love in spirit and in truth
"When He comes, however, being the Spirit of truth He will guide you to all truth." —John 16:13
Life in Christ is a life of love, for Jesus is Love (see 1 Jn 4:8, 16). Love requires freedom. We cannot force people to love us. Freedom requires knowledge. Without some knowledge, we cannot freely decide to love. Therefore, knowledge of the truth is very important because truth is an absolute prerequisite for love. The Lord "wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth" (1 Tm 2:4).
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Gal 5:22) because the Spirit gives us freedom, which requires the Spirit to guide us to truth, in fact, to all truth (Jn 16:13). The Holy Spirit will open us to all the truth we need for the freedom to love the Lord with all our hearts, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love even our enemies, and to actually live in love (see Jn 15:9). The Holy Spirit, by being the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13), produces the fruit of love in our lives.
The Lord says: "My people perish for want of knowledge!" (Hos 4:6) It is not that we are saved by knowledge but that knowledge of the truth makes it possible to have faith in and love for the Lord. This is what saves us. Consequently, we need the Holy Spirit of truth and love to be as active as possible in our lives. Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, show me the relationship between truth, freedom, and love.
Promise: "He has set the day on which He is going to 'judge the world with justice' through a Man He has appointed — One Whom He has endorsed in the sight of all by raising Him from the dead." —Acts 17:31
Praise: The more he let go of judgment of others and came to know them, the more Joe was able to receive the Spirit's fruit of love.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Staying Filled with the Spirit on audio AV 57-1 or video V-57.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003