Today’s sermon is all about the biblical true love. Here we will discover the true test of true love. In contrast to how the world defined it, love is beyond description. All we can do is to draw a small picture of what it is. May you enjoy the sermon and may you apply the real meaning of true love.
The Real True Love
Text: 1 Corinthians 13
Last time we talked about becoming a part of the body of Christ. We talked about how important it is for each part to function well. If a part of the body does not function well, he becomes the cause of the pain of the whole body. And this is exactly the same in the body of Christ. When members of the body of Christ refuses to function well, then the body of Christ experiences pain and difficulties to move on.
The passage in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians ended up in saying, “And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.” And then it was immediately followed by the lesson about love. Today, we will have a closer look of what really love is.
Some people defined love as:
- Love is blind.
- Love is not blind, it sees, but it doesn’t mind.
- Love is like a rosary, full of mystery.
- Love is like a bubble gum, kung mupilit makabuang.
People have defined loved in many ways. Today, we will be looking at the real meaning of love and what it really does for us.
What Love Is Not
Paul started chapter 13 in three good things that a person can ever do for others. But are these a good definition of love?
Speaking in the tongues of men and of angels (v.1).
Can you speak in tongues of men and of angels? This is a gift that comes from God and does benefit lots of people. Through speaking in tongues, people can know what God wants his people to know which is divinely revealed.
Many churches see speaking in tongues as a valuable gift. Thus, they even require each member to learn how to speak in tongues. But is this the center of God’s message? Is this what God really wants for each one?
The passage clearly says, “…but if I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Speaking in tongues is nothing if without love. And one is just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal if he speak in tongues of men and of angels without love.
Prophesying and knowing all mysteries and knowledge (v.2).
God reveals his divine message through prophets especially in the Old Testament. How about knowing all mysteries and knowledge just like king Solomon. Isn’t these characteristics very important for a leader and to the nation?
What about knowing God’s words and the mysteries inside it? Wouldn’t it be useful for all the children of God?
How about having faith that can move mountains? Please take note that Paul is quoting the teachings of Jesus Christ about faith in Matthew 17:20. But was it more than love? The passage made it clear, that if it is without love, it is nothing.
Giving everything you own including your body (v.3).
How about giving everything you own including your body? Was it of value? Is it useful? The passage tells us that even if we give everything we own, even our body to boast, if it is without love, then we get no benefit out of it.
We have learned that love is not just giving everything we own. It is not just prophesying and knowing all mysteries and knowledge, and it is not about the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the gifting that it gives. It is more than that.
What Love Is
Starting at this point, we will see the real meaning of love. Again, as Paul closes chapter 12, he says “And now I will show you a way that is beyond comparison.” It simply means that the ways of love is beyond comparison. Now, let us learn what love is.
Love Is Patient
Love is able to endure and bear the burdens of trials and problems. Love give patience to the person when under pressure, when under trials. He does not easily angered. It’s all about bearing one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing one another in love.”
Love Is Kind
It is about not saying anything negative against others. It is one way of becoming humble. It is all about becoming tender hearted and forgiving.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Love Is Not Envious
Are you envious with one another? How about to your spouse? Do you feel insecure when your spouse achieve something while you fail in your work? Love builds up. It does not drag your love ones to misery when you fail in something.
In some other translations, being envious is being selfish. We should not be selfish with one another. We need to learn how to be happy when someone is blessed.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
Love Does Not Brag
Do you brag infront of someone making them feel to be lesser in comparison to you? Bragging is loving. One form of bragging is when you say that you are always right. Sometime you don’t say it but you show it. We have to remember that bragging and boasting is an intentional thing. Instead of bragging, love is supposed to be thoughtful. Being thoughtful and concerned for the feeling of others.
Love Is Not Proud
Related to bragging or boasting is being proud. Being proud is an inner characteristic which most of the time results to bragging. Being proud is usually brought upon by having something that others don’t have. Sometimes it is wealth, sometimes its our social status in the community, sometimes its beauty, and sometimes its power.
But love is totally different. It is not proud. It brings the rich and the poor together. It brings the masters and the slaves together as friends. It brings those in power and those who are ordinary citizens together in perfect unity.
Love Is Not Rude
How do we usually respond to usual discussions and criticism? How do we make jokes with our fellow brethrens? How do we treat our spouse or the oppossite sex? Do we treat them as gentlemen? Do we treat them as dignified women? Or are we rude?
We need to learn how to treat other people gently. We need to learn how to show respect to others even if we don’t like them. We have to learn how to handle conflicts in godly way. It is all because love is not rude.
Love Is Not Self-Serving
Do we work for our selves alone or for our love ones? True love seek to serve others.
Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and blameless.”
Love Is Not Easily Angered Or Resentful
Conficts between spouse is usually caused by being impatient which produces anger. Anger that sometimes produces physical and verbal abuses. We have to take note that love is not easily angered nor resentful. It is something that tolerates and gives extra graces to one another.
It is not wrong to get angry sometimes. But we have to take note that being easily angered is not a godly attitude for it only produces sin.
Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to angry is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
Love Is Not Glad About Injustices
Do we rejoice in injustices? Do we laugh at somebody when they are hurt because they have been your enemies? Do we always want to take advantage of others as long as they cannot and will not take advantage of us?
Brethrens, God at the very beginning taught us in becoming just when he gave the penalty of Adam and Eve for their sins and giving justice to the death of Abel.
Love Rejoices In The Truth
Love always wants the truth. Nobody wants a lie. Nobody wants something that is not true and false statement. We can best demonstrate justice in speaking for the truth. If the truth can set us free, then there is no reason why we cannot rejoice.
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
Love Always Protects
Do you have an extreme conflict with your family, father mother, brother or sister? How about to your spouse? Always remember that true love always rule because it can bear all things. It protects our relationship with one another.
As parents we always love our child. No matter what our child is, we do love them and we always want the best for them. No matter how hard headed they are, we always desire the best and we can always forgive them. It is because, love bears all things.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrate his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Love Believes All Things
When you love someone, you believe all his sentiments, all his joys, all his problems and everything in him. You give your trust to the person you love. As a family both in the church and in your home, it is very important to have unity and trust with one another.
John 17:11 “Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are on.”
Love Hopes All Things
Sometimes in deep conflicts, we resolve to surrender and not do anything at all accepting that love have failed in our lives. But true love does not give up, for it always hopes. It continue to be optimistic that relationship will be restored for it believes that there is no conflict that cannot be resolved.
I always say to myself in facing problems that as long as we live, there is always hope for that problem to be resolved. There is no such problem that has no solution. Though solutions may take some time, we can still hope that at the end, conflicts and problems can indeed be solved.
Far beyond hope is the fulfillment of your dreams. What do you dream as husband and wife? True love can bring it to fulfillment, for there is always hope.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Love Endures All Things
Until when are you going to love? Let us say you love your parents, your kids your spouse. But then there are times that they give problems to you. How long are you going to endure?
In our wedding, we gave a covenant of commitment “to love and to cherish, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ’till death do us part.” But until when? True love endures and perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never fails.”