Summary: Are spiritual gifts greater than love? NO Is faith that can do miracles greater? NO Is extreme generosity greater? NO Is giving even your life greater? NO What is greater than love? NOTHING
I don’t know if you get to church and open your bulletin to see what the preacher is preaching on today, but if you do, you may have been surprised by today’s sermon title. You may be surprised that I will be preaching about NOTHING.
Then again, some of you may have thought, “That is what he preaches about most weeks, nothing.”
And others may have chuckled to yourself, “I guess the preacher has nothing to say.”
It reminds me of the new preacher, at his first service had a pitcher of water and a glass on the pulpit. As he preached, he drank until the pitcher of water was completely empty.
After the service someone asked an elderly church member,
"How did you like the new pastor?"
She said, "He's the first windmill I ever saw that was run by water."
While I’m at it allow me one more…
One Sunday morning, a Minister announced to his congregation,
"I have here in my hands three sermons...a $1,000 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $500 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $100 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver."
They raised $5,000
Well, I am preaching on nothing, but it is not “much ado about nothing.”
I am going to answer a question that Paul, unknowingly asked in 1 Cor. 13… “What is more important than love?”
Paul makes a very strong case that love is THE most important thing in the world.
He didn’t even bother to compare it to things like silver, gold, or precious stones.
Those things are like rubbish compared to love.
No, Paul went right past those things and compared love with 5 things that most Christians would have considered to be THE most important things in Christendom… the most important things to God.
In verse 1 Paul says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Why would Paul start here? Who would think tongues of men and angels was more valuable than love?
Ever since God has sent manifestations of His Holy Spirit, referred to as gifts of the Spirit… there have been people who have latched onto “tongues” the gift of being able to speak in a language you do not know in order to give glory to God”
Paul lists the gifts in Romans, Ephesians and two places in 1 Cor.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.