I CORINTHIANS 13
“Darling” The young man said over the phone “I love you, I’d climb Mount Everest in my bare feet for you, I’d slay dragons for you, I’d walk on burning charcoal for you. I would endure any hardship for you”
“Oh, Charles, I love you too, when will you see me again?” , well replied the lover, “ I will pick you up on Saturday if it doesn’t rain”.
Love is central and unique to Christianity and Judaism. The SHEMA, the centerpiece of all morning and evening prayer services in Judaism “ Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut.6:4-5). Jesus calls it the first and greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37-39). The most famous verse in the New Testament is (John 3:16). We are to do everything in Love (I Cor.16:14)
Why is love the greatest virtue and motivation in life ?
Let us Learn:-
I. LOVE IS SUPERIOR (I Cor.13:1-3)
- The word “Love” in this chapter is “Agape” not “Philos” or “friend” (John15:14) or “Eros” which is physical or sexual love.
- Agape love is selfless, sacrificial and steadfast.
- Agape love trumps the other kind of gifts, faith, hope, tongues, prophesy etc.
- Tongues of Angels and of men means the ability to communicate with men and Angels or heaven and earth.
- Knowing all the tongues in the world. This is sensational gift.
- Prophesy is a skilled gift. Prophesy is not only “foretelling” but also “telling forth”, not only prediction or revelation of future events but instructions and teaching of God’s word.
- While tongues are not for believers but for prophesy is for believers (I Cor.14:22)
- The Apostle contrasts and climaxes the argument with two sacrificial and selfless gifts– giving and martyrdom.
- The gift of martyrdom is the most sacrificial and most selfish at the same time ! Without love, martyrdom is most selfish.
II. LOVE IS PERFECT. (I Cor.13:4-7)
- After comparing love, Paul defines and idealizes love.
- Love is patience, forbearance and long suffering.
- Kindness does with a smile what patience forces itself to do.
III. LOVE IS ETERNAL (I Cor. 13:8-13)
- Prophesy shall “cease” pass away (v.8) when we get to heaven we will not need prophesy.
- Speaking in tongues will also “cease” in heaven we will not need this gifts, even prayer will cease because the Lord will be there.
- Knowledge will also pass away, for we will know all things.
- Our knowledge now is in part (Ginosko) when we get to heaven our knowledge of God will be full and thorough. (Epi-ginosko)
¨ Are you growing in love ? Do you Love God and neighbor?
¨ Do you love the deserving and the undeserving, the believing and well as the unbelieving ?
¨ Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matt.5:44-46)
¨ Do you love in word and in deed ?
¨ Are you saved by the Blood of the Lamb of God?