All You Need is Love

1 Corinthians 13:1–7

Posted by Ian Rush on January 28, 2024
All You Need is Love
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Main idea: Strive to live in love because it is what makes you valuable in the Body of Christ.

  1. Value Love Properly (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
  2. Verify Love’s Presence (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning, everybody. Good to see you. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Ian rush. And I serve alongside a wonderful team of volunteers in youth ministry. So it's a privilege to be with you this morning to be able to share God's word with you and share some of the things that I've been challenged by as I've been looking at it recently, over the last week, so we'll get to that in a minute. I want to echo Dan's welcome to you all this morning, in particular, anyone who's visiting with us, we're glad that you've decided to join with us this morning. And I hope that this will become your home, and that you will link arm and arm with us as we seek to glorify Christ, honor Christ, make disciples in the world. That's our mission. We'd love to get to know you. If you're new. There's a few ways that that can be done. I think Dan mentioned it earlier. One is the other one, one of the weeklies, there's a little bulletin or on little tables outside the back. Right on the front of there, there's a QR code that you can scan with your phone. And you can register that way so that we can contact you and just thank you for coming. If you prefer to talk to humans, instead of going through your phone, we have the information center, which is out the back. There are people there that would love to greet you. And they, they can answer questions tell you about some of the things that we do between Sundays. As a church, we have great growth groups where you can meet to be encouraged and blessed by the word throughout the week. And there is a free gift that you can get as well. So all kinds of treats you can get from the information center. There's also connect cards that are at the back in the box, as well. Okay. Please stand for the reading of God's Word. We're in First Corinthians 13 This morning, and we're going to be looking at verses one to seven. Okay. First Corinthians 13. Paul writes, If I speak in the tongues of men, and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And 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'm nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It's not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. This is the word of the Lord. Let's pray together. Father, we're grateful, so grateful for the love that you have demonstrated for us through your son. It's been wonderful to sing already this morning of those great truths, the freedom and the forgiveness that can be found in Christ. We pray this morning that you would help us to place the highest value on loving one another in the same way that you have loved us and that we would grow in practicing that love prayer list in Christ's name. Amen. Please do have a seat. I have a reminder for you as we get into things this morning. And that is this since we are in First Corinthians 13. Make note. Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Okay, Valentine's Day. All right. Valentine's Day is the day of the year in which the Western world chooses to show their love through certain actions or gift giving that kind of stuff. Okay, you guys know about Valentine's Day. I wonder if anywhere else in the world does things like that. I think Valentine's day for all of the things that people say about it and all the things that Christians think about that kind of stuff, commercialism, and it shouldn't just be one day or that kind of thing. There is something good about it, I think. And that's even in unbelievers. Though, all of us to one degree or another could probably say that our view of what love is is warped. This day, at least provide some recognition of people other than ourselves, is a day in which in general, people are thinking about others, and how grateful they are for them, and wanting to do loving things for them kind things to them be a be a blessing for them. So this morning, then we're in the love chapter. Okay. Now, I have to tell you now, this chapter was not written by poor, to give you something to recite, to your spouse or your loved one on Valentine's Day. Okay, as well. This chapter was not written by Paul, because the Corinthian church had a wedding on their calendar, and they needed something to say.

