Summary: DT: Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the Body of Christ.
“True Love, No Really, True Love”
Sunday Morning Sermon
“Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts exercised in the church body.”
Whoever loves much, does much. Thomas a’ Kempis.
On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. C.S. Lewis.
I firmly believe that we don’t know what love is. Our culture has taken this idea of love and made a reality TV show out of it. Our culture, our nation and our society hasn’t got the first clue about love. Every week it seems like another actor and actress are getting a divorce. Our movies and TV shows are filled to the top with many things portraying something that’s close enough to what we understand as love, we can’t tell the difference. The people most qualified to speak about true love are those who know and understand the love of God. The Bible says that God is love. If I don’t know God, I don’t know love. It might look like the two can work without each other – relationships can work without a drop of love. Since we know God – we should love one another. If we don’t love one another we don’t know God. Doesn’t mean that we can’t know about him, it means that we haven’t made him Lord. Doesn’t mean that we have to know everything about him – it simply means we haven’t made him Lord until his love for us – causes us to love those we wouldn’t normally seek out and love.
Valentine’s Day is special for many people. It’s the day that we can reflect on those we love, either because we have them here with us, or those who have gone on. There is nothing wrong with the celebration of a love that has gone. Many men struggle with emotion on Valentine’s Day. We want to express our love – but somehow the words get tangled. It’s then that we realize the girl can over look a lot of stupidity to put up with someone like us. When I went to college and figured out that I wasn’t the geek everyone on High School thought I was – I memorized scripture. 1st Cor. 7:1 – “Now for the matters I wrote you about: It is good for a man not to marry.”
The Bible speaks about love over and over. There are 3 kinds of love – only two are in the Bible. The third kind is found in writings that were written at the same time as the New Testament books. The first kind of love is Agape – which is God’s love for us. Our text this morning in 1st Corinthians speaks about Agape love. The second kind of love is Philo love. This is brotherly love, a friendship kind of love. This is the love that Jonathan and David from the Old Testament had for each other. The third kind of love is Eros love. This is the kind never found in the Bible – it’s a sexual love.
Let’s turn to our text this morning 1st Corinthians 13:1-13 (read)
This text is clearly divided 3 ways. The first is:
I. Excellence in love displayed (1-4)
Paul starts off verse 1 – Now I will show you a more excellent way. What he is saying – church you have acted like you love each other, but you are simply going through the motions. Church you have acted like you love your brother, that you can see, but you are simply going through the motions. Church – This is the MOST excellent way! It’s interesting to me that the most controversial section of scripture speaks about gifts and love. They had problems. They were doing all the right things on the outside but they didn’t love each other on the inside.
a. Spiritual gifts listed
i. Gifts into actions
ii. Whatever you do – do out of love
1. If God gives you the ability to speak so clearly and people flock to hear your words.
2. If God gives you the gift of prophecy – many times in scripture this means that you are holding a video camera instead of a crystal ball. – You have the ability to tell people what is truly going on around them.
3. If God gives you the ability to have great faith – and you display that faith over and over.
4. If God plants within your heart the desire to give all your possessions to the poor – and what Paul says – “Surrender your body to the flames.”
All those things are worthless without love. If something else is a motivating factor you will fail. Shortly after the Super Bowl – the person interviewing John Gruden asked him how long he would be a coach. For those of you who don’t watch football – he has a passion for coaching. His response – This is my passion and I will coach until that passion is gone. He loves the game of football. He loves the people he coaches.