ALL WE NEED IS TRUE LOVE by Pastor Shah, Clearview, Henderson
The world has a caricature of love that is far from the real thing. It is temperamental, conditional, and disappointing. When the Holy Spirit fills us completely, what will overflow will be the I Corinthians 13 kind of love. What our marriages need, what our families need, what our churches need, what our communities need, and what our nation needs is True Love as found in I Cor. 13
1Cor. 13:1-8 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails…
Overall Background: Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthian church in order to correct many wrong beliefs and wrong behaviors. There were all manner of sexual sins among them; all manners of divisions among the people; and all manner of conflicts. The reason for this was that the Corinthian church had allowed the sins of the city to enter into the church body. They were looking down on each other based on spiritual gifts. So Paul gives them a lesson on love. Here’s what he wants to communicate: The mark of a spirit-filled person is not spiritual gifts but love. No amount of spiritual gifts can compensate for lack of love. In other words, the more spiritual you are, the more loving you will be. The mark of spiritual maturity is not gifts of the spirit but fruit of the spirit. According to Galatians 5:22 – the first fruit of the Spirit is love.
Application: In the English language we use the same word “love” when we are talking about our wife or that juicy hamburger. We use the same word when we are talking about our husband or that new app on the phone. People are looking for love in all the wrong places and all the wrong faces. All you will find is the same hollow look and the same dull conversation.
This morning we will see what true love looks like from I Corinthians 13.
I. WHAT DOES A LOVELESS CHRISTIAN LOOK LIKE?
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
Background: The Corinthian people were accustomed to hearing noisy gongs and clashing cymbals. They had seen the worshippers of the Greek god Dionysius (the god of nature) and Cybele (the goddess of wild animals) use the chalkos (gong) – a piece of copper and kymbalon (cymbal) – a single toned instrument that could not produce any melody. It just made a loud noise to invoke a god or drive away demons or to wake up the worshippers.
For e.g. Nicole’s mom has threatened to give a drum set to our boys for Christmas.
I can preach fantastic sermons and teach wonderful bible truths that can even rival angels but if I don’t have love, it sounds like that heavy monotonous clanging.
1. A LOVELESS CHRISTIAN IS ANNOYING TO PEOPLE.
2. A LOVELESS CHRISTIAN IS WORTHLESS TO GOD.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Background: I can have all the Bible knowledge in the world and even faith to do great things but if I don’t have love, I am nothing to God = no use to God. What’s the use if I can remove mountains but I cannot remove malice from my heart?
3. A LOVELESS CHRISTIAN IS WORKING IN VAIN.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Background: You can do things to help people and even give your own life but if you have no love, it does you no good. There is no crown in heaven waiting for you.
For e.g. Those terrorists who die for their religion and commit suicide don’t get anything.
II. WHAT DOES A LOVING CHRISTIAN LOOK LIKE?
4 Love suffers long and is kind; Meaning = “Love has a big heart and does what is good.”
People say – “Love is Blind.” That’s not true. Love is not blind. It sees the faults of people but it is willing to bear with people’s faults and shortcomings.
For e.g. I heard the story of the teenager who grew up in a terrible situation and saw her parents abusing each other mentally, emotionally, and physically. Then she gave her heart to Christ. Someone asked her why. She replied that she was waiting for her ride in the church and from the window she saw the youth pastor lovingly walk to his car with his wife. He opened the door for her and gave her a peck on the cheek, all the while unaware that someone was watching them. That’s when I realized that there is such a thing as true love.
love does not envy; Meaning = it does not go around wondering how come you have it better than me. You think that if somebody has it better that you are getting it lesser. You have love in your heart when you rejoice to see someone doing well.
love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; Meaning = You cannot have a big heart and a big head at the same time. You cannot be proud and loving at the same time.
Proverbs 13:10a “By pride comes nothing but strife…”
Application: Why do husbands and wives fight? Why do church members fight? The source is pride and the source of pride is lack of love. The only way that you and I can stay away from the Evil One is by refusing to allow pride to come in to your heart. The only way you can reject pride is by having love in your heart.
Adrian Rogers would say – “There is no problem too big to solve. There are only people too small to solve them.”
5 does not behave rudely, Meaning = have manners, not be rough and rude and hateful
How sad it is when husbands and wives are hateful and rude and make fun and sarcastic remarks towards them. When you first get married, I’ll get you a glass of water. After being married for sometime – “you have two perfectly good pair of legs.”
How sad it is when church members are rude to each other and make fun of people in the church.
Love says please, thank you, I’m sorry. It’s not rude.
does not seek its own, Meaning = not selfish
It’s not always where I want to go and where I want to eat and what I want to buy.
is not provoked, Meaning = easily irritated
For e.g. A person I admired from the distance and really looked forward to meeting him. Then I met him and I heard about his reputation of how he would get mad at his secretary and throw temper tantrums. I lost all respect and even became distrusting of authority.
When you take your eyes off the Lord and you are not full of the Holy Spirit, you are easily provoked by circumstances.
thinks no evil; Meaning = A loving person does not entertain evil thoughts; does not harbor evil feelings; does not hold grudges.
For e.g. Some people are like a volcano. They wait and wait and wait and then explode and destroy everything in their path.
If we keep collecting hurts and disappointments, it is a matter of time before you will unload all of it at once.
6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Meaning: it does not enjoy hearing bad news – not interested in gossip. A gossip is a person who enjoys bad news. If someone is constantly gossiping to you, just know – they are using your ears for a trash can. By the way, if someone will gossip to you, just remember, they will gossip about you.
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
See if you can substitute your name in each of those statements.
1Cor. 13:8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away… All the spiritual gifts will one day be done away with. You don’t need them in heaven. What will remain? 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Three things will remain – faith, hope, and love. Faith will become sight. Hope will become a reality. But love will continue forever.
Do you have this love in your heart?
Jerry Shedd – “Sadly, many people have never been loved properly.”
Hurt people hurt people.
For e.g. When I started college, I dropped out of church because when I went to church, I felt unwelcome. Then I met Nicole’s dad and in just one handshake I knew he loved me.
True love requires a source that is deeper and higher than anything we can produce on our own. We have to be plugged into someone who can love us consistently, unconditionally, and satisfyingly. Then only can we love others consistently, unconditionally, and satisfyingly.
Romans 5:5 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.