Summary: Really? While we may fail in love, God's love will never fail us.
Summer of Love 5 Love Never Fails. The permanence of Love
Well it’s been fifty years. Fifty years ago in Canada we celebrated our Centennial. Fifty years ago the Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Fifty years ago Interracial Marriage was declared constitutional by The United States Supreme Court. Fifty years ago Elvis married Priscilla. Fifty years ago was the last time the Leafs won the Stanley cup and fifty years ago San Francisco experienced the Summer of Love.
The Summer of Love was the name given to the influx of over 100,000 young people, so called hippies and flower children, in the Haigh Asbury district of San Francisco during the summer of 1967.
Many saw this event as a turning point in American culture, and which way American culture turned depends on your perspective.
This summer at Cornerstone we have decided to celebrate the Summer of Love by focusing on 1 Corinthians 13, which as been called the Love Chapter of the Bible. And through the summer we’ve been taking the opportunity to read all 13 verses together. This morning we are going to read it in unison. Please stand with me as we take the opportunity to read God’s word.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Thank you, you may be seated.
Over the past several weeks we have looked at the positive attributes of love, culminating last week with the statement that Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. And that is often easier said than it is lived out in our daily lives when sometimes things get tough.
This week things change and we are moving from the attributes of love to the permanence of Love.
1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
It would appear that the believers in Corinth had been ranking each other based on their spiritual gifts. Those who had the gift of knowledge or prophecy or speaking in tongues were seen by some as being further up the spiritual food chain, so to speak. I’m so glad that doesn’t happen today.
And Paul lets them know that those things won’t last.
That there would come a day that all the prophecies would have been fulfilled. And there would be no need for the gift of prophecy.
That there would come a day when there would be no need to speak in or be able to understand unknown languages because we would all be speaking the language of heaven. And there would be no need for the gift of tongues.
And that there would come a day when we would know all things, that no one person or one group would be able to claim a corner on knowledge. And there would be no need for the gift of knowledge.
But Paul tells us that even when all that happens, and it doesn’t matter if you think the fulfilment will come at your point of death or at the return of Christ, that there is one thing that won’t change and that is the love that God shows us and that is the love that God expects us to show others.