The Greatest of these is Love
1 Corinthians 13:13
But now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love. NASB
His love in our life
Here there is a Christian virtue by which to season our homes, it is love. In fact, this could be said to be the most important of all matters in Christian living. We are called to love God and His Word, to love our spouse and our children, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Consider then, what the nature of this love is and how it should permeate our homes, our marriages, our relationships and everything we do. Husbands and fathers have a responsibility to see to it that our homes are filled with the love of God, this is the foremost commandment.
1 John 4:7-12 – 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. NASB
The Nature of His Love
Consider then, what is the love of God like and how can we implement it into our homes?
As we look at the Corinthians passage let your heart long for and desire this love to be that which guides and sustains our lives.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. NASB
Here Paul speaks of the great importance of love. He makes it evident that love is to be the overarching motivation that characterizes everything we do. He gives several examples of this truth. He says that unless we have love motivating our life many things which may otherwise be great attainments in Christian , lose there signifigance…..
· More important than religious achievement – v-1
· More important than religious knowledge or great faith – v-2
· More important than religious sacrifices and endeavors – v-3
1 Corinthians 13:4 – 4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant NASB
Now he will tell what love truly is by nature. It is patient. It is kind. Here then is a rule by which we must live, we must be patient and kind. As parents we must see to it that we treat our children with patience and kindness and hold them also to this standard of behavior with others.
Colossians 3:12-14 – 12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. NASB
Then Paul tells us what love is NOT. It is not jealous, boasting or arrogant. This is to say that love is NOT proud. It does not think more highly of itself than it ought.
Romans 12:9-10 – 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; NASB
1 Corinthians 13:5 – 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered NASB
Here Paul continues to tell us about the nature of love. He further discussed what love is NOT. Let’s see how God’s Word would affirm these things.
· It does not misbehave. (Jam 1:21-22,
· It is not selfish. (Phil 2:4-5, 1 Cor 10:24, Rom 15:2)
· It is not provoked, that is easily angered. (Matt 5:22, Jam 1:19-20, Prov 14:16-17)
· It does not keep a record of wrongs.(Mark 11:25-26,
1 Corinthians 13:6 – 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth NASB
Here Paul talks about love’s relationship to righteousness and truth. He talks about the delight of love. Love delights in the truth, but does NOT delight in evil. True love hates evil and rejoices when righteousness is fulfilled. Love delights in justice. Love is dishonored by wickedness and evil.
Romans 12:9 – 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. NASB
Psalms 97:10 – 10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. NASB
Psalms 101:3-4 – 3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. NASB
Psalms119:104 – 104 From Thy precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. NASB
Amos 5:14-15 – 14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said! 15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. NASB
1 Corinthians 13:7 – 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things NASB
And finally Paul speaks of the persevering character of love. Love perseveres, it hangs in there till the end. Love is forbearing and always hopes for the best. Love is willing to endure the difficulties of relationships and perservere through them.
· Love bears all things (1 Pet 4:8, Rom 15:1)
· Love believes all things, it trusts(Prov 14:9, Rom 14:19)
· Love hopes all things ( Rom 8:24-25, Psalm 130:7)
· Love endures all things (Job 13:15,Matt 10:22, Jam 1:12, Heb 10:36)