over to Galatians 5 and verse 16:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh [so if we are being led by the very Spirit of God, then that's the way we can overcome the lusts of the flesh]. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit [notice that, if you are led by the Spirit, there's your key], ye are not under the law." (Galatians 5:16-18)

The law has no effect on you. Why? Because you are going in the direction of God's mind. God's mind is then leading you, because it is the very Spirit of God, the very mind of God that is there. If we are led in the direction of God's mind, we will do things the way God does them, the way God looks at them, the way God acts. And that is the way to overcome, that is the way to put righteousness in.

If you are led by the Spirit, then you are not under the law. You do not have to worry continually about the law taking its effect on us, because we're going God's way. And if we are indeed going God's way, the law wouldn't apply, it wouldn't therefore come down on us. In Galatians 5:22:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is [then he lists several qualities. It's one single fruit, it's the product of this Spirit, of being led by this Spirit, and you can then see things in our lives that are actually taking place:] love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

In other words, if you are flowing in that direction, you are not going to have a law over you, because there is no law against these things. Is there any law against being joyful? Any law against being loving? That is not the case.

So, the fruit of the Spirit is a crucial area. What I want to do today is deal with one of the characteristics, the first one - which is love, which is greater than all. I'll take the entire sermon to do this. I'm not going to be able to take an entire sermon for each one of these, I'll combine some of them together, but nevertheless, this one certainly needs a complete sermon. It is Agape. Agape is different from the word in English that we find as love. If it's not there, whatever we have, we have got basically nothing. So the areas I want to go into today:

Agape as God's Lifestyle (PLAY FROM 05:01)

Really this agape love is a fruit, and as I brought out last week, it's a fruit of the tree of life . It's goes right the way back to the very beginning, and the very tree of life itself. It is the very mind of God. It is part of the abundant life that we are to enjoy. As Mr Armstrong wrote in that article β€˜This Is The Life! Real Abundant Living’ That is what he's talking about. He's talking about the way of God, the mind of God.

So let's have a look at this concept regarding agape being God's lifestyle. Let's start in the very beginning which is John 1 and just read it again, and do what Mr Armstrong, if he was looking at this subject would do. He would go back to the beginning. Most of the sermon that he would give would be trying to lay the bedrock, lay the foundation there of what it is we find ourself in.

We go back to the beginning and we see a God who created all things, who has a certain mindset. His is the mindset of a Creator. He created this world for us to live in. He created a world which is fascinatingly interesting. You can learn for the rest of your life, and you will never learn a fraction of one-thousandth or millionth of one-percent of what there is to learn. We have no concept, even of when you go out in outer space, what is out there, and how it all fits together. Yet here we find in John chapter 1:1:

"In the beginning was the Word [the Logos and it says], and the Word [or the Logos] was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

So here are two individuals. Mr Armstrong says; "How can you imagine somebody who has never had a beginning? Well, don't let your mind go back there because we can't really think like that." The only way I can get my head around it at all is to say; "Well, the Word and God the Father were there when time was created." But how do you get 'when' there is no 'when'? But you know that's as near as I can get. When time came into being, when matter, and space, and everything that we understand came into being, there were these two individuals.

The thing that Mr Armstrong brings out continually when he deals with this subject is; they were living, but how were they living? They were living according to a certain way of life. That way of life was a way of love. It was the way of agape. The character, the way that they lived was a way of outgoing concern. They were Creators, and we are to become like our parents, like our Father. It says here in John 1:2:

"The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:2-3)

Which is why I say that time must have been made, must have been created. We live in a world with time here. By the time I get to the end of this sermon, what's happened to the bit of time when I've been talking. Think about travelling - we flew from Manchester Airport. Where has that bit of our life gone? We are going to go across to California and yet it's not here yet. Time is our existence.

"All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life..." (John 1:3-4)

That tree of life that we are now being given an opportunity to be part of, to actually imbibe in, to have that very Spirit of God guiding us and leading us - they had it, that was their very 'breath'. All the things we find in existence right now, all that has been created has come from presumably this 'breath' that they shared.

How? How do you get the atoms and molecules out of that? I really don't know. But in the very beginning, right from the word go, there was this lifestyle. That's why this subject is so vitally important. This subject is beyond importance. It is the lifestyle of the very Creator God Himself. That God Himself, being two individuals, clearly two individuals. Christ said; "...not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). You can't have two wills unless you have two individuals, but they shared life right from the very start of time.

This light that Christ had when He came down here: the very word 'Christ' means the Anointed One. He was anointed with this Spirit, with the same kind of attitude and mind, the same kind of agape love.

