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Life Together

Jan 10, 2016 | Rev. Dr. K. Rick Baker

The Most Excellent Way

1 Corinthians 13:1

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The Most Excellent Way

(1 Cor 13)

The centerpiece of Christian virtues is God’s kind of love

The AGAPE way!

Primarily an action and not a feeling

  • - an unconditional commitment
  • - a promise never broken
1. Agape (love) is more important than even the greater gifts because love is eternal (13:1-8a).

Love trumps your favourite gift, the greater gifts, and the most costly charity.

Love is not a spiritual gift; it is fruit of the Spirit and it superintends the use of impactful gifts. (Gal 5:22)

“In love we take God’s side, share his outlook and implement his designs; and we treat our neighbours as we know God has treated us (see Rom 15:1-7)” (Martin)

How loving are you…? WHAT’S YOUR LQ?

  • Patient – put up with anything
  • Kind – give anything
  • Not envious – cheer everyone
  • Not boastful – make others feel bigger
  • Not proud – full of Spirit; not yourself (1 Cor. 4:6-8)
  • Not rude – care for everything
  • Not self-seeking – me second, third…
  • Not easily angered – low boiling point
  • No record of wrongs – love allows unloving another chance
  • No delighting in evil – hoping everyone does right
  • Rejoice in the truth – love limited by truth
  • Bear all things – keep messes to a minimum
  • Believe all things – optimistic toward people
  • Hope all things – believe broken can become whole
  • Endure all things – love doesn’t give up no matter what


Love lasts!

2. On the other hand, gifts are imperfect and temporary, exercised by the imperfect within the temporary (13:8b-12).
  • Be careful that you don’t boycott the value of gifts exercised by those whose love and giftedness is imperfect.
    • We know in part
    • When I was a child
  •  Be careful and cautious to not elevate the imperfection of exercising gifts above the perfection of Scripture.
    • A poor reflection
    • We see face to book!
  • Be aware that the perfect and permanent are on the way when Christ returns.
    • When the perfect comes, the imperfect disappears
    • We will see face to face!
3. When the imperfect disappears and the perfect comes, faith hope and love will remain. (13:13).
  • Love although imperfectly represented, does not end – nor do faith and hope (belief in Jesus; enduring anticipation of good things)
  • Love is greatest because unlike faith and hope, it is the nature of God himself – God is love.

To which do you give more of your time and attention, Gifts or Love?

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