And The Greatest of These is Love
From TRMEDIA A year ago
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: 1 Cor. 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1–13 (NLT): I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Verses 1-3 You can have everything and have accomplished everything but if you missed out on the great commandment, you missed it all and it really doesn’t matter.
Verses 4-7 A picture of God’s love, not tempered by the world’s likes, dislikes and desires, is one of unconditional, absolute love. Let’s walk through this passage so we have a clear understanding of what God expects when Jesus spoke the words of Matthew 22.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
A picture of Christian love
1. Love is patient and kind (vs 4a)
• Patience requires discipline
• Patience does not allow for indifference or ignoring wrong
• Kindness changes outcomes, it is the pathway of dealing with others that honors Christ
2. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude (vs4b-vs5a)
• Your desires are focused on their best interests, not your own
• “Jealousy and envy begin when admiration and desire turn to resentment of others for what they have”
•Jealousy is the absolute opposite of the Christ we see in Phil. 2:3-8
– Phil. 2:3-8 (NLT) Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
• Boastful, Proud and Rude are all connected in their outcome
– Boastful – (perpereuomai – to praise one’s self excessively) All about you…
– Proud – to be puffed up, to think you’re better than anyone else aschemoneo
– Rude – (aschemoneo – to behave dishonorably, without decorum)
3. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged(vs 5b)
• Does not demand its own way (does not seek its own – NKJV)
– 1 Cor. 10:24 (NLT) Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
– 1 Cor. 10:33 (NLT) I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
• Not irritable (is not provoked – NKJV)
– James 1:19-20 (NLT) Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
• Keeps no record of bring wronged
– Not holding on to old hurts to bring up when needed