Characteristics of Powerful Christian Lives:

Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (ESV)

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When 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. 12 For 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.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Study and Devotional Guide

1. Some of you have never read this chapter from 1 Corinthians before. Some of you have heard it or read it so many times you already think you know what it says. Let’s all pretend our eyes are seeing it for the first time; maybe we’ll see something new and understand more deeply. There has never been a powerful, happy Christian life in which love was absent or feeble.

2. The first paragraph establishes the preeminence of love; then in v. 13 love’s preeminence is restated in a different way. Notice how strongly the apostle argues for love’s importance in that first paragraph. Which of his statements there strike you as being the most radical?

3. The second paragraph gives us, not a definition, but a description of love. Consider each descriptive phrase carefully. Make a list with two columns. In the first, write down what love is or does; in the second, what it is not, or does not do. Which things in the lists challenge you most?

4. The third paragraph is more difficult to understand. To understand it you need to know there were people in the church at Corinth who had the spiritual gift of prophecy, others had the spectacular gift of speaking in tongues, others had the wonderful spiritual gift of knowledge and insight. Many in the church considered these the most important spiritual gifts and, childishly, boasted that they had these most important abilities. Now do you understand what the apostle is saying in this paragraph?

5. Here are some other New Testament passages that teach us about love. See what they add to the apostle’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 13.

     –Romans 12:9-10

     –Romans 13:8

     –Colossians 3:14

     –1 John 4:8-9

Hoping to see you this week,

Pr. Steve Dennis

 

this sunday     This Sunday.pdf

January 14, Second Sunday after the Epiphany

  9:00 am Adult Bible Study

10:00 am Worship

11:00 am Refreshments, Sermon Interaction, HisKids Groups