Studies in 1
Corinthians 43
The Importance of Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
• 1 Cor. 12:31, “But
earnestly desire the best
gifts. And yet I show you
a more excellent way.”
• The way of Love –
1 Corinthians 13
In this chapter Paul
demonstrates
• 1) Without love gifts are
meaningless
• 2) how proper love is
superior to spiritual gifts
• 3)The permanence of love
Does this chapter belong here?
• Paul ties it to gifts in 12:31
• Gifts mentioned in 13:1-3
• Attributes of love will ensure
these gifts are done properly
• Vs. 8-12 – spiritual gifts are
temporary
Love – the “more excellent” way
• The motive that ensures gifts
properly used
• Variety of gifts can unite us if we
have love
• WE can do this even if we don’t
have spiritual gifts
• Love foundation of everything
• It transcends earthly boundaries
What is love?
• Many different uses in English language
present a challenge in proper definition
• Four Greek words for love
1) Eros
2) Stergo – cf. 2 Tim. 3:3, Rom
1:31
3) Phileo – 1
13:1
4) Agape
Thess. 4:9, Heb.
What is love?
• Agape love
• “the characteristic word of
Christianity” (Vine’s)
• “to be full of goodwill and exhibit
the same.” (Thayer)
• Caring enough to sacrifice for
what is best
What is love?
• Jesus emphasized love –
Matt. 22:37-39
• Paul emphasized this love –
Eph. 5:2, 1 Cor. 16:14,
Gal. 5:13, 22, Eph. 4:1-3,
etc.
• John also spoke of it often
What is love?
• Governs every relationship
• God loves us – John 3:16,
Rom. 5:8
• Jesus loves us – John 15:1213, Eph. 5:25
• We love Him – Jn. 15:10,
14:15, 1 John 5:3
What is love?
• Governs every relationship
• Our brethren – John 13:34-35,
1 Thess. 4:9
• Our love for our neighbors –
Jas. 2:8, Rom. 13:9-10, Gal.
5:14
• Our enemies – Matt. 5:43-44
Importance of love – 13:1-3
• Importance emphasized in 1
John 4:7-11, 2 Pet. 1:7,…
• Without love – our words are
noise
• “Tongues of men” – languages
“Tongues of angels” – perfect
delivery & understanding
Importance of love – 13:1-3
• Without love – our abilities are
nothing
• Some “spiritual gifts” mentioned
Prophecies – God’s messengers
• All mysteries and knowledge - If
I have perfect understanding
• All faith Heb. 11:6, cf. Matt.
8:26, 14:31, etc.
Importance of love – 13:1-3
• Without love – our works
are worthless
• What if we gave up
everything, including our
lives?
• Without love, we are not
saved! It is a waste!
Do our attitudes
reflect the
importance of love
in our lives?