"And the light shineth in darkness [because the world that we have now is going in a different direction]; and the darkness [just couldn't grasp it]." (John 1:5 paraphrased)

That is the essence when we are looking this subject of the lifestyle of God. It is the Creator's mind. When you think of it, the Creator is giving continually. He has created this for us to live in. He has not created something that is bad and evil. It is something that is good and right, yet there is a balance there - a balance to teaching us lessons as well. Notice John 3:34:

"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him [so here is the Spirit of God being given to Christ, the Anointed One without measure, what was the result of that?]. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." (John 3:34-35)

The love of God the Father towards the Son. This is the way they had lived from eternity. It was a way of love, it is the way of agape love, of this outgoing concern. Turn over to John 5:19 and he mentions here:

"Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise [the two of them are the same kind of Being, the two of them are God collectively, they are part of the same family]. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." (John 5:19-20)

So again, the love between the Father and the Son, between the Word and between God in the very beginning, this is their lifestyle. This is their way of life. If you turn over to John 10:10, I want you to notice what it says here in this passage that deals with the abundant lifestyle that these two individuals enjoyed, because it contrasts it with another way of life that we find in the world today:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." (John 10:10)

In other words, it's the way of get . It's the way of grabbing everything for themselves without concern for anybody they are stealing from. If it were to happen here, the thief would come just to steal, kill, destroy, without any kind of regard to what harm he is doing, without any regard to the mayhem that was being caused. But Christ says:

"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Do you see the way of give, and the way of get in there? The two are being contrasted. One is the way of man, the normal, natural human mind led by Satan, and the other is the Way of God Himself and Christ that they lived right from eternity. One is the way of give, the other is the way of get. One is the Way of the fruit of the tree of life, because; "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). And the other is the knowledge of the tree of good and evil that you take for yourself, that you grab for yourself. It's all incoming, it's a different way of life completely.

When we turn over to Acts 17:22, and we look at what Paul said to the Athenians in describing this Unknown God, he gets to the very crux, and the heart and the core of the matter, and as we see here:

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. [very religious, as it literally means] For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, [that's the One I'm going to tell you about, and he starts to explain something about this Unknown God, this Being that in fact is having a relationship with you, with me, and with the Church]. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;" (Acts 17:22-25)

That's the essence of this Being. This Being is agape. He is giving. He is THE Creator. The One whose mindset is away from self, because that's what He is. Everything that He does is away from self. You can give things away and not have this character, but it is not the way of God. The way of God is outgoing. It is for the benefit of others. He has got His mind on the one He is giving to. It's not just giving to placate ourselves. You can give and be selfish about it. You can actually give because that makes you feel better. As it says; "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [this character], it profiteth me nothing." (I Corinthians 13:3) That is not what's being talked about here. It is giving in a sense to help. As it says in Acts 17:25:

"Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;" (Acts 17:25)

Everything comes and flows from this Being. This is why when we go over to I John 4:8, we find here that God is actually summed up by this word agape. The very Creator's Mind as it says here:

"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love [agape]." (I John 4:8)

That is how you can sum up this Being. So when you are looking at the agape as being one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, it is summing up what God is. It says in I John 4:16:

"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us [or the literal translation, the love that has God in us]. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (I John 4:16)

The very Spirit of God leading an individual in a certain direction which is the way of this outgoing character as a son or a daughter. Again, it is a fruit of the very tree of life itself.

If we go back and just have a look in Romans 8:28, we then start to see how this character, this lifestyle of God then comes across in the way in which God deals with us on an individual basis. It's not just that He's made everything, He's made it for a purpose, and He has made it for that purpose in which we have a part. And therefore as it says here:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

So He is working with this select group. He is working with a group of individuals, and He is going to make sure that whatever happens to those individuals will work to the best. Even though at the time - many times - it doesn't look that way at all. As I say, this is not love the way the English word is, this is agape. Agape is a continual, unreserved, outgoing nature: a character. It is what He is, the way He will always exist.

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified [He made righteous, it is justified in the sense of forgiving past sins by the blood of Christ, and it is also made just, made righteous, by the Living Christ, by the leadership of the very Spirit of God from that point forward]: and whom he justified, them he also glorified [so that's the ultimate destination]. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:30-32)

Everything! Again, this Creator Being with this characteristic, with this mindset, His whole plan is there to give everything to us, to human beings, to give. That's the way He is, to be outgoing.

