Summary: Sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:13
Sermon for 8/26/2001
Faith, Hope, and Love
A. Legend has it that a wealthy merchant traveling through the Mediterranean world looking for the Pharisee and Apostle, Paul encountered Timothy, who arranged a visit. Paul was, at the time, a prisoner in Rome. Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a rather old man, physically frail, but whose serenity and magnetism challenged the visitor. They talked for hours. Finally the merchant left with Paul’s blessing. Outside the prison, the concerned man inquired, "What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before."
"Did you not guess?" replied Timothy. "Paul is in love."
The merchant looked bewildered. "In love?"
"Yes," the missionary answered, "Paul is in love with Jesus Christ."
The merchant looked even more bewildered. "Is that all?"
Smiling, Timothy replied, "Sir, that is everything."
A. Paul and things temporary- focus on eternal things.
B. Only three things that are important- eternal. OH, how we need to major in the majors and minor in the minors.
C. A husband volunteered to accompany his wife on a shopping expedition to purchase clothing for her and the children. “This is pretty material,” said the husband, indicating a pastel print. The wife fingered it briefly and said, “Too flimsy. It won’t wear well.” “Then how about this?” persisted the man, pointing to another bolt of cloth. “Strong enough,” said the wife, “but will it wash?” The husband in his inexperience was allowing himself to be influenced by eye appeal. The wife was looking for more lasting qualities.
E. Faith, hope and love always go together. Cannot have one without the other.
F. The problems of the Corinthians:
1. More concerned about arguing about which mentor is greater. Paul, Apollos, Peter, or Jesus.
2. Showing off their knowledge.
3. Is it correct to eat meat sold in the marketplace if it was sacrificed to an idol?
4. Is it proper to partake in a pagan idol feast?
5. Is it correct for Christians to take disputes to the pagan judges?
6. Which is better or more holy to marry or not to marry?
7. Those who are paid by the church for their service are more important than those who are not. Since Corinth did not pay Paul, then he must not be as important as these others who are paid.
8. Is it OK for a woman to have a shaved head; is it all right for a man to have long hair?
9. The proper way to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
10. Which gifts are more holy or more useful?
11. All of these things were important enough for Paul to address. However, in chapter 13 Paul is telling the Corinthians that their focus is all wrong. Focus should be on love and things eternal.
G. People who split over the color of the carpet. Focus all wrong.
H. People who are against a clock in the sanctuary, people who are for a clock in the sanctuary. Focus is all wrong.
I. At the radio station in the evening. Main job was the stuff going over the airwaves.
J. Many people, who are focused on minor things, have glaring problems in their faith or have sins that shine so brightly that Christ cannot be seen. Foolish.
K. Only garments we shall be wearing when we step into eternity is the clothing of Christ’s character.
L. Why faith and hope? In heaven won’t they disappear? Faith will be sight and hope for heaven will have past.
M. Faith- Trust in God’s testimony and character. In heaven we will have more faith. Faith perfected.
N. Hope- Ever look forward to further unfolding of God’s purpose and blessing.
O. Faith, hope, and love are unconquerable.
P. Hope has never disappeared from human race. Faith has never disappeared from human race.
Q. They do not merely withstand oppression and antagonism. They take the offensive and go out to conquer and to win. The Christian triumphs.
Thesis: Three things will remain forever or abide forever: Faith, hope, and love. Let’s discuss each one.
A. We have faith that we shall be children of God at home forever. However, faith is eternal.
B. Why does a child trust his father?
C. Why do we believe experts in various fields?
D. Shall we ever know as much as God? We must still have faith.
E. We are getting ready for heaven. We must have trust and faith here. Sure faith on earth is more difficult, but we must still have faith and trust in heaven as well.
F. Titus 1:2- in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. Must have faith in this. Must have faith in heaven that God knows best.