Summary: This sermon deals with the true meaning of love that Apostle Paul wrote us.
When a man loves God, he finds a motive for loving his neighbor and unless he loves God, there will be no motive for loving his neighbor.
In the world of the 20th century, loves seems to be so far: Crime rates is increasing, there are more violence on the streets. People are more lovers of themselves.
In times of pressures, instead of driving the families closer to each other seems to tear families apart. When there is problem in the church and seeking for a solution, the church is quarelling and breaking away. The power of love seems to be absent even in the people of God.
Paul is writing this letter to a group of immature Christians in the ancient city of Corith. The Corinthians were people who had cut loose from their own heritage. Corinth was over thrown by the Romans in 149 B.C. Then nearly a hundred years later the descendants of those who had been carried away in chains came back and rebuilt the city.
Paul came to Corinth and preach, many were converted but still had the culture of their environment in their hearts. But because he loved them he diligently wrote at leat 2 letters to them, giving them instructions as to how Christians live and love in asecular world.
I. THE VALUE OF LOVE (1 Cor. 13:1-3)
Remember, the Corithians were Greeks, and they prided themselves on their greatoratos. Demosthenes, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle were all Greeks. And Paul is saying though I had their tongues, though I had the power to sway vast crowds with my oratory, if I did not love, I am nothing.
Yet, contends Paul, the greatest oratory in the world is nothing apart from love. And the rev erseof that truth is that the humblest person whose wordsare backed with love is greater than those names are emblazoned in the headlines.
Read verse 2
The word Paulused means "worthless, meaningless, of no value". Think of it like this. If you have a very tiny amount of something, you can measure it, but when Paul said, "you are nothing" that means your’re like a paralytic person.
Love says psychiatrist A.A. Brill, "is necessary to survival. It is quite as essential for a person to have love," says a doctor, "as to have pure air and food to sustain him."
II. THE TESTOF LOVE (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
When cartoonist Charles Schulz dined in the home of a friend, the host remarked that he needed to setoff his dinner jacket. He disappeared and returned a few minutes with a heavy chain from which a medallion hung, and accross the face of the medallion were the letters "love". Schultz fingered it for a few minutes and then handed it back. With a wry "Charley Brown" smile on his face, he said, "It’s just too hard for me. Do you have one that says, LIKE? In his honesty, Schultz pointed out an important truth. No matter how necessary it is, love is not easy. Only God can really trurn our "likes" to "loves" by the help of Grace and Faith.
Should I really defend the premise that many today really don’t know what love is?
What are the tests of love?
First, says Paul: Lave suffers long.
"We absolutely can’t wait to get married, "says a young couple in their late teens. You can’t wait? If you can’t, I would seriously question that what attracts you to each other is real love. Many couples enter into marriages because of physical body, attractive appearances, pleasant personalities, stableness, etc. All that factors lead to hasty marriages.
Second, Love is patience.
The patience of love which helps a person before marriage also helps him after marriage.
Third, Love is kind.
In an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times that told of the impact of love on neglected children who are classified as retarded. The press told, "children are ignored and neglected, not kissed or hugged, or spoken to, and given a little stimulation, their intelligence retrogresses."
The prominent psychiatrist Karl Menninger was featured in an article carried by the "Chicago Daily News" entitled, "Love working miracles for the mentally Ill in Kansas." Dr. Menninger contended that love is one of the most effective cures in healing mental illness. When reporters asked Menninger how it was that 80% of his patients recovered, he replied, the secret is not in electroshock, surgery, group-theraphy, drugs, etc. This play a part, but the real secret is contained in a single word: LOVE!
Love envies not.
The New American Standard Bible puts it, Love is not jealous. Solomon was a man who new something of jealousy. Song of Sol. 8:6 "Jealousy is as cruel as the grave." Jealousy can destroy the warmth of a home. Jealousy is an enemy of real love.