"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ [this character, this lifestyle]? shall tribulation, [the trials, the difficulties we go through] or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword [Can anything like that separate us from this]? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us [because that's the character that He has]. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," (Romans 8:33-38)

You think about Paul, you think about the difficulties he went through; "Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; [and all the various things]" (II Corinthians 11:25-28). I remember sailing from Italy across to North Africa one time, and I remember looking over the bow of the ship and seeing the dolphins playing in the wake, and thinking, the apostle Paul spent a night and a day down there somewhere, and it is not the kind of place you would really like to spend a night and a day wondering how many sharks are underneath you - or worse! But he says here in Romans 8:38:

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other [created thing], shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

Because these two individuals have that character. That's what they have, what they are. When we are looking at that agape, it's always done in a wise and an outgoing way. He knows what is best for us. 'Too much sunshine makes a desert', that's an old Arabic proverb. The Sahara was a productive area, but it had too much sunshine, and therefore became a desert. If we have sunshine and that kind of easy life, our character becomes desert-like. It becomes worthless, it won't grow any fruit. You are not going to have the fruit of the Spirit. Certainly this character that God has is produced sometimes in trials. Sometimes trials are needed, but the mindset of God is still outgoing, it is outgoing even in trials, because He knows that, that is what is needed to produce the character for the final outcome.

It is not love the way we look at it humanly. Agape is a character form of love. That is a product of this same mindset, the same Spirit, the same way of life that God Himself and Jesus Christ have.

Agape as a Product of the Holy Spirit (PLAY FROM 23:22)

Continuing now as a product of the Spirit, and looking at this subject a little bit more, let's just remind ourselves what Paul is saying in II Timothy 1:5;

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois [again, faith is what? It's the product of the Holy Spirit, and part of the characteristics of this fruit that comes from the very Spirit of God], and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands [it's like a fire that has died down, you need to get a poker and stick it in and poke it up, and you go ahead and stir it up, that's what it's talking about, stirring up this gift, up-livening the fire]. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:5-7)

There again, qualities that are being mentioned there that flow from this Spirit. Now the thing is, that we can block that flow, and if we block that flow, then we've got some problems. We can block the flow in two areas. You can either block the flow in, or you block the flow out. In both areas you can have problems.

It's like simple plumbing. Down at my father's place, down in the bottom of the valley from us, they had their own water supply, and periodically there would be problems there. You start at the outlet. You turn the tap on and there's no water. Okay, where is the blockage? Is it at the top or is it at the bottom? You've got some poor frog being sucked in the top, and he's only got so far, that's in the top. Or it can go all the way down, and get stuck in the filters if necessary, and that's at the bottom. You can see, in the physical area you can block the flow either in or out.

To block the flow in, you're looking at prayer, meditation and Bible study and fasting. That's where it comes from. That's where you start having the contact with God, and therefore you have the Spirit of God actually coming in, in that way. But the way in which you block it when it comes out, is it has to come out as the fruit of the Spirit. It has to come out in a certain way, and if you block it there, sin blocks it, because if you sin, you have nowhere for it to go. There is no fruit in the sin. There is unrighteousness, yes, but that's not the kind of fruit God is looking for. It's not the fruit of the Spirit. So you can block it coming in, if we are not close enough to God. You can block it coming out, in the way in which the Holy Spirit actually flows out as fruit. If we turn to Colossians 1:1 we see here:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse [so they are walking in the flesh, the same kind of obedient flesh that Christ walked in]: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints [Paul and Timothy saw certain qualities, and the primary quality that they mention here, was this love that they had to all the saints. That was the fruit being exhibited] For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:" (Colossians 1:1-6)

So they had this Word. It was planted in a receptive mind, and that receptive mind then had the Spirit of God to water it, and it grew and it became fruit and the fruit was therefore evident. This is what he is talking about, because he saw, "...the love which ye have to all the saints," (Colossians 1:4) There is the quality that he could see. He could see the evidence. From that evidence that was there, he could say; "Okay, there has got to be a flow. It's coming from God. It's coming down through the pipe and there is no frog in there that's blocking it, and it is coming out in the evidence of the love that was there."

"As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant [he was a minister presumably], who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit." (Colossians 1:7-8)

It is love in the Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that is flowing through us and then is exhibited as a fruit, or one of the qualities, as part of the fruit, of the very qualities that need to be there. We don't work it up. It is a flow that comes from God into us and then it flows out. It's the 'out' bit that is the fruit of the Spirit, there's where it comes from. Turn over to I Peter 1:15, here again we see the same basic concept:

"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of [conduct]; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy [the word 'holy' is the same as 'Holy' Spirit - it is the same word as we have the word 'saint', the word 'saint', means the holy one]. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain [conduct] received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:" (I Peter 1:15-22)

So it is that Spirit again; "Seeing ye have purified your souls..." (I Peter 1:22). Purifying your souls, the word clean, the word 'saint', the word 'holy' which is mentioned over in verse sixteen, these are coming from the same root Strongs 40. It is saying:

