Summary: It is reasonable to conclude than that of all the ambitions that can arise from faith in Christ, the most excellent is the pursuit of love that is patterned after God himself

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Study Text: 1 Corinthians 13: 1- 13


- It is reasonable to conclude than that of all the ambitions that can arise from faith in Christ, the most excellent is the pursuit of love that is patterned after God himself.

- A pattern that we see most clearly in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, for love of his own, made himself nothing in order to make us something.

- If the church is busying herself with this goal in all of its endeavours, then the world will have a vision of God.

- This most excellent way is the road, that if travelled, a person will find significance, blessing and meaning.

- And it can be walked since God has placed his love in the hearts of every believer through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this love of God we make the transition from being nothing to something.

- We shall discuss the topic under three sub-headings:

1. The Priority of Love

2. The Properties of Love

3. The Permanency of Love

1. The Priority of Love

- Love must first be expressed before the exercise of spiritual gifts 1Cor 13:1-2

- Love must first be expressed before the exercise of great sacrifice. 1Cor 13:3.

- Without love, such things are of no value. Without love, any ability we have is of little value (such as teaching, preaching, etc.)

- Without love, any knowledge we obtain will only hurt us. Without love, any service rendered is not pleasing to God.

- Love must truly be given the highest priority in all our life endeavours and activities.

2. The Properties of Love

- The various properties of Love is described for us. They include what Love is or does, and what Love is not or does not do.

A. What Love is or Does:

1. Suffers longs - endures slights and wrongs patiently and long, like God Himself (Psalm 103:8)

2. Is kind - obliging, willing to help or assist

3. Rejoices in the truth - truth is personified as is love, and when love sees truth manifested in the lives of others, love greatly rejoices along with it 3John 3-4.

4. Bears all things - it covers and can also mean to endure, suffer. Thus in regards to the sins or failings of others, there is willingness to bear with them patiently.

5. Believes all things - in regard to the conduct of others, there is a disposition to put the best construction on it; to believe that they may be actuated by good motives, and that they intend no injury

- There is a willingness to suppose, as far as can be, that what is done is done consistently with friendship, good feeling, and virtue.

- Love produces this, because it rejoices in the happiness and virtue of others, and will not believe the contrary except on undeniable evidence.

6. Hopes all things - that all will turn out well. This must also refer to the conduct of others; and it means, that however dark may be appearances; how much so ever there may be to produce the fear that others are actuated by improper motives or are bad people, yet that there is a "hope" that matters may be explained and made clear.

- Love will "hold on to this hope" until all possibility of such a result has vanished and it is compelled to believe that the conduct is not susceptible of a fair explanation.

- This hope will extend to "all things" - to words and actions, and plans; to public and to private contact; to what is said and done in our own presence, and to what is said and done in our absence.

- Love will do this, because it delights in the virtue and happiness of others, and will not credit anything to the contrary unless compelled to do so.

7. Endures all things - bears up under, sustains, and does not complain. Bears up under all persecutions at the hand of man; all efforts to injure the person, property, or reputation.

B. What Love is not or Does not

1. Does not envy - is not jealous of what others have or have become

2. Does not parade itself - does not brag or boast of one's abilities or possessions.

3. Is not puffed up - swelled with pride and elated with a vain conceit of himself.

4. Does not behave rudely - to behave in an ugly, indecent, unseemly or unbecoming manner (1Pet 3:8, "be courteous")

5. Does not seek its own - does not seek its own happiness to the injury of others (1Cor 10:24,33).

6. Is not provoked - does not fly into a rage, but keeps the temper under control.

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