December 11, 2015

The Greatest of These by Dr. Wallace Strawn

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things...
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity"
I Corinthians 13

This chapter is about love. It is a part of a larger context dealing with spiritual gifts and sandwiched in to show the necessity of a heart of love in order to understand and minister the other gifts. In Matthew 22:35-40 a lawyer asked Jesus a question about the greatest commandment. Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Some gifts are temporary, but God makes it plain in I Corinthians 13:13, that there are three gifts that abide forever. And then He says, "But the greatest of these is charity." Every believer in Christ receives this gift of love. Everyone can’t sing in the choir, play an instrument, or teach a class. But according to I Corinthians 12, we are all gifted in some way to function within the church.

There is no way to measure spirituality. We can’t say how much we have grown in grace or how knowledgeable we are of the Word of God. But when love is present and manifested in a person’s life it is all so quickly recognized. Jesus said in John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another."

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