We sing millions of songs about love, "All the world needs now is love sweet love, its the only thing that there's just too little of...." - oldies, but goodies. Yet we somehow miss the fact that Love is not some passive, gooey, substance-less, mystical, illusive or humanly manufactured thing!
Love is God, it emanates from Him, it is His "Vibe", if you will allow me. And it is, it indeed must be, the "Vibe" of those who know Him best! We know, from Scripture, that God Himself is defined as being the personification of Love, despite the bad representation of many of those who claim to know Him! So it would stand to reason that His Spirit would produce fruit after its kind.
It is said that Faith works through Love, that perfected Love casts out Fear, etc. Do we begin to make the connection that it is Love/God who makes the world go 'round? A "life of faith" should be one of wonder, mystery, discovery, joy and LOVE! I have rarely seen it operate like that however, in all the ones I personally know, including those nearest and dearest to me, and even in my own life - until recently.
In the journey to truly know God, which I made the impetus of my spiritual walk years ago, I have seen many phases of the spiritual journey of others. I have been closely entwined with them as many vines around the cross of Christ. We are each growing toward Him, and we become entangled in each other. And as I have experienced this process I have been taking mental notes of the workings of these vines, my own and others. Noticing what produces the right fruit, and what produces that "other list" in Galatians five!
I have come to believe that the "Fruit of the Spirit" is Love - singular. What tree would grow nine kinds of fruit? Yes, there are nine characteristics listed in that famous verse. But I think that the other eight are merely descriptive of how Love acts, how it looks, and how it is practically applied. Another chapter devoted to the defining of Love's attributes is the famous "Love Chapter", I Corinthians 13! Where you will see all of these eight characteristics spelled out in more detail.
So if we "walk by the Spirit" we will not "carry out the deeds of the flesh" because we will be actively carrying out the deeds, or growing the fruit, of Love. Jesus went so far as to define Love as "the greatest commandment", and therefore, as completed obedience to the Mosaic law, saying that those who Love God above all else, and Love their neighbor as themselves have kept the entire heart of the law in that, "Love does no ill to its neighbor"!
So, Diana Ross and John Lennon were right, who knew? However, I am wary of their suggested source of this commodity! It is clear that we will never cut the muster! God is Love. If we ever hope to attain that "Vibe" we had better get firmly attached to His vine, and begin producing His fruit! After all, like the man said, "All we need is Love..."