"Seeing ye have purified your souls [so you've cleaned yourself up, you have this holiness] in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love [there's your fruit coming out] of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:" (I Peter 1:22)

Because you've got to keep that flow there, and the flow has got to be maintained. What happens when you want to go ahead and produce some fruit? What do you do? You've got the plant, but you have to go ahead and tend it. You've got to look after it and allow it to grow. You have to do what's necessary - dig around it and fertilize it and keep it weeded through the seasons of life. You aren't just going to suddenly go out and plant a tree and expect it to fruit immediately. It doesn't work that way. It's got to be tended and allowed to grow. Each season that goes by, you then progressively produce more and more fruit. It is something that we realize that God is doing in our life at this present time. I John 4:20 says:

"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar..." (I John 4:20)

Remember he was talking about about the "...unfeigned love of the brethren..." (I Peter 1:22). We are looking at qualities, and what we're looking at here remember, is the fruit of the Spirit. It is one of the qualities of that fruit, it is what we will be able to see, something we will be able to notice, something that should be there. Something we will be able to determine, whether or not that flow is as it should be. It is a case of getting that flow right. Making sure that flow is there, both into us, and out of us.

As Mr Armstrong used to say, 'It's the bike shop principle.' The person who has a bike shop - if he doesn't sell his bikes, he doesn't get anymore from the supplier. But, if he sells them, then more come in. It is the same with the Spirit of God, you have to have got to have a circuit there. If it's flowing in, it has got to flow out. It can be blocked on the way in, by not having contact with God. It can be blocked on the way out because the fruit itself isn't there. Here it says in I John 4:20:

"If a man say, I love God [he reckons he's alright in this love business, he's alright on this agape], and hateth his brother, he is a liar [because if you have true agape for God, it is coming from the very Spirit of God, you cannot have true agape for God, and yet hate your brother, it is impossible, because that mindset will flow in a certain direction regardless]: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he [possibly] love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (I John 4:20-21)

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." (I John 5:1)

It is the same process as God and the Word, as Christ and the Father. This characteristic is there, and this characteristic between brethren will be there. It will be there between ourselves and the Father, with ourselves and Jesus Christ, and it will be there between ourselves as well. Because it is a fruit, it is a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. This basic fundamental Agape character. I John 5:2:

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments [Why is that? Because the commandments show us what we need to be doing to express that love between individuals, to express that love to God - keeping the Sabbath is part and parcel of it]. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (I John 5:2-3)

The commandments came from men moved by the Spirit of God. It is coming from God, Himself.

Agape and the Keeping of the Commandments (PLAY FROM 36:20)

So if we go into this third point about this agape character, and also keeping the very Commandments of God, this defines the outflow. You've got the inflow through prayer, Bible study, meditation, fasting - doing those things necessary to keep in contact with God. It comes in, but it has got to go somewhere. Defining the outflow are the Commandments. We can see therefore how this outflow occurs. That's what the Commandments are there for. It defines what is right and what is wrong. It defines both sides. Now Romans 13:8:

"Owe no man any thing, but to love [agape] one another [that is something we all owe - we can never agape too much, because it's a character issue]: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:8)

Now that word 'fulfilled' is an interesting one. In Matthew 13:48, you will find there where the net "...when it was full, they drew to shore..." (Matthew 13:48) It's the same word, Strong's 4137. This one here is fulfilled, it means filled to the full. So as it says here; "...for he that loveth [has agape] has filled the law to the full" (Romans 13:8 paraphrased) because that's the purpose of the law. The purpose of the very law itself is to exhibit the character of God and, it defines the outflow. It shows us how the outflow comes out of us. It comes out in righteousness. Romans 13:9:

"For this [for this reason], Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself [now the context of this passage is love between man and man, that is why he mentions you love your neighbour as yourself, this sums this aspect up]. Love [agape] worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [agape] is the [filling full] of the law." (Romans 13:9-10)

It is filling the law to the brim. It's filling it right to the very top. The law defines the outflow. The fact that you don't commit adultery with another man's wife or another woman's husband, you don't go out and kill somebody, you don't go out and hurt and maim. That's just simply not on. You don't go out and steal from somebody. Why? Because you have got a character that is outgoing, that considers the other person. You don't steal - you go out and work so you have something to give. You change your attitude of mind. You change your function of mind from getting to giving.

"...Thou shalt not covet; and if there is any other commandment..." (Romans 13:9)

We'll go back and look at some of the commandments. These are all defining the outflow from the very Spirit of God. This is the reason why ancient Israel couldn't keep it. Ancient Israel couldn't keep it because they didn't have the inflow. They had the mindset, they had the law. There's the outflow being determined, but there is no inflow there. That was the problem. The heart was wrong, that was the problem.

