Summary: . In order for us to succeed as believers we must have more than a desire, we need a burden. These two thoughts are essential for Christian living and activity. Today, I would like to introduce a third essential factor of our Christian living – “What W
WHAT WE DO IS NOTHING WITHOUT LOVE
INTRODUCTION: You will remember that our overriding theme has been, “Its All About God”. As we have dealt with public worship, we have seen that every aspect of public worship is al about God, and not about us. Here at the beginning of a new year, I challenged each of you to ask God to give you a burden for Him, a burden to be more like Christ, and a burden to be a witness for Him. In order for us to succeed as believers we must have more than a desire, we need a burden. These two thoughts are essential for Christian living and activity. Today, I would like to introduce a third essential factor of our Christian living – “What We Do Is Nothing Without Love”. This is the point Paul makes here in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians.
I THE PRE-EMINANCE OF LOVE – 13:1-3
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV) 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
A Lack of Love Reduces My Worship
1 Without love my ability to worship is compared to a resounding gong
2 Without love my ability to worship is compared to a clanging cymbal
a Worship without love is simply noise
b Items referred to were those used in pagan worship
c My worship without love has as much value as worshipping a false idol
3 Spiritual gifts lose their value when love is not behind their use
a Gifts are the activity of my Christianity
b Love is the character of my Christianity
c We cannot exalt activity over character in our Christian Life
d We cannot exalt Christian Activity over Christian Character in our lives
REAL CHRISTIANITY IS BEING NOT DOING!
B Lack of Love Reduces My Value
1 Great gifts – prophecy was one of them
a Declare the truth of God’s Word to a needy world
2 Great Work – Knowledge
1 A spiritual intellect to understand the great truths of Scripture
3 Great Faith – move mountains
a God given ability to really believe what God is going to do, and act towards that end
4 Without love – “I am nothing”
a Having no value
1 No value to the gifts I have
2 No value to the church that needs the gifts that I have
3 No value to the God who gave me the gifts that I have
5 Renouncing my possessions matters nothing without love behind them – Gains me nothing
6 To be burned, rather than renounce my faith without love gains me nothing
IF WE ARE NOT LOVING BELIEVERS, WE NOT COMPLETE BELIEVERS
• But pastor, you do not know what they said about me
o Was it true?
Yes, but. Then confess it, make it right, and tell them what you did.
No. Then approach them in love and find out why.
WE DO NOT HAVE THE BIBLICAL RIGHT TO TREAT OTHERS THE SAME WAY THEY TREATED US. GOD INSTRUCTS US TO TREAT OTHERS AS WE WOULD WANT TO BE TREATED, NOW HOW WE WERE TREATED.
James 2:8 (NIV) 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
II THE PREOGATIVE OF LOVE – 13:4-7
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
A Defined By Its Positives
1 Love is patient – not short-tempered
2 Love is kind – taking the initiative in responding to the needs of others
3 When asking yourself if you are a loving person, ask yourself if you are a patient and a kind person
a How the Bible describes a loving person
b You cannot be a biblically loving person if you are not patient or kind
B Refined By Its Negatives – Patience and kindness is refined by
1 Not being envious
a First refinement is important – envy is what brought murder into the world (Cain and Able)
1 Envy desires what another has – material or spiritual