Summary: In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Paul he is continuing a thought from the previous chapter in reference to the people of Corinth and their beliefs about spiritual gifts. It seems they had become obsessed with them. Let’s share together what God’
THE GREATER GIFT
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Paul he is continuing a thought from the previous chapter in reference to the people of Corinth and their beliefs about spiritual gifts. It seems they had become obsessed with them. They felt it made some better than others because of their abilities. Paul says that in 12:12 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was starting a train of thought to help them understand that love was the most important gift of all. He was not discounting spiritual gifts because he practiced them as well, but it was more important that they have love in their hearts. Do you truly have love in your heart for your brothers and sisters of this world? What does it mean have charity (love) for others? Let’s share together what God’s word says about the topic, of what is the greater gift?
Let’s open with prayer
Charity in the Greek is didomi -- pronounced: did’-o-mee - bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give,
I. Paul uses the word charity (some versions say love)(1-3)
A. The word he uses here is not exactly in the context we use it today
B. It is love in its truest and fullest meaning
i. Love to the fullest to God and man
ii. An unconditional love if you will
C. Without this all other gifts are meaningless
D. They are of no meaning to God at all
i. Without love God counts other gifts as without merit
ii. If we cannot love we are of no use to our fellow man
E. All the knowledge and understanding in the world are of no value without a loving and caring heart
F. Love without regard to, “what’s in it for me” is the only love
i. Too many times we expect return for our giving or generosity
ii. We have no concept of this kind of love God has for us
iii. If it is not from the heart it will do us no good at all
a. When was the last time you gave without expectations?
b. Helped someone in need without greed in your heart?
G. If it is not out of love but of works it is defective and out of selfishness.
II. Love has many different effects on us we will know if we have it (4 – 12)
A. If we do not have this grace we need diligence until we do
i. We need to search our hearts and seek God’s intervention
ii. We need to stay in prayer seeking God’s help
B. It is positive proof of our regeneration of our lives to be Christ like in love
C. It is the cornerstone of which we can build our faith
D. It shows the Corinthians conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to love
i. Their emphasis on spiritual gifts and other worldly actions
ii. God’s word through Paul also states that spiritual gifts do exist
a. All believers by the power of The Holy Spirit are gifted with at least one spiritual gift
b. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.