1 Corinthians 13:1-13
I believe we are all aware of how our culture lives…
Guilt, gluttony & greed
Examples: more counseling, bigger burgers & higher pay
In denial – or ignorance – of how the rest of the world lives
I.e., selfishness – self-centered-ness
Not always by desire or design
Subtlety of Satan’s attacks
We also know that is not how we are supposed to live
Our text spells it out quite plainly
At the end of it all, 3 things will remain
Faith, hope & love
Prophecies will end; tongues will stop; knowledge will end
Faith is trust in God in action
Matthew 19 = rich young man – go, sell what you own, & give the money to the poor.
But the man trusted his possessions more than God
Faith of the Pharisees included much lip-service, lots of prayer, but little action
We can fall into this trap
“God bless you;” – but what sort of blessings are we supplying?
James 2:14-16 = What good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it? Claiming to have faith can’t save anyone, can it? Imagine a brother or sister who is naked & never has enough food to eat. What if one of you said, “Go in peace! Stay warm! Have a nice meal!” What good is it if you don’t actually give them what their body needs?
You may be thinking, “Dave, I have faith.” That’s good! We are saved by grace through faith.
Faith is a good thing. It will remain forever. But it must have action.
Hope is faith in action; Hebrews 11:1 = faith is being sure of what we hope for
Self-centered-ness is hope-less-ness
without hope, you look out for #1
without hope, you do unto others before…
hope has been a popular notion in America
13 states have a city named Hope; 4 more have a New Hope
Hope is when our spirituality begins to assert itself
When we respond to God’s grace, hope begins to stir
You may be thinking, “Dave, I have hope.” Great! Romans 5:5 = hope does not disappoint us!
Hope is a good thing. It will remain forever. But it must have action.
Love is our faith & hope in action
We may live in faith; we may live with hope; but to truly be like Christ, we must live out love
Living love, as Paul describes it, is only possible when the Holy Spirit becomes dominant in our life
It is Christ-centered-ness
Paul says that love is the greatest of all things
John 21, Jesus asked Peter 3 times: “Do you love me?”
John 15, Jesus told the disciples, “Live in my love.”
We sing the campfire song, “They will know we are Christians…”
The love Paul describes here is the highest virtue attainable
It is the greatest quality we can possess
It is the most Jesus-like characteristic we can imagine
Christian Science family & daughter with meningitis
Upon her death, the mother realizes what Paul is saying
Upper Room, 5/30/2000
I thank God for those of us living in faith, for we know God
I thank God for those of us living in hope, for we live beyond the here & now
I pray that God will grant us all the grace to live in love.
We can live a life of love because God first loved us
And God gives us the power – thru the Holy Spirit – to live out love
Let us pray. Dear God, help us to love as you love us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.