    It's a great passage to us for those purposes, there's a lot that we can learn from it. There's a lot in these verses that we need to put into practice, definitely in loving our spouses within marriage, and also loving others, strengthening our marriages. But Paul, primarily here writes this chapter, to rebuke a church that is filled with self obsessed people who are failing to love others. So in our passage this morning, Paul reveals both the value and therefore the necessary centrality of love and some of the actions that define love. That's not a comprehensive list in verses four to seven. But it's certainly a good place to start in understanding what love does. So I believe that Paul's intent is to address things that he has seen concerns that he has, from what he's seen in the Corinthian church, things that those guys have been struggling with. I think it helps us to understand the context, within which First Corinthians 13 is written immediately before we have been in chapter 12. The last few weeks Paul's concern there is that the diversity of gifts within the body, not become a point of division, but a point of unity, as each part of the body has a valuable responsibility for the whole body. There was some within the church who thought more highly of those who had certain gifts. And they were then desiring those gifts. They were thinking, I desire to be considered valuable within this church. And the people that are valued the most are the people that do these things, or have these gifts. So I want those things. The poor cause them to unity, not division. Christ prayed. Similarly for unity amongst believers. In John chapter 17. First in verse 11, he prays for the apostles, that immediate Band of Brothers who had been following him who he had been teaching and instructing while he lived on earth, He prayed that they would be unified after he left. And then in verse 21, poor also prays for or sorry, not poor, Jesus also prays for believers that would come later says I don't just pray for the apostles, I don't just pray for them. I'm also praying for those who will believe through their ministry, people like us. It's very encouraging to think think that through and just realize that Jesus, like while He was on earth, He actually prayed for believers of today. And the thing that he prayed was that we would be unified, that we would pursue unity so essential, essential to the Christian life, that we'd be pursuing unity and Do not division, immediately following chapter 13. In chapter 14, Paul's concern is that the motivation behind using gifts within the church would be the building up of the body, not the building up of self. And that this would be done in an orderly way. So I believe then with those things in mind, what came before and what is about to follow chapter 13, that this chapter, our passage is strategically placed in the center of those things, because it's fundamental. Love is fundamental to unity. And love is fundamental to building up the body and not building up self. Biblical love is what drives and secures unity within the church. And biblical love is what motivates and energizes individual members of the body, to be concerned with building up fellow members of the body, rather than being self focused, or self promoting, and only concerned with self attainment. So Unity, and building up the body should be central in your mind, as a member of the church, if you are a member of the church this morning, if you're a believer. So the main idea of this passage, which is just a sentence that encapsulates what is being said, Is this and you can see that again in your weekly if you're new, there's an outline and the passage and all that kind of stuff relating to the sermon in the weekly. The main idea is this strive to live in love. Because it is what makes you valuable in the body of Christ, strive to live in love, because it is what makes you valuable in the body of Christ. Just going to divide this passage into two, we'll look at verses one through three, where the instruction is that we should value love properly. And then after that, we'll look at verses four through seven. But let's look point number one verses one through three value love properly. Now I'm going to go back to where Dan was, where he finished last week, chapter 12 And verse 31. tees up, verse 13. It says, earnestly desire the higher gifts, and I will show you still a more excellent way. Again, if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I'm a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And 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. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. So well we wrapped up last week with verse 31 of chapter 12. He says, I will show you a more excellent way. I'm going to tell you a Greek word. I want you to see if you can figure out what it means. And the Greek word is what's translated more excellent way there. The word in Greek is hyperbole. Hyperbole, okay. Literally in Greek that word means to throw beyond. Okay, so I've already thrown something. Now I'm going to throw something else beyond. So essentially what Paul is saying is I've been teaching you something important about gifts in chapter 12, and how those gifts are actually supposed to be unifying. But in the church in Corinth, they had become a point of division. But now I'm going to take you beyond what I've just been telling you. I'm going to take you even further. I'm going to give you something yet deeper and more important that you need to know. We use the word hyperbole in English, it means using exaggeration to make a point. And that's exactly what Paul does here in these first three verses. He exaggerates in order to underline the important point that he's making. So let's look at how he does that in these verses. You may have noticed as we went through Paul, he has kind of a like a three part formula that he follows in each one of these verses. Okay, it goes something like this I imagined if I were able to do these incredible things, imagine if I had these supernatural gifts and supernatural powers that could accomplish amazing things. But I was missing this one important thing I and my works would be rendered, they would be accounted valueless, we might say less than valueless. Okay, so that's the kind of the equation that he follows. Right is the formula that each of these three verses follows. So let's look at that verse one. He says that the first way, when he's talking about speaking, in the tongues of men, and of angels, tongues of men is talking about human languages. Like could speak in the languages of men in the languages of mankind. tongues of angels, our languages, perhaps Angel speak. But remember, this is hyperbole. All right. So let me paraphrase it for you, in a hyperbolic way, that will help you see what Paul is emphasizing here.