We have got both. We have the access to the Father through the sacrifice of Christ and having that access to the Father we then have the inflow and the outflow then is defined in the same way as we've seen previously. Turn to II John 1:1:

"The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth [so John has this outgoing frame of mind towards, presumably a Church that he is talking to - the elect lady]; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;" (II John 1:1)

There is a love within the very family of God. This is agape, it is the same kind of love as is between the Word and the One that became the Father. This love was from eternity and even before there was such a thing as time.

"For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever [it is going to go on for eternity]. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." (II John 1:2-3)

This is the way He was; "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." (John 1:4) the truth was there, the love of God was there, that was His character.

"I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father." (II John 1:4)

So they were walking in truth. How did he know they were walking in truth? Because he looked at their keeping of the commandments. The commandments defines the outflow. Your inflow is coming from contact with the Father, the outflow is defined by the commandments of God that have been given by the Father.

"And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote [some kind of] new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, [and that was what?] that we love one another [that we have this agape character towards one another]. And this is [agape], that we walk after his commandments [why? Because it defines the outflow]. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it." (II John 1:5-6)

You go right back to the very beginning of time, when God created the commandments. What was the first commandment that He actually gave man? Remember the Sabbath day. He rested on the Sabbath day, and on that Sabbath day He instructed man.

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is [continually coming] in the flesh [they are not walking as Christ walked, they are not telling people that you have got to have flesh that is obedient to God's Law, walking the Way Christ walked, because that is the mind of God, the agape of God, which is the character of God]. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever [goes beyond this, that's Greek meaning, Strong's 3845] transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God..." (II John 1:7-9)

If he doesn't have this doctrine, which is when we are walking, we are walking in flesh which is the same kind of flesh as our elder brother. Again, Unleavened Bread and the fact that the First of the firstfruits was waved, you then come through to Pentecost, and at Pentecost there are two loaves that are waved. Both baked with leaven, and the two tie together.

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (II John 1:9-10)

Why evil? Because the commandments define the outflow. The commandments are where it's at. That's how we know that this character of agape love is actually there.

Mark 12:28-34, Christ is asked:

"...Which is the first commandment of all? [He says], the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." (Mark 12:28-31)

In addition to that put in your notes Luke 10:25-37. It is the same account, but the lawyer then asks; "...Okay, who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10:29 paraphrased) He then defines it, and He gives the parable of the Good Samaritan. He says at the end of that; "...Go, and do thou likewise." (Luke 10:37)

There are so many scriptures that we can read when we're looking at keeping the commandments, and how this is defining the very outflow from the Spirit of God as part of the very character of God. Here in Matthew 5:43 it says:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy." (Matthew 5:43)

Here is the oral law, it is not part of the Tanakh. The Tanakh, the law of the Prophets and the Psalms, that's not what He's talking about, but part of the oral law that they had.

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you [here is the new oral law, Christ's oral law, I say to you,], Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matthew 5:43-44)

If you and I think that we can do that on our own human strength, we're kidding ourselves. We basically need the inflow in order for that outflow to occur.

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)

We look down in the woods down there, that's not only enjoyed by us, but enjoyed by whoever comes down here. The sun rises on the just and the unjust. God is by character outgoing. The only reason He will snuff out the life of some is because He knows that life is going in a direction, which, without repentance, will cause misery and mayhem.

The reason why Satan is going to be bound and restrained and presumably being stopped from doing anything for eternity, is because first of all God gave His word, somewhere down the line that he will, in fact, have eternal life. So He can't go back on His Word, and at the same time He also knows that He cannot go ahead and allow him to just run riot through the creation. Because it will cause mayhem not only within the creation, but also misery within him. Again, it is an outgoing character of agape.

"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect [mature, ripe as a fruit, ready for harvest], even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:46-48)

At that stage, at that ripeness, at that same stage of perfection. That is what our aim is. That is what our aim must remain.

Another scripture, Exodus 23:4-5. It talks there about if you happen to see an ox or an ass of your neighbour who is your enemy going astray, it says very clearly there that you have got to go ahead and take that ox or ass and take it back to your neighbour. You don't just let it wander, or shoo it even further away from the neighbour's house which is the normal carnal reaction.

It goes on in Exodus 23:5 and says; if you find somebody who hates you, struggling with his ass, under a burden. Or his trailer and the springs are bent, and he has this load on top, and he has a flat tyre and can't jack it up. You shall surely go and give him a jack and pump up his tyre for him. That is basically what it's saying in modern language. If you come along and find your enemy - he that hates you - struggling to get this tyre changed, you must go ahead and help him.

