This sermon was based on 1 Corinthians 13
The Way of Love
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Love Is the Most Important Thing
- If we are articulate in our words, and even speak in tongues, it is just noise if we don’t show love.
- Whatever spiritual gifts we have we need to use them with love.
- However much we give or sacrifice, it needs to be fuelled by love.
15 Characteristics of Real Love
- Patience – literally means having a high boiling point.
- Kindness – Being friendly, generous and considerate to others.
- Not envying – envy puts a seed of resentment into a relationship.
- Not boasting – sometimes we want to establish our place in the pecking order, but this is not loving.
- Not arrogant – this was clearly an issue in Corinth, it is the sixth time Paul has used this word in the letter.
- Not rude – could be translated as ‘does not act inappropriately’.
- Doesn’t insist on it’s own way – willing to lay down your own way for the other.
- Not irritable – sometimes people can be easily irritated by the smallest of things.
- Not resentful – sometimes translated as not keeping a record of wrongs.
- Doesn’t rejoice at wrongdoing – we shouldn’t encourage sin in each other.
- Rejoices at truth – truth and love belong together.
- Bears all things – annoyances will happen, but we should bear with people.
- Believes all things – think the best.
- Hopes all things – have faith for other people’s futures.
- Endures all things – love is a long term endurance activity – not just a short burst of emotion.