Summary: You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should. We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lose our composure & behave in much the same way the rest of the world behaves. B
Mayor Gerardo Balmori
The Salvation Army
ILL. Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the
Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling, making fun of him, & shouting insults
at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the
tourist, & punched him out.
After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can’t condone what you did.
Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, & Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again."
Well, the man promised he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before, & finally the
actor exploded & punched him out again.
The director said, "That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the
part of Jesus." The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, & I can handle it if
it happens again." So the director decided to give him another chance.
The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could
tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was
clinching his fists & grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler & said, "I’ll meet you after the
A. You know, sometimes it is hard for those who profess to be Christians to behave like Christians should.
We try to carry our crosses, but if someone crosses us, we tend to lose our composure & behave in much the
same way the rest of the world behaves.
But the Bible teaches us that we are to be people who exercise love in all of our relationships with one
Listen to these words, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" [Romans
12:18]. And again, "Be completely humble & gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love"
[Ephesians 4:2]. And still again, "Make every effort to live in peace with all men & to be holy..." [Hebrews
SUM. Now all of those Scriptures say the same thing. It may be difficult sometimes, & not everybody will be
easy to love, but if it is possible, we are to live in peace & harmony with everyone.
PROP. So I’m beginning a series of sermons this morning that will deal with how to get along with other
people, & we’ll focus on 1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter" of the Bible. This morning we’ll look at the first
3 verses which Paul begins by saying, "Now I will show you the most excellent way."
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVE IN OUR LIVES
He is saying, "I want to show you the best way to take care of virtually every situation, & that is the way of
love." Then he points out that love is more important than 5 other things that Christians consider very
A. In vs. 1, Paul says that love is more important than spiritual gifts. "If I speak in the tongues of
men & of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."
On the day of Pentecost, when the very first gospel sermon was ever preached, God gave the apostles the
special gift of being able to speak in languages that they had never learned so that the people hearing them
could understand what was being said.
But here in 1 Corinthians, Paul is saying that if God gave him the gift of speaking every human language, &
even the heavenly language of the angels, but he didn’t have love, then he would be nothing more than a
resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Now what did he mean by that?
ILL. Back in the 1st Century, there was a big gong or cymbal hanging at the entrance of most pagan
temples. When people came to worship, they hit them to awaken the pagan gods so they would listen to
Here, Paul is saying that even if he were so blessed that he could speak with the greatest of eloquence in
every language, but didn’t have love, then his life was as useless as this ridiculous act of pounding on a gong
to awaken non existent gods.
SUM. You see, love is more important than any spiritual gift.
B. Then in vs. 2 Paul says that love is more important than knowledge. "If I have the gift of
prophecy & I can fathom all mysteries & all knowledge, ...but have not love, I am nothing."