One ingenious teenager, tired of reading bedtime stories to his little sister, decided to record several of her favorite stories on tape. He told her, “now you can hear your stories anytime you want. Isn’t that great?” She looked at the machine for a moment and then rep … More
This is one of the most noted and best-loved chapters in the entire Bible. At the same time, few chapters have suffered more misinterpretation and misapplication than I Corinthians 13. Divorced from its context, it often becomes a sentimental sermon on Christian brotherhood. It is easy to forget that Paul is still dealing with the Corinthian problems of tongues, divisions, envy, selfishness, lawsuits, impatience, etc. The main evidence of maturity in the Christian life is a growing love for God and for God’s people, as well as a love for lost souls.
Paul says that the incredible spiritual gift of speaking in tongues without love is nothing more than a lowed banging, more annoying than useful (v. 1). Prophesy, deep understanding of God’s mysteries, or even “mountain moving” faith without love is nothing (v. 2). Personal sacrifice, even to the point of death, without love gains nothing (v. 3). Paul shows us the qualities of real love:
1. Love is not easily roused to resentment (v. 4).
2. Love has the idea of being useful (v. 4).
3. Love does not sound its own praises (v. 4).
4. Love is not swelled with pride (v. 4).
5. Love is not easily provoked (v. 5).
6. Love does not keep track of the offenses committed against it (v. 5).
7. Love does not take delight in that which is offensive to God (v. 6).
8. Love rejoices when truth is proclaimed (v. 6).
9. Love covers all things (v. 7).
10. Love will believe well of others unless convinced otherwise (v. 7).
11. Love is always positive and hopeful (v. 7).
I want to be a vessel filled to overflowing with God’s love, so that His love might spill over onto everyone I meet. I must allow God to empty myself of all that is not from Him.
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I Corinthians 14:33b-40Rapping Up Spiritual Gifts
I Corinthians 10:1-5The Dangers of Overconfidence
I Corinthians 10:6-13God Will Help You Resist Temptation
I Corinthians 10:14-22Eating Meat Offered to Idols
I Corinthians 10:23-33Principles that Govern Christian Liberty
I Corinthians 11:1-16Head Covering in the Church
I Corinthians 11:17-22Conduct surrounding the Love Feasts
I Corinthians 11:23-34Conduct surrounding the Lord’s Supper
I Corinthians 12:1-11Speaking Various Languages
I Corinthians 12:12-20Diversity of Spiritual Gifts
I Corinthians 12:21-26Spiritual Gifts That Unite
I Corinthians 12:27-31God Assigns Spiritual Gifts
I Corinthians 13:1-7Qualities of the Greatest Gift
I Corinthians 13:8-13The Supremacy of Love
I Corinthians 14:1-9Preoccupation with Tongues
I Corinthians 14:10-17Tongues Must Be Interpreted
I Corinthians 14:18-25Tongues a Sign to Unbelievers
I Corinthians 14:26-33aInstructions for Tongues Speakers
I Corinthians 15:1-11Three Proofs of the Resurrection
I Corinthians 15:12-19Consequences of Denying the Resurrection
I Corinthians 15:20-28The Resurrection of Christians
I Corinthians 15:29-34Effects of Denying the Resurrection
I Corinthians 15:35-44What Our Resurrection Body Will Be Like
I Corinthians 15:45-50Comparison of the Natural and Spiritual Body
I Corinthians 15:51-58Victory is Coming
I Corinthians 16:1-12Giving of Money and Time
I Corinthians 16:13-18Qualifications for Leadership
I Corinthians 16:19-24Paul’s Closing Remarks