Go back to Leviticus 19. These are commandments remember. These are not just arbitrary things that we might read, these are commandments of God. These are the things that define the outflow and they have been there in the Law of God for millennia, before Christ even came on the scene. It is the attitude of mind, the frame of mind that we find here. Let's take this one that we see in Mark 12:30, that talks about the great commandments of the Law:

"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...And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." (Mark 12:30-31)

I want you to notice the context of "...thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." (Leviticus 19:18) Let's just read some of the other commandments defining the outflow that are found within this section of Leviticus 19, verse 9:

"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the [Eternal] your God." (Leviticus 19:9-10)

The mindset is outgoing. It is considering those that need and don't have. It is not just a case of giving it. It is a case of making it available, and they can go out and glean, they can work, but it's there. You have got to make sure you don't cut the corners. You don't go ahead and go over it a second time. Verse 11:

"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." (Leviticus 19:11)

Even just that one commandment, how would we be if that was applied today? This is part of the outflow from the Spirit of God. It says; "...Man by...every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) These things are coming from the mouth of God. It's the outflow from the Spirit. Remember, the word Spirit means breath. It is what has empowered the Word. It is empowering these words, defining what then happens to a being that is led by agape. Led by the same character that God has. Verse 12:

"And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the [Eternal]. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning." (Leviticus 19:12-13)

You get it paid. You try telling that to the accountants today. Basically accountants today are trained in such a way that they delay payment as much as possible, and they try and get payment as fast as possible. Again, business sense, but that is not the Way of God. It is not the outflow that comes from the Spirit of God.

"Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the [Eternal]. (Leviticus 19:14)

I am the One with this agape character. This is the outflow of that agape character.

"Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty [it doesn't matter if you are poor or mighty, you approach people in the same way]: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the [Eternal]." (Leviticus 19:15-16)

You don't go ahead and act as a talebearer undermining people. You're loving your neighbour as yourself. These are all the characteristics.

"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him." (Leviticus 19:17)

You do not bear sin for him. In other words, you correct in love. It's the outflow of the very mind of God that you're looking at here. You are not to hate your brother in your heart. Is that not a Spiritual Law? Of course it's a Spiritual Law. It's defining it. That's why agape is the key to the commandments. Love is the fulfilling of the Law. That's why it's brought out in Romans.

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the [Eternal]. (Leviticus 19:18)

These things are spiritual laws. These things are spiritual definitions. It defines what comes from the very Spirit of God. It is coming from the Word of God which we are to live by - every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The things that come out of the mouth of God are flowing from the Spirit of God and when we are looking at these attributes of the fruit of the Spirit, it's defining the same thing. It's defining the same kind of character. The greatest of these is indeed, this one of agape, of outgoing concern.

Christ's Example in I Corinthians 13 (PLAY FROM 56:04)

So let's go to this final point, Christ's example that we find over in I Corinthians 13. First of all before we go there, let's just turn over to I John 3:23 because the fruit of that Spirit - when we're looking at I Corinthians 13 - is coming from a certain source:

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name [the office, the authority] of his Son Jesus Christ, and love [agape] one another, as he gave us commandment." (I John 3:23)

So it's going beyond even just the letter of the law. It's not just a case of if your enemy's ox or ass is wandering, that you go ahead and return them, but if it's his horse, tough luck, I'm not going to return it. That's not the way, it's by the Spirit of the Law.

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him [you've got the flow correct, you've got the outgoing part, the only way you can keep the commandments is to make sure you've got the incoming side, the input correct, so the outgoing can also be there as well]. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (I John 3:24)

That's how you know. Have we got the Spirit of God? Well, it goes on and explains.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets [ones that are speaking through the mouth from a false spiritual perspective] are gone out into the world." (I John 4:1)

This is how you know the Spirit of God, the Breath of God. How do you know?

"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth ['homologeos' Strong's 3670 is the word for confess, which means the same word, what's coming out of the mouth, it's the product, it is defining the outflow that's coming out of the mouth] that Jesus Christ is [continually coming] in the flesh is of God:" (I John 4:2)

In other words, you look at that individual and you say; "Does that reflect Jesus Christ there?" They need to be and look the same... the brother or sister of Christ. Is the breath that is actually empowering that individual, expressing itself the way Christ would express it?

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God [every spirit that does not have the same Word as Jesus Christ is coming in the flesh, is not of God. It's as simple a test as you can make, does this reflect Christ, does it not reflect Christ?]: and this is that spirit of antichrist..." (I John 4:3)

Anti-anointed one. The anti-anointed one means the Spirit flow is not there. If the Spirit flow is not there, then the outflow is not going to be there. You can't get the right outflow there. When you look at the outflow from Christ, you look at a certain way of life.