    Even if I could do these incredible and useful things, even if I could speak all of the languages of all of the entire human race that has ever existed, so that I could communicate anything that I wanted to them. And I could communicate in the languages of men with ease. Even if I could do that, you know what, even if I could speak in the tongues of angels, if I could speak angelic languages, if I had that amazing supernatural power, suppose like building up, he's exaggerating. Imagine if I could do all of these amazing things. But I didn't have love. I'd be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Now I would say in that verse, he said, I'd be less than valueless. A noisy gong, we have the blessing of being able to live listen to good percussionists on Sunday morning, we can be thankful for that. I'm sure you guys have heard one time or another, someone that is just smashing on something. And you just want to cover your ears. Like, that's obnoxious, that's annoying. That's what Paul says in verse one. You could have the most amazing gift in all the world. It's not just valueless. It's annoying and obnoxious. If you're not using it in love for others, if you are missing love, it is less than valueless.

    It has negative value, I'd be an annoying, obnoxious sound. To use gifts then in an unloving way just means that we're using them for our own benefit, not for the benefit of others or God's glory. So in this example, in the Corinthian church, they desired the gift of tongues, they desired to be able to speak other languages for their own self promotion. So the other people would think they were amazing. Wow, look how spiritual he is. Look how useful he is to the church. Look what she can do. Isn't that amazing? They want to lift themselves up. So the point that Paul is underlining here, and he does in verses two and three is this. The gift isn't what's valuable is that it's used to love others within the body. Verse two, likewise, he talks about prophetic powers. He talks about being able to understand all mysteries and all knowledge and having all faith so even as to remove mountains. So we see that progression again, right. He's using hyperbole again, he's exaggerating. Prophetic powers, he begins with the gift of being able to proclaim the revealed word of God to others. He might say, even if I'm extremely an extremely gifted preacher, or an extremely gifted evangelist If I was one of those guys that commanded a crowd, and whenever I spoke, people gathered around and wanted to listen to me. And when I spoke, people's lives were changed. And they really learn things. And I was really engaging and all that kind of stuff. Like, I wish I had that gift right now. In fact. It can be easy to be in awe of people like that, and desire that. He says, If I understand all mysteries and knowledge, mysteries, are things previously unknown, but now revealed by God, to certain people, like apostles and other Christians. Even if I could understand all of the complexities of Scripture. That's the sense in which Scripture is very simple. The Bible is very simple. What God has given us is simple. We can pick it up, we can read it, we can understand it, we know what it says. But then there are other aspects of theology sometimes that are more difficult to put together, they're more difficult to understand what exactly is he saying here? What are the depths that this verse goes to? I understand it on the surface level? But how deep does it go? Like, what am I being instructed of here? Like, imagine if I had the gift of being able to do that, to be able to explain all of the Simplicity's and complexities of God's word to everybody so that no one was in any doubt of what anything meant. Imagine if I had that gift that seems like it would be useful. And then he says, Faith, I should have had all faith in the faith, to be able to move a mountain to do something miraculous, if I had the belief that the power of God is at my disposal to do miraculous things in accordance with His will. So again, hyperbole if I was the best Bible teacher, if I understood and could explain everything in God's plan and God's word, and if I even trusted in God's power to the extent that I could ask for and receive anything, including miraculous things. Again, he underlined says like yeah, that sounds super valuable. But he says, All even all of that without love. He says this time I am nothing. Last time it was your a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, I'm less than nothing, I'm obnoxious, says I'm nothing. I'm valueless. They make us have no value if they are done without love. I think he's cutting right to their hearts here. The custom my heart too, and hopefully to yours too. essentially saying you are concerned about your own accomplishments. Corinthians, your Are you concerned about your own reputations within the church? Thus, that's why you're striving after these gifts. You want to become the most important person in the church. You want to become part of one of these groups that people consider elite. He will Paul says, Paul says no. He says no. That's not what gives you value. That's not what makes you important within the church. What makes you valuable within the church is loving your brothers and sisters in Christ. And we'll learn what that means when we get to verses four to seven. I want you to see like just how profound this message is that Paul is delivering. Because what it means is the usual way that we value and the usual way that we place importance on what people who people are and the things that they do is completely thrown out the window by God. Therefore, you could be someone in the church that people don't know very well. You could be someone in the church that does a bunch of behind the scenes stuff or you serve in unknown, unseen ways, and yet you serve the body. And you know what God says about you in this passage. He says you're the most valuable person in the church. People like you who live an act entirely in love are the most valuable. That's what's most value. The first three again the same formula. He takes it to the extreme degree, this time talking about his possessions. Even if I give away everything I possess, you know what hyperbole, even if I gave away my body to be burned, for gave away all my possessions, and then gave away my body, like absolutely everything that I could entirely give away, but had not love. I gain nothing if I do this, but these actions are done only for self seeking purposes, not for the good of others, and for the glory of God, there are absolutely no gained to me. So again, the highlight that we see is this. What is of utmost value is Love is love. In the Corinthian church, their value was found in the gifts that they had, it was found in their abilities. They're standing within the church. Paul tells them here that without love, this all actually counts for nothing. In fact, it can be worse than nothing, it can be an annoying sound, or it can be not obnoxious. This is a rebuke to those in Corinth, they had been placing that value in the wrong things not being loving. So pause conclusion was that they were nothing that they had gained nothing. And they were nothing more than an than an annoying obnoxious sound. Alright, get your imaginations ready. Imagine you were excited about going skydiving. Okay, most of you have to imagine that. There are some unusual people that would actually be excited about going skydiving. Okay, so just imagine most of you that you're excited about going skydiving, go skydiving or up in the plane, you jump out of the hole, and you realize you don't have your parachute on. I think I would be safe to say that even the person that wants to go skydiving and doesn't imagine need to imagine excitement about it. For all of us, our excitement would quickly dwindle. Right? understatement. Yeah, like panic, I don't know if like, I'm not just not excited anymore. I'm terrified. I have big regrets. So silly illustration. Or to say, missing a key component suddenly makes the experience way less valuable. The same is what's true in these verses from Paul, don't forget the most valuable thing. slike skydiving with our parachute. So we need to find our value in the right place.

