Sermon About Love: Why Love? 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13

Sermon About Love: Why Love? 1 Corinthians 13

We could get the idea that gifts are more important than fruit.We could get the idea that gifts are given primarily to benefit us as individuals.

This is why Paul talks of “the most excellent way” (12:31b).

We’ll see today in chapter 13 that this best way to use spiritual gifts is the loving way.

Main Idea: The most vital ingredient in using our gifts is love.

Subject: But why do we need to use our gifts with love?

1. Love is superior to gifts (1-3).

Tongues used to the maximum without love produces nothing (1).

Prophecy without love is worthless to edify others (2a).

Wisdom that knows all previously hidden doctrines without love is worthless to edify others (2b).

Knowledge that knows all facts without love is worthless to edify others (2c).

Faith that can move mountains without love is worthless to edify others (2d).

Giving (a serving gift) to the ultimate degree without love gains nothing (3).

(Another reason love is indispensable for beneficial use of gifts is because while gifts can be misused to benefit self…)


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2. Love benefits others (4-7).

Love benefits others passively and actively (4a-b).

  • Love is passively patient by not retaliating towards others (4a; cf. 6:8; 11:21-22).
  • Love is actively kind by serving those who do harm (4b; cf. 10:33).

Love doesn’t hurt others in seven negative ways (4c-5).

  • Love isn’t inwardly jealous (4c) of others’ giftedness (3:3-4; 12:14-17).
  • Love doesn’t outwardly boast (4d) of its own giftedness (12:21).
  • Love isn’t inwardly prideful (4e) of its clique (4:6, 18), tolerance (5:2), and knowledge (8:1).
  • Love doesn’t behave improperly (5a) in engagement (7:36), sex roles (11:17-22), and worship (11:26-33).
  • Love isn’t selfish (5b) in financial (6:7) and debatable matters (10:24).
  • Love isn’t irritable (5c) as in initiating lawsuits (6:1).
  • Love isn’t unforgiving (5d) in offenses (6:8), in withholding marital sex (7:5), and by insisting on rights (8:11).

Love knows the right things to get happy about (6).

  • Love doesn’t rejoice in wickedness (6a) as in delight over incest (5:2).
  • Love does rejoice with the truth (6b).

Love doesn’t give up on others (7).

  • Love endures the shortcomings of others (7a) as in those who misuse their gifts (12:14-26).
  • Love believes the best of others (7b).
  • Love hopes in God (7c) that church problems will be resolved.
  • Love perseveres when personally wronged by courageously waiting (7d) for marriage (7:9), food (11:21), or a chance to speak (14:27).

3. Love outlasts gifts (8-13).

Love outlasts gifts (8-13).

Love is eternal and complete (8a).

Gifts are temporary and partial (8b-12).

  • Prophecy, tongues and knowledge are temporary (8b-d).
  • Prophecy and knowledge are partial (9-12).

The reason prophecy and knowledge will cease is because they are designed to give only part of the whole truth of God before the church is complete (9-10).

Two illustrations show the partial nature of prophecy and knowledge (11-12).

  • Gradual maturity of humans parallels how these revelatory gifts were given only until the maturity of the body of Christ at the completion of the canon (11).
  • Poor reflections in a mirror represent how prophecy and knowledge helped Paul know in part in contrast to our complete knowledge at Christ’s return (12).

Love will outlast even faith and hope (13).

Sermon About Love: Why Love?  1 Corinthians 13

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Why do we need to use our gifts with love? Because love is superior to gifts, love benefits others, and love outlasts gifts (MI).

How are you doing at loving others? Is your focus gifts or glue?

Grace Baptist Church/Crossroads International Church/CIC againr. Rick Griffith 21 Mar 1999/ 28 Sept 2008/ 14 Apr 2013 Message #20 of 25

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John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NVI)