"...whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. [verse 6] ...Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (I John 4:3,6)

Such a simple thing. You say, "Is that what Christ would do?" If somebody sins and then repents, that's fine. But if the lifestyle coming out of the mouth reflects something other than the mindset of Christ, there's your acid test of the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error. In I John 4:13 it says:

"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess [homologeo] that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." (I John 4:13-15)

He is walking in the flesh. The same kind of flesh that Christ had. He is walking as a son of God. He's going to make mistakes, but he repents of that, he accepts the shed blood of Christ and his sins are then wiped clean. Then he walks and he walks in that same way that Christ would walk.

"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. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (I John 4:16-17)

There is your acid test, that's how you know one spirit or the other. Go back to I Corinthians 12, and we'll pick it up in chapter twelve and come into chapter thirteen. Let's have a look at the various qualities mentioned.

First of all, understand what I brought out last time, the difference between fruit and gifts. A gift is something which is given to somebody who may not be converted. The people who put the tabernacle together were given gifts of the Spirit. They were given to benefit all the people within the group. I may have a gift to get up here and speak, and that doesn't do anything as far as brownie points in the future, that's not where it counts. It is whether I have administered it according to ", joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness..." (Galatians 5:22) and how do I use the gift that was given to me. And how do you, and everybody else within the Church, use the gift that is given to you?

Another way of translating this section in I Corinthians 12:31, is that you are all wanting the best gifts for yourself. You can actually translate it that way. But here, I'm going to show you something even more excellent. This is the way to go about it, this is what you really need, this is where you need to go:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not [agape. The tongues of men and angels, that's a gift, but if I don't have this fruit then] 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 all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [agape], I am nothing [if I don't have agape, this characteristic of the very fruit of the Spirit of God, I am nothing, it has no bearing, no value]. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [agape], it profits me nothing." (I Corinthians 13:1-3)

So it's not just giving, it's giving with a certain characteristic, a certain mindset. If I do it just that way, it profits me nothing. It then goes on into I Corinthians 13:4 and it starts to actually define this aspect of the very fruit of the Spirit. As I say, you need to have an inflow, and you need to have an outflow, and here is part of this outflow:

"Charity [or agape] suffereth long, and is kind..." (I Corinthians 13:4)

Now if we think about the way in which Christ actually worked, let's turn over to Luke 7:11 and just see this outflow at work within Christ Himself:

"And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her [notice, what did He see? He wasn't looking at the dead body, He saw the widow, and this was her only son, when He saw her and the plight that she was in], he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise." (Luke 7:11-14)

Here was the compassion of Christ. The compassion was on this widow woman and He had the power to do it, and the compassion was there. Remember here is this Being who was with the Father, who lived this Way from the year dot, and this Way was part of His characteristics, His way of life. I Corinthians 13:4 says:

"Charity [Agape] suffereth long, and is [is also] kind [He could do something, He could make the difference, His characteristic was to have feeling for that woman who had lost her son]; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself..." (I Corinthians 13:4)

In other words, it's not parading the self. If you turn over to John 7:1 we find an example here of two different mindsets in Christ's life:

"After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him..." (John 7:1-3)

By the way, as a total aside. Someone asked me a question, why does it say Jews' Feast of Tabernacles in this particular section? The best explanation I have ever had for that is that; what was happening when this was actually written was there was an attack within the Church coming from the Samaritan source, the Simon Magus and that source. They kept different days. They kept different Passover days. They kept different tabernacle days. You can go to Mount Gerizim to this day, and you have a different law. It is a law that allows bowing down to idols and all the rest of it. John was on the Island of Patmos and saying here, "Look this is the Jews' Feast of Tabernacles. This is the one that Christ kept. It is not the Samaritan side." Otherwise you might start thinking, the people he was writing to had no idea about the Feast of Tabernacles. No, that's not true.

"His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest [you go out and show yourself, make a big scene of it, parade yourself]. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world [that's the carnal approach]. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always there. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast..." (John 7:3-8)

"You go up to the Feast, I'm not going up there yet." He then went up secretly. He didn't make a big song and dance about it. He wasn't parading Himself. So, if you go back to 1 Corinthians 13:4:

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, [parade itself, or make a big song and dance, not 'look at me, aren't I wonderful?'] is not puffed up," (I Corinthians 13:4)

Turn over to Philippians 2:1, we find:

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory [being puffed up]; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus [it then gives clarity to this concept of not being puffed up]: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" (Philippians 2:1-6)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). He was there. If you can imagine you had all that power, all that ability and were there as a Spirit Being. He gave that up. How does a Spirit Being give that up? I have no idea, but He gave it up and He then took life, which is just a physical, chemical existence, and He lived here.

