Summary: Love. A nice thought. But genuine love is not shown as much as we might like to think. Our love account is not as full as God would like. May He help us.

"Nearly Bankrupt of Love"

Author: Dr. Neal Gray

Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, KJV

Purpose: Love. A nice thought. But genuine love is not shown as much as we might like to think. Our love account is not as full as God would like. May He help us.



Why would I call this sermon, "Nearly Bankrupt of Love"?

Because, compared to how...

* Christ Jesus loved, and,

* The Bible says I should love, and,

* How I envision myself as a truly loving Christian, then,


Oh, DON’T THINK ME TOO NAIVE. I know how to get along in this religious world of ours, how to keep in step with the accepted norms of behavior wherewith I can still say that I truly love others.

But, but, BUT...compared to Jesus, to the instruction of Scripture, and to my best ideals of the genuine Christian life...then I am BANKRUPT.


Our Scripture is the first half of "the love chapter," 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)



The love spoken of here with the KJV term, "charity," means a special kind of love, "agape" love.

Self-Giving Divine Love

Agape love is self-giving love. There is NO THOUGHT TO RECEIVING ANYTHING in return for the love given. It is "SELF-LESS" LOVE.

Pure. Unmotivated. Clean. Causeless. Without cost.

Most of our society has never experienced agape love. They neither have received it nor given it. They don’t know what it is. Most of our fellow countrymen, neighbors, and even our relatives have never felt the wonderful feeling of being loved "just because I love you."

==> Self-giving love. Do I have it? Do I give it? I fear I’m nearly bankrupt of this kind of love.

Mother’s and God’s Love

When I think of agape love, only two persons come to mind, namely...

1. Mother, and,

2. God.

A mother’s love for her child is the best form of agape love I have ever witnessed in this earthly life. She asks nothing from the child. She expects to do all of the work. She takes the whole responsibility. And she lavishes her clean, pure, self-giving love upon her baby. Yes, that baby is the fruit of her womb, a part of her; nevertheless, she loves that baby with agape love.

And God. For us, we know God’s love in Christ Jesus. Like the mother, Jesus gave Himself for us. Scripture makes is clear that He did: "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me," (Galatians 2:20b). Jesus bids us to take the love that He has--freely, without cost.

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." (Revelation 21:6b)

Give? Freely? The Almighty Sovereign Lord gives of His love to even us. Do I have His love? Yes.

"We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

Do I love Jesus? Yes, but I didn’t love Jesus out of myself because...

"We love Him, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

Do I reflect and share it among others? I think so, at least a little. It is not so much from me, my heart, my soul--but from Him. Truthfully, I AM NEARLY BANKRUPT of this important love-sharing, love-giving asset.

True Believers Give Agape Love

And yet, the clear teaching of the Word and the Holy Ghost of God is that true believers love others EVEN AS JESUS LOVED. You know the Scriptural verses for this. The simplest and most important comes from Jesus:

"A new commandment I give unto you: That ye love one another; AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34)

It is not a new commandment to love your neighbor. It is not a new commandment to love others as you love yourself. But the NEW COMMANDMENT is this: love one another as I have loved you.

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