The particular word translated love in Galatians 5:22 appears over 100 times in the New Testament. This frequency of use suggests very strongly that it refers to a very important concept. In all its occurrences in the New Testament, this type of love appears most often as a command. However, it is also an obligatory character quality. If we have trusted the LORD Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, this quality we must manifest. The obligatory nature of this character trait for all Christians is seen in the following illustration. The LORD Jesus spoke to His disciples in Matthew 5:43,44,46 and He said:
Ye have heard that it hath been said thou shalt love thy neighbor
and hate thy enemy, but I say unto you love your enemies, bless
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You put forth effort on your behalf from the outset of the day. You selected clothes that you wanted to wear. You made sure that they were clean clothes. You cared for yourself. You ought to care for your neighbor as you care for yourself. “But who is my neighbor?” you might ask. Does the term “neighbor” apply only to people who live in close proximity? No, the term has reference to all people other than us. God wants us to demonstrate this type of love. He wants us to follow His example, for this is the very type of love He communicated to us in John 3:16. Furthermore, we discover that this type of love was a reciprocal experience of members of the Godhead – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – before our lives began. Consider for example, the following verses of Scripture:
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things
into His hand.
Therefore doth my Father love me,
Because I lay down my life, that I
might take it again.
But that the world may know that
I love the Father; and as the Father
gave me commandment, even so I do.
Arise, let us go hence.
It is quite evident in both John 10:17 and John 14:31 that God does not need us in order to express love. Nevertheless, He seeks us out to have fellowship with us. In fact, He made us for that very purpose! He seeks us in spite of our sin. He is determined to have fellowship with…