The Bible’s Simplest Description of God: Love
I Corinthians 13:1-3
February 22, 2009
INTRODUCTION: The context of this chapter and passage has to do with spiritual gifts. Paul is used by the Holy Spirit to show the need for spiritual graces to minister their spiritual gifts. Chapter 12 tells of God’s rich endowment of the gifts to His people; Chapter 13 tells of God’s energy imparted in our lives, which makes it possible for us to use the gifts for His glory; Chapter 14 gives God’s instructions for the exercise of the gifts.
It has been said that the only thing that will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ is:
1. That which was motivated by God’s love.
2. That which was empowered by God’s Spirit.
3. That which was done only for God’s glory.
Chapter 13 is inspired by God to show us that the only way to safeguard and rightly use our spiritual gifts is by administering them in the love of God. It is in this chapter that we see love declared, love defined, and love described.
‘‘Love’’ is the word agape; it is from this word that we get our English word agony. It means the actual absorption of every part of our being in one great passion. It is used often in relation to God (John 3:16) The word has little to do with mere emotion; it indicates love which deliberately, by an act of will, chooses its object, and through thick or thin, regardless of the attractiveness of the object concerned, goes on loving continually, eternally.
Love speaks of complete self-denial. To love in this way means never thinking of ourselves at all; the self-life does not enter into the picture. It is always used when the will is involved rather than the emotions.
When Chapter 13:4-7 describes love, every statement is applicable to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Love is the one thing, though, that is completely indestructible, while other things pass away, love lasts. It is not dependent on anything outside of itself; it is not affected by the worthiness o ...
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