“All you need is love.” This line from the Beetles song seems so simple and so true. But in truth, for you and me, there is nothing simple about having love and being loving.
Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the spirit is love…” This is love that is in contrast to anything you and I might call “love.” It is completely different from anything that is produceable by us, without a relationship with God. Because, truthfully, the sinful heart is completely incapable of love. On our own the only things we are capable of are described in Galatians 5:19-22. So the best we can do on our own is create a counterfeit. And often this counterfeit we create is so convincing that we can go through our entire lives never realizing that we have fallen for a fake.
1 John 3:16 tells us that the only way we even know what love is is because Jesus died for us. We know what love is only because while we were sinners, the Father sent his Son to die, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty. If we don’t even know love without God how can we ever produce it?
We can’t. Not on our own. But in Galatians 5:22, God promises that not only will we know and understand what true love is, we will live this love as part of the fruit that grows in a life filled with the Holy Spirit.