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Summary: 2nd in a series on love from 1 Corinthians 13

Sermon for 2/8/98

What is Love?

I Corinthians 13:4


A. Steve Winwood- Bring me a higher love.

B. What is love? Love is an attitude- Love is a prayer, For a soul in sorrow, A heart in despair. Love is good wishes for the gain of another. Love suffers long with the fault of a brother. Love gives water to a cup that’s run dry, Love reaches low, and Love reaches high. Seeks not his own At the expense of another, Love reaches God when it reaches a brother.


A. Last week’s sermon. WE need to do things with love, but what is love.

B. World longs to see true love. The Princess Bride.

C. I preached a sermon on this passage many years ago. My first sermon. However, this time we will look at each verse in more depth.

Thesis: Let’s examine 1 Corinthians 13:4 and see what love is and does, and then see what love is not and does not.

For instances:

I. Love is, love does.

A. Love suffers long. (Patient)

1. Patience in regard to persons. Look beyond acts to the person.

2. 2 Timothy 4:2- Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, and exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

3. It is said that Claude, a Christian man, was unjustly imprisoned in the Bastille (a French prison). At the same time another man was imprisoned who was so brutal and ferocious that no one dared approach him. The jailer, recognizing Claud’s Christian character, begged him to undertake to humanize this monster. Accordingly, the humble Christian was shut up with this human brute, which subjected him to the worst kind of treatment. Through it all, Claude’s only reply was to exhibit silence, patience, and mildness under attack. His prayers achieved the rest. The monster at length looked into the face of his companion, suddenly threw himself at his feet, and burst into a flood of penitent tears. He became a new creature in Christ, and even when set at liberty could scarcely be prevailed upon to leave his Christian friend.

4. Long suffering is an attribute of God and Christ. God gives us grace, and God never grows tired of our failings. God could wipe us out at any time and he would be justified because of our sin, but he is long-suffering toward us.

5. The believer reflects this long-suffering of God to the world of wickedness.

6. This is the spirit that has the power to take revenge if it liked, but this person utterly refuses. Not because we are restrained by law.

7. This was not a good virtue in the days of the New Testament. They thought that the big man was the one who went all out for vengeance and was able to intimidate others not to annoy him.

8. A man bought a field next to a farmer who had been engaged in a long-standing dispute with the former owner about the exact boundary line between this field and his own property. When the new owner saw the farmer near the fence one-day, he greeted him with the words, “I’m your new neighbor; and I would like to talk to you about the boundary line between our properties.” The farmer assumed a rough attitude and said, “What about it?” “How much do you claim of this field as belonging to you?” Asked the new owner, who was a Christian. “I claim that your fence is a good two feet over on my property.” Replied the farmer. “Well, then, I want you to reset the fence four feet back on my side,” said the Christian. This completely took the fight out of the farmer, and was the beginning of a new spirit of concession on his part also.

9. Love looks at weaknesses and faults only in most truly realistic manner as God does.

10. Petty annoyances. Jesus and his disciples.

11. Zodhiates- “A young couple came to see me, because the husband had been caught in sin. Both have professed faith in Jesus Christ, and but for that one sin in the life of the husband their lives are in line with their profession. Their pastor also came to see me regarding their problem. It has become his problem also. As I talked with this godly pastor, I could not help admiring him. This case is taking a lot of his time. His desire is not to wash his hands of the sinner but to save him. The man’s wife has the same attitude. It is easy to kick a man when he is down, but it takes real strength of character to lift him up by the grace of God. Too many Christians choose the way of non-involvement and rejections rather that the way of love, because the former solves the problem for them, while the latter involves some personal sacrifice- though it extends hope to the sinner.

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