A Lesson on Loving
1 Corinthians 13
Lucy asked Charlie Brown one day to give him a definition of love. He said, "Love, a noun, strong affection or liking for someone or something, a strong affection for the opposite sex." Lucy said, "On paper, Charlie Brown is great!"
The church of Corinth was great on paper. They were the most gifted church in the New Testament. However, there was much to be desired in their real life experience.
1 Cor. 13 is one of the great passages of the Bible. It is sublime in its message.
-A. T. Robertson, Greek scholar, said that this chapter comes as a sweet bell between the jangling noises of chapter 12-14. Right in the midst of the discussion of the disorder and confusion and problems and divisions they are experiencing in Corinth about the matter of spiritual gifts, Paul devotes time to this beautiful chapter of love.
I want us to look at this chapter in its context. "A text without a context is just a pretext." We need to see what came before and what comes after to get the real message of this text.
-Before: 1 Cor. 12:31 "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
There are three things we need to consider as we think about this subject; the gift of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, and the graces of the Spirit.
The gift of the Spirit is the Lord's ascension gift to every believer. At the moment of conversion, every believer is baptized into the body of Christ. It happens one time and will never happen again. This is the one thing that every believer has in common. Without the Spirit, we are none of His.
The gifts of the Spirit are gifts given to individual believers for the purpose of ministry and service. There are speaking gifts, serving gifts, and sign gifts. The sovereign God gives gifts to each believer as He wills, for the benefit of the believer and for the edification of the church.
The graces of the Spirit are referred to in Galatians 5:22- ...
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