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The Corinthians were preoccupied with and enamored of the spiritual gifts in general and the more spectacular gifts in particular.
They defined spirituality in terms of the gifts and assumed those who
The Corinthians were preoccupied with and enamoured of the spiritual gifts in general and the more spectacular gifts in particular. They defined spirituality in terms of the gifts and assumed those who possessed the more spectacular gifts were in a superior spiritual class and left all the others far behind.
possessed the more spectacular gifts were in a superior spiritual class and left all the others far behind.
Paul had a crushing word for all who entertained such notions.
He closed his discussion of spiritual gifts in general by saying there was ‘an even better way’ (12:31).
I am sure that caught their attention! I can still hear their horrified response: ‘What could possibly be more excellent than the gifts?
Paul didn’t make them wait long for the answer. In simple, unadorned language
he escorts them up to the very pinnacle of Christian faith and practice.
What is this pinnacle?
What is the Mt Everest of Christianity?
Paul says it is love. (read 13:1-7)
Ellsworth, R. (1995). Strengthening Christ’s Church: The Message of 1 Corinthians (p. 209). Darlington, England: Evangelical Press.

1. BE PATIENT AND KIND

Ellsworth, R. (1995). Strengthening Christ’s Church: The Message of 1 Corinthians (p. 209). Darlington, England: Evangelical Press.

1. BE PATIENT AND KIND

“Love is patient, love is kind.” (v4)
Right away our minds go right to the attribute of God’s patience.
15 "But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth.” () 6 "The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth,” ()
Same can be said of kindness (which is His goodness). 7 "Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with your faithful love, remember me because of your goodness, Lord. 8 "The Lord is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way.” () 5 "For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abounding in faithful love to all who call on you.” ()
God’s patience and kindness become the basis of our love’s necessary passive and active responses toward others...
Kindness and Patience are the divine attitude from God towards mankind.
4 "Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” ()
So when Paul goes to describe “love” he begins with a two fold description of God.
God has shown Himself through Christ to be forbearing and kind towards those who deserve divine judgment.
The obvious implication, of course, is that this is how His people are to be towards others.
et’s give thanks to God for being patient for our church family. In all our failings He continues to treasure us through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus. Pray that our church would love one another with the same patient love — that we don’t get annoyed if people seem slow to change or don’t do things the way we might like. Pray that our love would overflow in acts of kindness towards each other.

2. ISN’T PROUD OR SELF-SEEKING

“Love…is not arrogant”; “is not self-seeking” (v4,5).
This word “arrogant” is the word “puffed up” in 8:1, where he contrasts the word “puffed up” with love again.
“arrogant” means to puff up, make proud.
Paul hammers home the incompatibility of love as respect and concern for the welfare of the other and obsessions about the status and attention rendered to self.
Love leads one to an
Only God knows how much behavior among believers and even ministers
is actually ‘attention seeking’ designed to impress others with one’s own supposed importance?
Without love knowledge degenerates into obnoxious arrogance; with love it is a valuable asset.
Arrogance is inflated selfishness, while love is genuine humility.
Arrogance is devoid of love and love is devoid of arrogance; indeed both are mutually exclusive.
Then in v5 we have, “Love…is not self-seeking”.
Simply stated, love isn’t selfish.
Paul himself had shown the Corinthians the example of selfless love when he served them as their pastor for a year and a half.
He labored faithfully without any financial support from them (9:18).
Repeatedly he instructed them to seek the welfare of others, not their own (10:24, 33).
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 460). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Ciampa, R. E., & Rosner, B. S. (2010). The First Letter to the Corinthians (p. 645). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

3. KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS

“and does not keep a record of wrongs.” (v5)
Just as God in Christ does not ‘reckon our sins against us’ (),
so the one who loves does not take notice of the evil done against him/her
in the sense that no records are kept, waiting for God or man to settle the score.
Here is a verbal portrait of a bookkeeper who flips the pages of his ledger
to reveal what has been received and spent.
He is able to give an exact account and provide an itemized list.
Some people are keeping a similar list of wrongs that they have experienced.
But love is extremely forgetful when it comes to remembering injury and injustice.
When wrongs have been forgiven, they ought to be forgotten and never be mentioned again.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 460–461). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Ciampa, R. E., & Rosner, B. S. (2010). The First Letter to the Corinthians (p. 647). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

4. REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH

4. REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH

Spend some time rejoicing over the people in our church that God has recently brought to the saving truth of the gospel (v6).
While we find no joy in unrighteousness we do rejoice in the truth.
One of the characteristics of love is the constant attempt to discover good and praiseworthy words, thoughts, and deeds in a person.
Love searches out the truth and rejoices when that truth is triumphing over wrong.
Love and truth are inseparable partners residing in God himself.
God shares these characteristics with his people.
He endowed them with love and truth, which, though tainted by sin, are renewed in Christ Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 461). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, p. 461). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

5. TRUSTS, HOPES, PERSEVERES.

Pray that God would form us into a community that “…believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (v7)
Love “believes all things.”
This does not mean that a Christian filled with love lacks the qualities of wisdom and discernment and
thus becomes the gullible dupe of every falsifier.
On the contrary, love is always wise and discerning.
The clause signifies that a Christian has faith in God, who will work out his divine plans
even when all the indicators seem to point in different directions.
Filled with love for God and neighbor, a believer trusts that God indeed will make his or her paths straight ().
c. Love “hopes all things.” With this clause, Paul introduces hope, the second member in the triad of faith, hope, and love (see v. 13).
He shows that love gives rise to both faith and hope, so that indeed love is the greatest virtue in this triad.
Of these three virtues, hope is often the neglected member overshadowed by faith.
Nevertheless, when a tripod loses one of its legs, its fall is inevitable.
When a Christian nurtures love and faith but neglects hope, he fails and falters in his spiritual life.
Love “endures all things.” The verb to endure epresses perseverance and tenacity in all circumstances.
It means to endure in times of pain, suffering, deprivation, hatred, loss, and loneliness. New Testament writers repeatedly exhort us to persevere:
Paul tells us that if we endure with Christ, we will also reign with him ();
Peter urges slaves to endure the pain of unjust suffering for the Lord’s sake (); and
John on the island Patmos endures exile for the sake of God’s Word ().
The suffering which the apostles and early Christians had to endure for the sake of the gospel is eloquent testimony of fervent love for God.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 461–462). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
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