Summary: First sermon in a series on 1 Corinthians 13

Sermon for 2/1/98

I Corinthians 13:1-3

To Love is To Live


A. The sappy songs of the 80’s. We need more love. Misunderstandings about love. We love our parents, we love our dog, we love sports, we love music, we love baseball, we love apple pie, we love Chevrolet.

B. The four loves - in Greek.

1. Storge

a. Family love. When we say that we love our family.

B. In the church we should also have this kind of love. We are brothers and sisters.

2. Philia

a. Friend love.

B. Philadelphia- City of brotherly love.

C. Jesus had this love for John, Lazarus.

3. Eros

a. Sexual love, love between a man and a woman.

B. Romance, and desires for touching, etc.

C. Eros also can reflect man’s desire for heavenly things. We see no wrong in our lover. All is flowers and candy. We see the same things in God.

4. Agape

a. This love is demonstrated by God’s love for us.

B. 1 John 4:8, 16- He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

C. As leaven, yeast transforms dough, the love of God transforms us to love him and to love others in this way.

D. Christ is the leaven in our lives.

E. Once we are born-again, our human instincts, once fallen, must conform to Christian modes of expression.

F. Without the love of God in our lives, all of the natural loves can be corrupted. We can love our family above all else which causes problems. We love our families to the exclusion of others. We can love our friends and anyone outside our circle of friends do not receive love. The love between a man and woman has often been corrupted. This love in our culture is the highest love. We look at our mates for love, but we cannot truly love our mates until we love God.

G. All of the natural loves can become very self centered. My family does great things for me so I will love them. My friends provide me with self-esteem and I feel part of a group, so that is why I love my friends. My mate gives me satisfaction and she provides so much for me, so I love her.

H. Grace has bridged the gap between man and God. God has shown us what true love is. It has nothing to do with the big “I.”

I. With this love the world will know that we are Christians. Spiros Zodhiates said, “Two years ago, an acquaintance of mine and his missionary friend witnessed of Christ to an entertainer whom they met in the city. Just the other day, my friend met him again. The entertainer could not remember what they had told him so long ago, but he said, “Oh, yes, I remember. You were the two people who were in love with God.” The world may forget what we say, but they will not forget how we live.


A. This is the love we are discussing Agape. Godly love.

B. We must remember problems in Corinthian Church. They were using their gifts to build themselves us. They were doing these things for their own egos and for their own recognition. They did not do these things for love for God or love for others.

C. A neurotic sickly girl, suffering from insomnia, consulted a physician. After examining her and finding no physical cause, he bluntly said, “You have ingrown feelings.” She looked puzzled, so he made it plainer. “You think too much about yourself. What you need to do is to get away from yourself, get out among others, think of their troubles, and work to relieve them.” “Do you mean that I am selfish?” she asked. “Not exactly selfish,” the doctor said, “but you are self-centered.” The girl went home, thought over carefully what the wise physician had said, took his advice, and soon was restored to health.

D. We should not seek self-centered religion. Jesus will satisfy all your needs? This is true, but God does not save us for satisfaction of our egos but for the accomplishment of His eternal purposes.

E. So many times love in this world is self-centered. Christianity is not about this. How can I find happiness? This is not the question if we are Christians. What is good for my fellow man?

F. God-centered religion, we look to God as Almighty, to whom belongs absolute dominion over our human egos. We are not concerned about ourselves but about God and about our fellow man. This is agape.

Thesis: Today we are going to study 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Today’s topic is to live without love is litter (a waste).

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