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1 Corinthians 13:4-7

1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Sermon: Love
Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I. Introduction (various passages of 1 Cor):

1. 3:3:  You are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? (referring to factions)
2. 4:7 What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? (boastful attitude and pride in their leaders)
3. 8:1 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church (being “puffed up” or “arrogant” opposite of love; exaggerated assessment of oneself)
4. 10:24 Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others and 10:33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved (selfishness)
5. 14:40 be sure that everything is done properly and in order (disorderliness) (they were parading their gifts before others and bringing disorderliness in the church)

a. Tongue speakers (13:1)
b. Prophets (13:2)
c. Charity givers (13:3)

6. In brief, the church in Corinth was suffering from these issues: Jealousy, boasting, pride, rudeness, demanding, irritable, keep counting the wrongs, and rejoicing over injustices (13:3-7)
7. And the church in Corinth lacked “love

a. 1 John 4:7-8
b. 1 John 4: 11-13
c. Based on these verses, we can conclude that the Corinthian church was a carnal church
d. Though the Church at Corinth had the “so called gifts,” but they did not reflect God in their dealing with one another

II. Paul defines “love” with two verbs (13:4-7): suffers long (patience) and “helps others with kindness” (kindness)

1. Suffer long; slow to anger; patience μακροθυμέω (compound word)

a. To be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others
b. Both regenerated and unregenerated behave sinfully
c. Often their behavior may provoke you to anger
d. In this case, love is to be put up (suffer long) with your neighbor (the one who exercises goes through pain)
e. It is the characteristic of God (Exod 34:6; Joel 2:13)—divine restraint
f. Thus, “long suffering” μακροθυμεῖν is a gift of God, not an arbitrary cultivation of the virtue of self-control
g. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22)—it cannot be manufactured

2. Kind χρηστεύομαι (χρηστός, χρηστότης)

a. This word is used only in Christian literature
b. It’s noun form, χρηστός, refers to “the gracious action in which God has been constantly engaged with humanity through Christ”
d. A loving attitude that seeks to be useful to others and considerate

3. In verse 7, Paul summarizes about love: It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things

a. For the sake of Christ, loves endures the pains inflicted by others with the hope of future victory. Therefore,
b. Love is not a feeling but an action
c. It decenters self and recenters on others
d. Disengage from self-interest

Take Away:

Seek earnestly love for your life because love is both a gift and fruit of the Spirit (love never ends, verse 8)

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at