Sermon on July 7 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13
How is your love-life? For your spouse, your family, your church, your neighbors, those without Jesus?
Apart from love:
1. EVEN HEAVENLY LANGUAGE SOUNDS ANNOYING! (v1)
Speaking in other languages (tongues) had become a source of pride in the Corinthian church.
Apart from love – our ability to communicate well will sound like a gong, without real music.
2. KNOWING IT ALL HELPS NO-ONE! (v2a)
‘I have been keenly disappointed to find people more concerned about hidden mysteries than about needy people… too often Christians are concerned about hidden truth but indifferent about loving difficult people’ (George Sweeting)
Apart from love – being known for your knowledge and great gifts amounts to a spiritual zero
3. RISK-TAKING FAITH IS WORTHLESS! (v2b)
Imagine having the faith of an Abraham, of Daniel and his friends and of David.
Apart from love, and since true faith produces true love, we might feel good but will not please God.
4. SACRIFICING ALL WE HAVE AND ARE IS POINTLESS! (v3)
Martyrdom was seen as a great privilege and honor in the early church.
Apart from love, even laying down your life would be a worthless sacrifice and a hollow performance.
Are you tempted to think you have to do ‘big’ things to show your love?
‘A cup of cold water given to a disciple in sincere love is worth more in God’s sight than all one’s goods given to feed the poor- Yes, than the wealth of a kingdom given away , or a body offered up in the flames, without love’
(Jonathan Edwards: ‘Charity and its Fruits’)
The rich young ruler’s problem? He believes he is already loving God and others.
Jesus’ challenge? The generosity test shows up his heart and puts it on display.
Do we love any better than this young man? We are loveless and often proud of the little love we have.
We are nothing without love but Jesus does nothing without love.
Can you put your name in these verses instead of the word ‘love’ and tick each box perfectly?
Do you not love enough? Jesus’ love covers the multitude of our sins and loveless-ness.
Let the Lord’s Supper impress His love on you – and pray that true love will dominate all you think, say and do in this week.
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Mike Thorn