Be The Church Week 17
1 Corinthians 13
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Theme: When we look into the church of Corinth we see a lot of things we can learn from! They were a messy church, but they were a church alive! As we dive into this book we can learn a lot, whether it be from their spiritual failures or whether it be from their spiritual success. The one thing we learn is that God has called the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus! And it's when the church comes together in unity and lives on mission together that God moves in the most powerful of ways! In chapters 1-10 Paul addresses how the church should live in the world outside the church. In chapters 11-14 Paul addresses Christians on how they should act inside the church! Let's Be The Church!
Love in the church!
God has given us many gifts to use for loving Him and loving others! God wants Love to be the defining characteristic of His church. It is when sin in us makes spiritual gifts and life itself about us that we use good things selfishly and we become self-seeking and begin to love ourselves more than God and other people around us! Let’s talk about Real Love!
1.. The Greatness of Love. Vs 1-3
Paul wants the defining characteristic of the Corinthian church to be Love.
The Corinthians had allowed the gifts to become more important than Love.
Pauls says because you have made gifts more important than loving and serving others, you are using gifts wrong. They were using gifts to elevate themselves instead of serving others. This is why Paul says “it’s worse when you gather together.” “you're doing more harm than good.” God wasn’t being glorified.
Throughout scripture, Paul uses LOVE as THE MEASURE of the mature church. A Church that reflects Jesus is a church that is characterized by love.
Jesus himself says in John 13 that people will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.
Paul wants the Corinthians to remember that you can be the most gifted church in the world but if you don’t have love… you have nothing!
This is why Jesus says there are two great commands: Love God. Love others.
When we operate in those two things, everything else will fall into place!
Love is not A characteristic of God’s church. It is the defining characteristic of God’s church.
What was God’s intention in giving us Spiritual Gifts?
To do good things the wrong way is to do things wrong! God cares more about the heart behind everything we do. Is Love the defining Characteristic of your life?
Would you use the word Love to Define our Connect Group? (How have you experienced love in our connect group)
2.. The Definition of Love vs 4-8
The truest thing about love is what God’s word says about love.
This is How God defines love! Vs 4-8
Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
“Not self-seeking.” Is this the way the world defines love? NO!! When it comes to the world's definition of love there is always a clause, disclaimer, and exception. Love in the world is usually always self-seeking. It is patient unless they do something we don’t like!
Tolerance ( I don’t have to like them, I just have to “put up” with them.)
Worldly love does not point to Jesus whatsoever!
Jesus was patient - Disciples ran at His arrest! WWJD? He went after them!
Jesus was Kind - Woman caught in adultery! WWJD? Forgave her
Jesus wasn’t envious - Satan tempted him with “stuff” WWJD? Rejected it!
Jesus did not boast - Philippians 2 He had reason to, but did not!
Jesus wasn’t proud - He was born in a manger!
Jesus didn’t dishonor others
Jesus was not self-seeking - “your will not my will”
Jesus was not easily angered - He was Betrayed with a kiss (Judas)
Jesus kept no records of right and wrongs - Disciples’ failures
Jesus didn’t delight in evil but rejoiced with the truth - No Sin
This is the type of love God wants your life to be characterized by.
Love isn’t best defined with words, it’s best defined by a person!
Love has a name His name is Jesus! It’s in a relationship with Him and Him only that we can experience true love and be compelled by Love to Love others the same way He loved us!
What is the difference between worldly love vs Godly Love?
(Give some examples)
Why is Godly Love important in your life? (In your marriage, in your friendships? In the church? In your life?)
Have you experienced the Love of Jesus in your life personally? (Explain)
3.. The Source of Love
We can not create this type of love within ourselves. It comes from 2 things:
An experience with the gospel and The Spirit of God.
Before we can display the love of God to others. We must experience the love of God. Those who experience the gospel become like the gospel.
1 John 4:19 = We love because he first loved us.
2 corinthians 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us to live for God, not ourselves.
Romans 5:5 God’s Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
There is a clear source to this type of love being displayed in and through us. The bible teaches when we surrender our lives to Jesus we receive the Spirit of God! The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives! #1 Love.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Forbearance, Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law.
Not only does Jesus produce this in us, but He also came as an example to model this lifestyle of love for us. He is the person of Love!
Why is experiencing the Gospel personally and having a relationship with Jesus necessary to have Godly Love towards others?
Have you experienced the Gospel? Have you experienced God’s Love in such a way that it has changed your life and transformed you completely?
(Are you saved?)
God help me remember the Love that you have for me! Help me to grow in your love so I can grow in loving others around me!