Responding to this love

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

– 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (ESV)

A. The importance of love

  1. Powerful spiritual gifts alone?
  2. Sacrifice alone?

Hate is impatient and unkind; hate is jealous and proud; hate is arrogant and rude. Hate always insists on doing things its way; hate gets upset over every offense and keeps a close record of every wrong. Hate does not delight to see good things, but rejoices when people screw up or get what’s coming to them. Hate complains about anything, is cynical about everything, has no hope for anyone, and puts up with nothing.

– Kevin DeYoung

B. The Characteristics of Love

  1. Patient and Kind
  2. Not envious or boastful
  3. Not arrogant or rude
  4. Not insisting on its own way
  5. Not irritable or resentful
  6. Not rejoicing in wrongdoing, but in the truth

C. The Call of Love

  1. Bears all things
  2. Believes all things

The whole scope of the connection here requires us to understand this of the conduct of others. It cannot mean, that the man who is under the influence of love is a man of “universal credulity;” that he makes no discrimination in things to be believed; and is as prone to believe a falsehood as the truth; or that he is at no pains to inquire what is true and what is false, what is right and what is wrong. But it must mean, that in regard to the conduct of others, there is a disposition to put the best construction on it; to believe that they may be acting from good motives, and that they intend no injury; and that there is a willingness to suppose, as far as can be, that what is done is done consistently with friendship, good feeling, and virtue. Love produces this.

– Barnes

  1. Hopes all things
  2. Endures all things

Putting this love into action

Happy the man who has this heavenly fire glowing in his heart, flowing out of his mouth, and diffusing its warmth over all with whom he has to do! How lovely a thing would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more actuated and animated by this divine principle, A new commandment give I to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.

– Matthew Henry

  • It may look good on the outside, but without love, it is worthless
  • We cannot do it ourselves, only His love can transform us
  • Nothing will stimulate our love more than remembering His work on the cross
Joel Peabody

Joel grew up overseas watching his parents proclaim the Gospel in Morocco and Spain; at ten, he recognized his own need for Christ’s redemption. He met and married Deb in Bible College and God has blessed them with the joy of raising two children, Logan and Katie, who are now married and serving God in their own families. Through more than 30 years together, they have watched God faithfully care for and prepare them to in turn minister to others.

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