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:7-8)

So again, He wasn't puffed up. He wasn't doing things through strife or vain glory. He was submissive to God the Father, and in doing this He divested Himself of absolutely everything. He said, "Let this kind of mind be in you." Go back to I Corinthians 13:5 where it says:

"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked..." (I Corinthians 13:5)

Turn to Luke 9:51 and look at this example:

"And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem [so here He is on His final journey], And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him." (Luke 9:51-52)

As I said to you, you can go to Gerizim to this day, and there is still this controversy. They still have their book of the law, and they still wax eloquent about their book of the law. This formed the basis for the amorphised christian religion that spread across to Rome.

"And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem [because of the hostility there]. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of [where was this coming from? It was coming from a certain breath, a certain mindset, a certain spirit. The outflow was not the way of God, because the inflow was not the way of God either]. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village." (Luke 9:53-56)

He was not provoked. He was able to just look at it and say, "Okay, we can go on to somewhere else." At the moment He is waiting until the time is right, when He will sort this world out, but He is patient. He is not easily provoked. As it says here in I Corinthians 13:5:

"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;" (I Corinthians 13:5)

Probably a better translation of thinks no evil, is doesn't keep an account of evil. It doesn't keep a tally of the evil done against it. Note Luke 22:47-51. You find there when Christ was actually taken in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter went and took a swipe at the High Priests' servant and missed his neck and hit his ear, and took his ear off. Again, Christ didn't keep an account of evil. They were coming in to arrest Him to have Him crucified, but He still healed him. Let's go back to Luke 23:27, and it says:

"And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children [where was His mind? It was on them, even at this time when Christ was being crucified, He had already been beaten to within an inch of His life]. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, [the Greek is present progressive, 'lego' Strong's 3004 continually said Christ] Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God." (Luke 23:27-35)

All through that He was saying continually, Father forgive them. He didn't keep a count of evil. He wasn't ticking it off. He wasn't saying, "Oh, you've done this, five stripes and you're down." He didn't behave like that. So when you are looking at this characteristic over in I Corinthians 13:6 that is defining this characteristic of this fruit, this outflow from the very Spirit of God, it's "... not easily provoked, [does not keep an account of evil]; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;" (I Corinthians 13:5-6)

If we go back to Luke 19:41 we find here:

"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it [He doesn't rejoice at iniquity, He rejoices in the truth, He looks at iniquity and weeps over it], Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." (Luke 19:41-42)

He sees the pain and the suffering. So often, we can look at this world, and I do, and I find myself sinning, quite frankly, but you look at this world, and I boil in absolute rage at what is going on. That wasn't Christ's response when He was human. As it says; "...If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes" (Luke 19:42) You haven't a clue what the problem is.

"For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple..." (Luke 19:43-45)

He was not rejoicing in the iniquity that was there by any stretch, but He did rejoice in the truth that was there. As it says in I Corinthians 13:7:

"Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." (I Corinthians 13:7)

It puts up with, and will work for the good of the person involved. It will try and do whatever is necessary for the individual involved. If we go back to John 13:1, we'll just go through a few verses here:

"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)

Remember, at this time there was confrontation within the disciples. They were fighting and bickering among themselves, not only on the night but also as they were coming down from Galilee. As they were coming down, they were bickering as to who was going to be the greatest. He saw all this, and yet within all of this, He also bore all things, He believed all things, hoped all things, and endured all things, applying this mindset to the problems that He could see within the very disciples that He was using. In John 13:12 it says:

"So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet [the mindset has got to be the same, the fruit has got to be the same, the outflow of God's Law has got to be the same]. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." (John 13:12-17)

You actually take a feather out of His cap and go along the same way, looking at life in the same way as He was looking at life, and it says in John 13:34:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:34-35)

If you go over to John 15:1 it says:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit [this is what we're talking about, the fruit of the Spirit] he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he [prunes] it, that it may bring forth more fruit. [verse 4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [verse 9] As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:1-2,4,9-10)

So again, the commandments define the outflow, but we have to be plugged into the vine to make sure that the inflow is there. You've got the inflow and the outflow. As it goes on and describes:

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full [this is the next attribute we'll look at]. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:11-13)

If we skip over a few pages to John 17:23, the very final part of the prayer that Christ gave just before He went across to Gethsemane, it says:

"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one [the very Law of God, the expression of the outflow we can find in the Old Testament, but the inflow wasn't there, they weren't plugged into the vine, therefore they couldn't go ahead and exhibit the very fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the tree of life]; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me [that the expression of character between God the Father and Christ, right from the beginning, is also there within the Church]. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: [for one reason - and here is the reason] that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them [that's the crucial area, that's absolutely crucial, that agape be in them. Why? Because that's the character of God, it defines what God is. Here is the source:] and I in them." (John 17:23-26)