Continuing 1 Corinthians.
The church in Corinth is one that has a unique story. I pray that you are encouraged through this journey. I want to give you a few encouraging points from these chapters.
Read: 1 Corinthians 13
The passage that we look at today is commonly associated with weddings. The context of this passage is not a wedding; instead, it is in the context of a church body. How we relate to one another. This is a very encouraging and convicting passage. As we think about opening up the church, I find that we have folks on every side of the situation. I want to ask you to read this and pray for this.
1. Useless without love (1-3). To have tremendous gifts from the Lord, to give away great wealth for the Lord, to have faith to move the mountains, and even to sacrifice our bodies for the Lord, is all worthless without Love. If you don’t love your brothers and sisters in Christ, these gifts are useless. I want you to think about that. We might think, but these are so useful, why does it matter if they don’t love? To do these things without Love is to do so in selfish ambition. The point is not the Lord, nor is it others. The end becomes about you. Paul then goes into what does it mean to love.
2. So what is Love (4-7)? Let us now look at the attributes of Love, compare them to your own life, see how you need to apply them to your own walk.
Patient: Right off the bat, I find a struggle. I find it hard to be patient with folks. When something seems evident to me, why isn’t it visible to them? To be patient is to lead someone. To be patient and walk with them is to love them.
Kind: In our culture today, we can take note of this for sure. Often when someone is in disagreement with us, we get combative. We feel that they do not like us. We’ve lost this word in our hearts. We will see later how we can be kind, but ask yourself, are you loving?
Does not envy: To be jealous of another. To love someone is to not be envious of them. If they have something that you so desire, you celebrate the Lord’s blessing of them. If they got the promotion you worked for, you would celebrate with them.
Does not boast: To boast is to try and spark envy in another. Paul’s boasting was always in his weakness and in the power of the Gospel. Our boasting must be in the grace of God, not in our own work.
It is not arrogant or rude: To be arrogant towards others is a sure sign of pride. To believe that you are better than others, shows you think too highly of yourself. To be rude is to not be considerate of others. Again, you show selfish ambition in rudeness.
It does not insist on its own way: This is one that Paul has talked about in other books. It can be said that this is the true marker of a believer. If you are always about your own way, you are not like Christ. We see this in Philippians 2:3-4 “3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” To love is to put your desires below another.
Does not rejoice in sin: To love someone does not rejoice in their failure. We do not hope, even secretly, that someone would fail. You do not talk with others to try and destroy them. We see this in gossip, we see this in our lack of support, this is prevalent in our culture today, I dare say, in many hearts. We must repent of this.
Rejoices in the truth: Instead, we rejoice in repentance! We rejoice when someone turns from their sin! We rejoice in the truth of the Word of God.
Love bears all things: We are to bear one another’s burdens. To walk with others, encourage others, help others. We do not do life alone, we do it as a family.
Love believes all things: We believe the WordWord fully. We give people the benefit of the doubt. We trust people.
Love hopes all things: We are hopeful that people will come to the Lord, we are hopeful that they will repent, we are hopeful in all of God’s promises.
Love endures all things: We will endure! It doesn’t matter what trial comes, it doesn’t matter what persecution, what matters is that we love. We love people through their sin, we love them through all.
3. Love never ends (8-10). All things will pass away. Spiritual gifts will pass away, prophecy will pass away, faith will pass away, but when Christ returns, all those things will be fulfilled! When those things are fulfilled, Love will remain! If we are to love we
4. No longer children (11-12). To love is to put away childish ways. What are childish ways? If you have children, or you’ve had children, you know that they are selfish. “Mine!” Children only think of themselves. Paul reasons, when I was a child, I acted like a child, now that I’m a man, I put away childish ways. I hate to say it, but some full-grown men and women are still children. They still only care for their wants. Friends, put away the childish ways, to be a man or woman, is fully loving.
5. The Greatest is Love (13). Faith, Hope, and Love. Of the three, only one will continue. When you die and meet the Lord, your faith is sight. When you stand before the Lord, your hope that you will one day be with Him will be fulfilled. When you stand before the Lord, your Love for Him will be perfected! Love will endure!
Friends, this passage was truly encouraging to me. I pray that you are encouraged as well. I truly love you, and miss you.