by J.D. Jones

Love's Excellence
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
J.D. Jones

'Yet shew I you a more excellent way.' That is the last sentence which the apostle's pen had written. He had been pointing out to the Corinthians that it was a foolish and suicidal thing to let jealousy of one another's gifts breed dissension in the church. He had been urging upon them that all these various gifts were as necessary to the health and vigor of the church as the various organs-eye and ear, and hand and foot-are to the efficiency and welfare of the body. And just because each gift was necessary, jealousy of this or the other gift, or contempt of the less showy gifts was sheer stupidity. There is no escape from the apostle's argument. It is just plain, straightforward, but absolutely convincing common sense. And then it came home to the apostle that considerations of mutual profit might after all entirely fail to secure the desired unity: that common sense might not avail to solve the problem. At any rate, there was a much more certain path to unity, a much more sure method of banishing dissension than considerations of mutual profit could supply. The real remedy was that these Corinthian Christians should love one another. Love is the ligament that can bind the members of a church to one another and make a 'body' of them. This was 'the more excellent way' which he had in his mind when he penned that last sentence of chapter 12. And what we should naturally have expected after such a sentence is that Paul should proceed to show how love would succeed where common sense might wholly fail. But what he does is to break out into an impassioned, glorious eulogy of love itself. It is as if at the mere thought of love the apostle had become so absorbed and engrossed in the beauty of the thing itself that he clean forgot for the moment all about the end to the realization of which love was to be the means. There is a suggestive little touch in the story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Apparently it ...

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