    It's not having certain gifts, that give us value. It's not having a certain reputation that gives us value. There's not authority that gives us value. It's not standing. It's not responsibility. It's not position. It's not what ministry you serve in that gives you value. It's the love that you have for one another. Brothers and sisters in Christ is how you serve one another. It's the attitude that you consider one another with. And that can be done by anyone. You don't have to be a ministry leader. You don't even have to be an adult, to serve others, to have a loving attitude towards them. To have a mindset of I'm going to do anything within my power to serve that person and be a blessing to them. So I asked you this, what are you striving for within this body within the church? Is it something other than loving your brothers and sisters in Christ? And if it is, bring it to the Lord. Ask Him for help. Confess it, asking for forgiveness and say I want my sole purpose embody life to be glorifying you and laying down my life all of these other people that you've saved Christ died for helped me to do that. Talk to other people about it too. Don't just bottle it up and try and do on your own. Go to other brothers and sisters in Christ and say, I've noticed this about myself helped me give give me encouragement, give me strength, give me things from the word that point me in the right direction. Okay, so we'll move on to verses four through seven. And as we do, it's important to note, I think that Paul anticipates a response to what he's just said. He anticipates that there's probably someone within the church in Corinth. And I would hazard a guess to say there's probably someone in here as well, at least someone, maybe some lots of people who might be thinking, after reading verses one through three, oh, yeah, I already do that. I already act completely lovingly within the body, I am already a completely self sacrificing slave of all the other members of the body. Okay. So with that person in mind, Paul writes verses four to seven. In which he essentially says, Let me tell you what love is, so that you can see if you match up. Now, again, it's not a comprehensive list. But Paul brings up specific actions that he saw were missing among certain groups in the Corinthian church. So point number two, verify love's presence, verify love's presence, verses four through seven. So what we're doing here is looking at things that love does, and seeing if it matches up with how we live and the things that we do in order to be able to verify, am I actually as loving as I think I am, according to God's definition of love. And if I'm not, now I've got some great ways I need to grow. And I need to work on some things. Okay, let me read those verses again. Love is patient, and kind. Love does not envy or boast, not arrogant or rude, does not insist on its own way is not irritable or resentful, does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So he's given us this list, not comprehensive. But in order to help us understand what love looks like, this love that He has just said, is what gives you your value. This is how you gain value. So again, it's as much a rebuke as anything else. Some of Paul's purpose here is to say, Love is superior to the gifts mentioned in verses one through three. Listen to this list, I'm about to write to you. Do you notice anything different, anything missing from your gathering? If you aren't seeing things like these, then you are loving. Which means you're valuing something else more than love. Which means that you're valuing something else more than God's likeness. Because God is love. Which means you're seeking to glorify something else, maybe yourself ahead of God. Because God likeness is the way we glorify Him. So Paul wants the people in this church in Corinth, and he wants he would want us to, to identify that idol within our hearts and destroy it. We don't get to define love. Scripture already tells us that God is love. Therefore love is defined by who he is. It's something that says it's who God is. So these things reveal, in part, just the character of God, this is what he's like. In so many of the songs this morning that we sang, you just see that reflected. And you'll see as we work our way through these words, how it reflects God's character. So we have four verses to get through. And in those four verses, there are 15 verbs that we need to talk about, so we're gonna get through them pretty quick before we do. An important grammatical point to know. Before we get into those four verses is this when we read, For example, the first three words of verse four, it says love is patient. Right? When we read it in English, for me to say which which one of those words is the verb? It like is is a is a verb being, right tells you how something exists. Love is patient. And patient is just a word that describes love. When I was looking at it in Greek, which is what the New Testament was originally written in, it says something like this, there is no is in there. It says, Love. It, patience is the verb is patience. Okay, and it's the same all the way through every single one of those 15 words, through four through seven are all verbs. Everything that love is, is a verb. And that's important. It's very important. Because it tells us that these words don't just describe something about love. It's not just like saying the boat is red. But they tell us that love is active. Love does things. It patient says it does patience, it does kindness. It does not do arrogance. Okay, it's active. It does stuff. So what does it do? Okay, let's get through this. Number one. I think as I've gone through these these, like, that's so convicting is so easy in a passage that you know, really well just to skim over it, and think like, oh, yeah, patients means don't get annoyed when I'm driving my car. And when my alarm goes off, it doesn't bother me and all that kind of stuff. And it's like, oh, yeah, kindness means I've just generally got a nice demeanor with people. But it like is way more like you look at it, it's way more. So love does patience. I'm gonna say it like that, just to remind us that it's an action. Patience is remaining tranquil, while waiting, is bearing up under provocation without complaint is being forbearing. Okay? The word is actually connected to judgment. It means when someone's imposing themselves on us, when someone's doing something unkind to us, behaving in an unpleasant manner around us doing something that's ruffling us. I am patient to exact judgment.

