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February 21, 2016

"BIBLICAL LOVE"

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-7
READING:
 Proverbs 10: 1-22

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SUBJ: The characteristics of the love exhibited by Christ and given us in Christ showing that such love is of divine derivation and is in stark contrast to that of this world.

AIM: That we might be given the more to being possessed by the love of Christ to us and displaying the love of Christ in us.

INTR: We approach with reverence a passage that is one of the most important guides and standards for the believing life in that the love of Christ is defined in operation rather than mere emotion.
1. Volumes have thus been written on this passage it is fittingly so – Christ is thereby seen in His people.
2. For this reason it is worthy of close study and grace for compliance should be an object of our prayers beginning with the ability to love Him more and to love others as He did.
3. It is interesting that the KJV translators chose the world “charity” to translate the word elsewhere rendered as “love” – perhaps it was that the perception of that particular aspect of love was being emphasized.

THESIS: In any event, this precious fruit of the Spirit finds it greatest demonstration in the Gospel and Christ therein as He declared of Himself that “greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.” This He raised to an infinite level of definition and expression.

I. The absence of love (vv. 1-3)
1. I have no meaning (v. 1)
1) The effect of great oratorical ability on many as is witnessed by the charlatans of our day.
2) The emphasis placed on this by the Greeks and Romans in the day and yet Paul saw this as surpassing them all and he himself did so with this passage here.
3) Consider the example of Herod (“it is the voice of a god…”) who was eaten of worms.
4) One may preach the greatest of messages and present great biblical truths to no avail without love.
5) I am a meaningless bunch of noise that is offensive to God and men!
2. I am of no value (v. 2)
1) Consider the gifts one might have – prophecies, understanding of mysteries,
2) And all knowledge
3) And faith to accomplish great things in the sight of men (is it possible to have faith and not love?)
4) While all these things may seem great to the unregenerate, in the sight of God and in the matter of any benefit to mankind – “I am nothing”
3. I am have no profit (v. 3)
1) We are all aware of and have participated in many humanitarian efforts involving many people and perhaps all have in some way participated in such things and such efforts are admirable and appreciated and
2) Perhaps personal sacrifice is involved – consider that suicide bombers of our day as a horrible example of these things,
3) But even sacrifice made with no more than human love as a reason misses the point that is there in the example of Christ Jesus Our Lord.

II. What this love is
1. “True love reveals itself in loving the unlovable, for this is what God does. He shows us his love in the death of His Son while we were still in sin (Rom. 5:8). God comes to us first in love before we come to Him in repentance and faith. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10.
2. In that it is said that God is love (in the sense of His every presentation to us so expresses love) we might well substitute Christ for every mention of the word Love in this sense.

III. What true love does (vv. 4-7)
1. Patient – with regard to offenses and injuries received by others
2. Kind – Kindness as expressed as fruit of the Spirit
3. Not Jealous – so desiring the good of others rather than resenting them or their success.
4. It is neither boastful nor arrogant – something often seen among professors of religion who think themselves to have obtained by their works.
5. Behave indecently – love rather exhibits proper decorum
6. Does not seek its own things: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:4
7. Does not become angry as a matter of personal pride – righteous anger is another matter.
8. Thinketh no evil – Loves doesn’t keep records of wrongs!
9. Does not rejoice in evil but rather rejoices on the truth (Christ)
10. Love bears (or covers all things)
11. Love believes all things in the hope given us in the Word of God and revealed in Christ – has true faith and
12. Proceeds to the third of Love, faith and hope rested in Christ and
13. Love perseveres until the end – joy evermore!