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1 Corinthians 13,4-5

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1 Corinthians 13:4

October 20, 2002

Intro: In out last study in Corinthians we looked at the priority of

          the purpose of ministry,  over the mechanics of ministry.

A-  That people are to be the target and ministry (the gifts of the Spirit) is the means of hitting that target.

1-   The church at Corinth was missing the target badly.

1 Corinthians 12:31,  But (you) earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

Ø In verses 1-3 Paul showed the church how they were missing the target using himself as an example.

Read Verse 1

A-  To use the gift of tongues improperly (as they were doing) you are just an irritating noise.

1-   To exorcise tongues properly in love is to

a-   In the tongues of men: glorify God for the purpose of the edification of the body.

b-   In the tongues of angles: A deeper time of prayer for a bro or sis.

Read Verse 2

A-  To use the gift of prophecy improperly (personal gain)

1-   To understand all Mysteries : The secrets of God once hidden and now revealed.

2-   And have all Knowledge: Insight into deeper meaning of scripture.

a-   And to have tremendous faith

-         But to be lacking in love renders you of no use to God.

Read Verse 3

A-  And even if I give of all my worldly possessions

1-   And allow myself to be martyred for my faith.

a-   “It profits me nothing” = There is no spiritual significance to it if I lack love.

B-  We think of the opposite of love in terms of hate.

1-   But the bible tells me that the opposite of love is PRIDE.

a-   It’s only as I love myself less that I am able to love others more.

-         Love is how I am able to fulfill Romans 12:1

Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

·        Pride will defile this sacrifice.

Ø As Verses 1-3 showed us the gifts less love.  The verses that follow will show us how to exercise the gifts in love.

Matthew 7:15-16,  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 “You will know them by their fruits. …

Galatians 5:22,  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, …

A-  Before we start notice the means by which love is defined

1-   Love is not shown here as an emotion BUT an action.

a-   Jesus told Peter if you love me (show it by) feeding My sheep.

1 John 3:18,  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

2-   As with all good things the perfect fulfillment of love is seen in God’s love for us.

a-   Genesis 22,  Matthew,  Mark,  Luke

John 3:16,  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

-         Notice how in these definitions love and pride can not coexist.

1 Corinthians 13:4,  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

#1- Love is longsuffering (patient)

A-  This is to give mercy to someone when you have it with-in your power to retaliate.

1 Corinthians 6:6-7,  But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
                    1- The answer to the question “Why do you not rather

                        let yourselves be cheated?” is because:

a-   Our love for self is greater than our love for others.

-         You’ve perfected this one when you are as longsuffering with others as you are with yourself.

Proverbs 10:12,  Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

B-  God fulfills this aspect of love towards us in

2 Peter 3:9,  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1-   Not allowing you to negate eternal patience by your life of disobedience.

#2- Love is kind

A-  If patience is how we are to receive one another then kindness is how we are to give back.

Romans 12:17,  Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

1-   All men: The good, the bad, and the ugly,  The hard mad and sad.

a-   When someone does you wrong, and you want revenge, when you could just kill them.

-         Kindness is to be your weapon of destruction.

Proverbs 19:22a,  What is desired in a man is kindness,

b-   Kindness is the weapon that God used on us.

Romans 2:4,  Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

B-  Both Patience and kindness can be so hard because it requires a passive endurance.

1-   Patience is not something that we can lash out in.

a-   Kindness as a weapon really makes no sense.

-         Lord if I could just beat them with a patience stick I would feel so much better.

·        The fight at the kids football game.

2-   God’s fulfillment:

Ephesians 2:7,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

#3- Envy

A-  The 1st two are what we are to do this is the 1st of what love does not do.

1-   To be envious is to express jealousies. 

a-   Jesus describes envy, in Matthew 20:15, as having an “evil eye”.

2-   There really are 2 degrees of envy

a-   One is to desire what someone else has.

b-   The other is to desire it to the point of wishing they did not have it.

Turn to 1 Kings 3:16-27 (He recognized envy)

B-  Where did we recently see this Greek word for envy (zeloo).

1 Corinthians 12:31,  But (you) earnestly desire (envious of) the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

1-   All through the bible we’ve see envy fueled by pride.

a-   Eve envied God;  Cain envied Able; Joseph’s brothers envied Joseph; envy cast Daniel into the lions den; and because of it the religious leaders of the time hung our Lord on the cross.

-         Envy caused the church at Corinth to be of no effect

·        and it divides churches today.

Proverbs 27:4,  Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?

b-   Look how envy destroyed Satan

Turn to Genesis 1&3


#4- Love does not parade itself.

A-  To parade one’s self means to brag of your accomplishments.

1-   This is the attempt to cause others to become envious

a-   It’s the perfect example of knocking someone else down in order to lift myself up.

2-   This is to not understand the Christian concept of the way up being down.

a-   Where the humble are exalted and the weaker I am and the less full of myself that I am…

-         I will not have to parade myself GOD WILL.

James 4:7,  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

#5- Love is not arrogant


James 1:16-18,  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

1 Corinthians 4:7, For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?


A-  The example of John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:11,  “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; …

John 1:27,  “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”

John 3:30,  “He must increase, but I must decrease.

1-   Arrogance is big-headed; love is big hearted.

a-   Where is you heart

-         we all have a heart for ourselves

-         A true loving heart in the sight of God is Love others as you love yourself.

Close:  Colossians 3:12-17



1 Corinthians 13:4

October 20, 2002

1 Corinthians 12:31

Romans 12:1

Matthew 7:15-16

Galatians 5:22

1 John 3:18

John 3:16

1 Corinthians 6:6-7

Proverbs 10:12

2 Peter 3:9

Romans 12:17

Proverbs 19:22a

Romans 2:4

Ephesians 2:7

1 Kings 3:16-27

1 Corinthians 12:31

Proverbs 27:4

Genesis 1&3

James 4:7

James 1:16-18

1 Corinthians 4:7

Matthew 11:11

John 1:27

John 3:30

Colossians 3:12-17


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