    Which just means we all want to just fight back right then. Or we let things fester in us and they build up and we have grudges against people. This this happens within the body as well. It's not just like, oh, Christians with people outside of the church. He's talking to Christians in the church. Like this happens. We get close to people, we have different personalities, we have different desires, and we start like ruffling each other. And then we want to like, we want to do something about it. And we want to be the person that's like getting our retribution or getting our revenge or, or you did this against me. So now I'm going to do this back to you. In other places in Scripture, we're told not to judge that's not our place. It's God's place.

    We're not just to cut people off. When they've done something that we don't like, or gradually just distance ourselves from them. We don't hang out with them anymore. First Thessalonians 514 uses the same word. Believers are for one another, to admonish the idol to encourage the faint hearted, to help the weak. He says then be patient with all of them. Whether it's the idol, whether it's the faint hearted or the weak, whatever you patient with all of them want to be like taking any opportunity that we can to judge them. I think it comes out best in second pa three nine, which says God is patient. He's not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. That should be our heart too. We're so cool. quick just to draw the line and be like, that person's done, I'm done with that person. That's not what God is like, and God is love. He's not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Love does kindness. Similar to patience, this contains an element of being merciful. It responds to others with the same tenderheartedness and forgiveness that God has shown to us in Christ. Ephesians 432 says, Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you. So that's some of the things that love does, then he switches to what it does not do. Love does not envy. Envy is when we have these bad feelings towards someone else, because of their success. They've been successful in something. I don't like it either because I don't want them to be successful, or because I want that success myself. And now I'm bothered that they're getting it and I'm not that's envy. In the Corinthian case, it was related to spiritual gifts. They were envious of what gifts of his hat. They were angry that certain gifts seem to bring others success. They wanted the success themselves. Ask yourself this question Is there anyone in your life who, when they're being successful, causes you to feel negatively? That's envy. Love does not boast just means to heap praise on yourself. Other ancient Greek what writings use the same word and when it's translated, it's translated as a windbag. A loving person isn't a windbag full of themself, ready to puff it out, whenever they have an opportunity. Look how great I am more interested in building up self building up their own reputation than in building up the reputation of others and building others up in Christ. You see, like one of the themes through all of these is self centeredness. In the Corinthian context, it might have referred to those who Paul addressed at the beginning of the letter. Remember, they were all striving after like the person who could speak the best, like, Oh, I'm a follower of him, or I'm a follower of him because he's a better speaker than he is. Or he's more convincing and all of that kind of stuff. Like they were boasting in those types of things. As I consider that, I'm reminded of people like John the Baptist, John chapter three and verse 30, as he was proclaiming the imminent coming and revelation of the Messiah. He said, He must increase, and I must decrease. So the heart of one who does not boast is one who puts Christ on center stage is one who's willing to say I'll step back into the shadows. So the Christ can be the one that people see. It's not about me, it's not about my kingdom. It's not about my advancement is not about people thinking how great I am. It's all about Jesus. And people know and how great he is. It also relates to our relationship with one another. In Philippians, two verses three and four, where Paul says, Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, nothing. Nothing selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but to the interests of others.

