One and Many: Part Seven/ 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13 and join us as we wrap up our One and Many series and look at how LOVE binds it all together.

Date: October 21, 2018
Speaker:  Jason Jordan
Series: One and Many

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Pastor’s Comment

Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.

Jason G Jordan

Lead Pastor, West Side Church

Sermon Notes

One and Many Week 7- 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

INTRO> (Walk in with a graduation cap and gown with honor robes) Do you like my outfit? In the academic world, this signifies hard work and honor. Even more than that when it comes to the sashes and cords, the highest achievement is “Summa Cum Laude” It comes from a Latin word meaning, “With highest honor and praise”

CONTEXT> Today’s passage that was read to you is located in a very important section and I think will make way more sense, having just journeyed in our series. It’s a famous passage about love, but it’s location and context is massively important, that’s why we made it a point to read 12:31..

Big Idea> Biblical love is better than any spiritual gift.

APP> That is Paul’s summary argument found in these verses. Yes, they are read at a wedding and often found in that context but that is not their primary meaning. The meaning is set in the context of the local church, understanding their spiritual gifts. Before he goes on to tell them the greater gifts, he tells them the greatest gift: Love. one NT scholar put it this way: “It is clear, then that chapter 13 must be studied in the context of the rest of Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth. Otherwise it remains mere words-noble, even ennobling, but only words. When applies to a local church it becomes dynamite. It uncovers all the weaknesses, gaps, failures and sins in any Christian community. It is particular challenge to any church which has seen outward success in it’s ministry. These words cut us down to size, they humble us, because we begin to see what really matter to God. They re-direct us as the body of Christ to our true calling. It is good for any congregation to assess it’s life together from time to time in the mirror of this chapter.” – David Prior, 1 Corinthians, pg 226

APP> There is a little bit of a problem here, and it’s how we are defying the word “love”. Now, I don’t have ALL the time to be able to do that but we must make a distinction:

      • Love as defined biblically is the God like virtue of self-giving and self-sacrifice.
        • “…God is love…” 1 John 4:16
        • “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

APP> If this is the case, and in our context of this passage we are going to see why LOVE is greater than any SPIRITUAL Gift. But before we do that, I need you to do something today.

        • Before we answer the corporate question of, “Are WE loving?” We have to answer the personal question of, “Am I loving?”
  1. Love, not gifts is the point. v1-3
        • “If I…. but have not love….” – Paul is showing us a compare and contrast but he is using VERY interesting terms to do it.
        • “noisy gong or clingy symbol”– Remember, Corinth was in a heavenly pagan city. Many scholars believe that Paul is talking about the pagan worship of the goddess “Cybele” here. She was an ancient goddess who was basically the “mother of the earth” and keeps the earth hanging. (PIC)
        • “deliver up my body to be burned”- This could mean either pagan sacrifice or even Christians being burned at the stake!

APP> Pursuing love is the point of the local church.

2) Love not gifts is the picture. v4-7

        • “Love is…” Paul shows us what love looks like and what it doesn’t look like.
        • Walk through each description of love.

APP> The world doesn’t need another picture of power. The world needs a powerful picture of love.

        • Think about it though. You can’t do any of these things alone or by yourself. This all has to be done within community.

*ILL> Lets see if this will help. A caterpillar is a caterpillar until it goes into something right? A Cocoon. Once it goes into that and then comes out, it’s changed. (PICS)

APP> The cocoon for change is christian community. The people who need love the most are the people who deserve it the least.

3) Love not gifts is permanent. v8-11

        • “Love never ends….” This is a huge deal of what he is

saying. Do you know what he is saying? He is saying essentially that one day, I will be out of a job? lol

APP> Let me explain. He is saying that our hope isn’t in spiritual gifts at all, its in the God who is love, who is empowering the gifts. That means that in heaven, I’m not standing up and preaching! lol.. Why? No need, we are in the very presence of what we have longed for . APP> Love is the only thing that lasts. *ILL> My Dad and Marty Williams, “I remember you”

4) Love not gifts means progress. v11-12

        • “When I was a child…” I love this verse for a lot of reasons because it’s like Paul reminds us that he had to learn stuff to and that’s awesome. What he is saying is very profound.

APP> He is saying this, APP> Spiritual maturity is gauged by faithfulness not giftedness. That’s a really scary thought, that means that You could be Lebron James in front of people on the outside (PIC) and actually be like this on the inside (PIC)

5) Love not gifts is the priority. v13

      • “but the greatest of these is love…” This is it, right? This is what Paul is saying that matters most.

APP> We have spent all this time in the in spatial gifts and in Ephesians 4 and here is how Paul ends that as well.

        • “from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:16

Big Idea> Biblical love is better than any spiritual gift.

CLOSE> I’ve heard it done many time to substitute your name here and see how you are doing… I think that could be dangerous. This is not something we muster up, but rather, something that has been demonstrated for us. Rather, put Jesus’ name in these verses. Jesus is the perfect picture of love.

Read corporately together:

“Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus, never fails.”

Big Idea> Biblical love is better than any spiritual gift.

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