The Apostle Paul was addressing the Church of God in Corinth Greece, and as some of you know the Apostle Paul wrote most of the New Testament Bible. The main theme in 1 Corinthians is Christian conduct which was written around 59 AD. The population was approximately 800,000 and was called a cosmopolitan city, which is why Paul wrote them about their Christian conduct. Most Christians when living in a prosperous City or Nation as Corinth have a tendency of not needing God so much and slowly slip away from their 1st love of God and His word. As did the the Ephesians where Paul was living when he wrote his letter to the Corinthians. Revelation 2:4, States “Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love”, speaking to the Ephesian Church. So Paul being familiar with the conditions at Corinth writes a letter to the Corinthians because of reports of the deepening divisions and increasing contentions in the Church. Let’s begin in 1 Corinthians 13. Please turn there in your Bible.
1 Corinthian’s 13 is called the Love chapter due to the fact of its context. Let’s begin in verse 1 to see what Paul is discussing. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal”. Paul here is saying I can be the best speaker you have ever heard and IF I don’t have Love I am just making a bunch of noise. Verse 2, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing”. God can give you or you can acquire all sorts of things but if you don’t have Love, again you are nothing. Verse 3, “And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profits me nothing”. Giving to the poor, helping and serving, what great Christian works, but again all that and you don’t love, it profits you nothing. I will add here that the Bible is talking about Agape Love, which is unconditional Love in one way or another to someone else. There are 3 kinds of Love mentioned in the Bible. They are 1. AGAPE, which is the Love God has for His creation, US, 2. EROS, which is the Love a man and a woman have for each other in the sexual realm, and finally 3. PHILOS, which is love for the brethren, or simply put, brotherly Love. 1 Corinthians 13 is speaking of the AGAPE Love, the Love that is unconditional and always there for one another. Let’s get back into the Word, Verse 4, “Love suffers long, and is kind; Love envy’s not; Love taunts not itself, is not puffed up,” Most of us like to brag, think more of ourselves than we really are, and think we are the best thing since peanut butter, I’m sorry my friends, we are not all that and if we do not have Love (Agape Love), we are worse than we think. Verse 5, speaking on Agape love, “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not their own, is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil;” Love doesn’t nor should be childish, nor abusive, it’s not all about us, we don’t get mad, angry, hateful, and don’t think or hope for evil to fall on someone. Verse 6, “Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth”. We shouldn’t be rejoicing when we have law breaking episodes in our life, but try and deal righteously or fairly with all people at all times. That’s right, all people as it states in Romans 12:18, “If it be possible, as much as lies in you, LIVE PEACEABLY WITH ALL MEN”. I hope you are seeing what true Christian conduct God wants of us as much as possible anyway. None of us are perfect but strive to Love that is the Message God is trying to get across to you. And if you really try and live this life of Love as the last part of verse 6 says, you will rejoice in truth. Verse 7, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hope all things endure all things.” AGAPE Love does all of these things, it’s the way of life we all long for. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone and everybody Loved another, helped another, served one another NOT expecting something in return. Just do it for the sake of Love! OH what a world we would live in but with Satan tugging at us all the time it is very hard, but in the end, when Jesus Christ returns and sets up God’s Kingdom on this Earth we will see AGAPE Love in its fullest degree, worldwide. Back to 1 Corinthians 13, Verse 8, “Love never fails; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongue’s, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” When it is all said and done only 1 thing will remain at the end, LOVE. Godly Love for each and every person. Verse 9, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part”, Paul is stating here, we don’t have all the answers here folks, Verse 10, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” And what is that which is perfect that is to come is none other than Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming; verses 11 and 12 answers our life today in more detail, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, (or woman) I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” In knowing all truth we are indeed like a child scrambling around trying to make ends meet, but failing miserably. We can’t see clearly, we go to the left side of the road, then to the right side of the road, but when Christ returns, THEN we become the adults God wants us to be, and Jesus will recognize us too as His own. And finally, Verse 13, “And now abides FAITH, HOPE, LOVE; these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE”. As it states in Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by FAITH”, and in Colossian’s 1:27, “Christ in you, the HOPE of glory”. We must continue on in Satan’s world, and at times it will be very hard to show Agape love to other’s but God’s FAITH in us, God’s HOPE in us, and God’s LOVE in us, and God’s Holy Spirit in us, will last forever with Him in His Kingdom. So never forget, our Christian standards, (the way we live is all important,) but as God tells us through Jesus’ Apostle Paul, LOVE is the greatest. As best as possible brothers and sisters in Christ, make LOVE your TOP priority in your Christian walk each and every day to all people. I will close with what Jesus stated in John 12:34, Jesus speaking to His disciple’s at the Last Supper; “A new commandment I give unto you. That you Love one another; as I have Loved you, that you also Love one another. “ Again Agape Love. Thank You and God Bless each and every one of You, Pastor Mark