    Love does not do arrogance is the next one. does not allow other things to puff it up. Again, self importance. It's like these circumstances give me an opportunity to think about how great I am and how great I'm doing. Love doesn't do that. The word only occurs seven times in the whole New Testament, and six of them are in this letter to the Corinthians. So as an issue of this, so the question we ask ourselves here is, is your purpose to build yourself up, or to build up the body of Christ to build up others? Quick story, I used to work at the bookstore when I was at seminary down in LA, Grace books International. Every year, the day that we look forward to the most was inventory day. And it was great. Inventory day was the day of the year where all of the staff came in, and however long it needed to take, we had to count every single book that we owned. It was great. And what we tried to do was match up reality with what was reflected in the computer. The computer says we have this many 18, but I can only find three. That's the problem. It's all for tax stuff, and accounting, and all that kind of stuff. So we used to do that. What we need to do as believers is take spiritual inventory, right? We see things like this throughout scripture, and it should immediately call us to say, Alright, does reality reflect what's written in the book? Do I see the fruit in my life that reflects the things that Paul is saying is true of love. And if not, again, God's grace is sufficient for you. He is faithful. He sanctifies us he helps us he's bringing us to completion. He's drawing us to Christ's likeness. So let's turn to Him. Confess those things, ask him for help and entrust ourselves to other brothers and sisters in Christ, who can help us walk away from that and grow in Christ's likeness. Verse five, love does not do rudeness. It does not behave in decently or improperly, it might refer to the sexual indecency of Chapter Five where the man was living with his mother's is father's wife. But it might just be in decency in general, impropriety. Is there anything shameful that you're participating in, that you're bringing into the body, or allowing to affect your role within the body, Love does not insist on its own way. It does not seek the thing of itself is literally how it is in Greek. It means you're not self focused and self advancing. Paul addresses this in chapter 10. He says, Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. And then again, he says of himself, just as I tried to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. It's amazing statement, right? I try to please everyone in everything I do. Not seeking my own advantage, what a church that would be. Can you imagine if we all did that, just sought to please every with everybody else in everything that we did. Do the decisions that you make reflect an advancement of your own will and desires or a heart of self sacrifice, others serving and an advancement of God's kingdom. Love does not do irritable, love does not do irritable illness, I don't know how to say that in the in the active way. It's not stirred up to irritation. The loving person does not allow the wrongs of others or the difficult circumstances of life to stir up irritation within them. Love does not do resentfulness. And that was an interesting one to look at actually means to total up or calculate wickedness. And what that means is like, love does not have the ledger out and keep a record of every debt, every rung that people commit against you, and then store them up so that at some point, you can be like, alright, it's payment time. You owe me this. All of these things you've done. You owe me this. Now I think that one can be way more subtle that it sounds like no one actually does that right? The way I just described it, but what we do is we give people the silence treatment. We cut people off. We gossip about people. We get bitter about people and the things that they've done. That's what he's talking about. It's addressed in other places in Scripture, Matthew 18, Peter asks Jesus, how many times should I forgive someone that wrongs me the sins against me? And was Jesus say 70 times seven, he never end. keep forgiving. You just keep going. Keep on going, there's no limit. Second Corinthians five, Paul says, In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. Think about that, just within your own heart, the sin that God has forgiven you and does not count against you no longer if you're in Christ. We must be godlike in our forgiveness. Verse six, love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. So having said all of those previous things, it's important to know that we don't pretend the wrongdoing hasn't happened. Whenever encouraged or glad wrongdoing, even if it benefits us or someone else. In that sense, the end doesn't ever justify the means. But we're also not being asked to remove the natural, relational, punitive or divine consequences that a person might receive on account of their wrongdoing. For example, if someone breaks trust with you, you can still forgive them. While understanding is going to take time for that to be rebuilt, maybe a lot of time. If someone harms you, or someone you love, you can be forgiving while still exercising appropriate measures of safety for your loved one or yourself. So he switches back to what love does. It rejoices with the truth. It doesn't seek to go around the truth, doesn't seek to bury the truth, doesn't get upset with the truth because it now becomes inconvenient or a bother or uncomfortable. Verse seven, it bears all things Love bears all things. It can put up with anything, and still remain faithful and still remain loving. It believes all things. It always believes that Christ can accomplish the seemingly impossible in the hearts of his people. It hopes all things our hopes and knows that there is never any hopeless case or circumstance for myself or for the other person. And it endures all things. It holds up. It stands firm, during trouble, or affliction, love never loses belief and hope in the spiritual blessings or promises of Christ. Nor in other believers, despite their shortcomings. This is what brings us to a place of being about being able to bear and endure all things. If we I think it's important. You see, belief, and hope, are the two that are at the center of those four. When our belief and hope are in the right things, we are unable to bear and endure all things helps us to bear through difficult situations. So believe and hope that Christ's grace is sufficient for you while you bear and endure. So, love comes from God. Because God is love. Love is manifested by those who know God. The more we know God, the more we will manifest God's love, like what we have seen in these verses. So the application then is simple to say but difficult to do.

    I advise you to do something like this work through this passage again, particularly verses four to seven devotionally slowly take them one at a time. Listen to this sermon again while you're doing it or find a commentary, a study Bible or something to help you understand what the words mean. So you can just sit on it for a while and determine how am I doing with that one? And if I'm falling short, what do I need to do? To love my brothers and sisters in Christ? Philippians, 127 and 28 Paul says that lives lived in a manner worthy of the gospel, and like signposts for unbelievers, and a confirmation and declaration of salvation, for beliefs, to living right. Living in this way, First Corinthians 13, has profound eternal significance in the lives of other people. Says it. Likewise, in John 1334 and 35, Jesus talks to his disciples and says, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love, one for another. So our love is essential to the work of the church, to being witnesses to the lost world, and making disciples if it is deficient. Let's work together at correcting. Let's pray. Father, we're so thankful for the clarity of your word, and how compelling it is. Just pray that You would help us to value love rightly. And help us to see areas in which we're not loving brothers and sisters in the church. And we pray that You give us the grace to be corrected in those things. We pray this in Christ's name, Amen.

Ian Rush

Ian is the Youth Pastor of Faith Bible Church. He and his wife, Claire, have 5 kids and recently spent a few years serving in a small church in England.

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