Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 13
The True Meaning Of 1 Corinthians 13Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe | May 11, 1975
Selected highlights from this sermon
First Corinthians 13 is often misunderstood because it’s frequently taken out of context. Paul is writing to the Corinthian church because they were fighting over spiritual gifts. As Pastor Wiersbe explains in this message, when we’re not exercising our gifts in love, we cause problems in the church. Love is essential if we are going to use our spiritual gifts.
Transcripts for Dr. Wiersbe's sermons are forthcoming. Below is an outline of his message.
1 Corinthians 13 is a misunderstood chapter of the Bible because it is often taken out of context.
The love described in this passage is not romantic or natural, it is far deeper than that.
This passage was written to solve the problems in the local church.
The Corinthian church was fighting over the spiritual gifts in the body.
The circulatory system for the church is love.
Love is essential if we are going to use our spiritual gifts.
A body should not be competing with itself.
Three qualities of love that explain why spiritual gifts must be exercised in love:
- Love is enriching (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
- When we exercise spiritual gifts without love, we are robbing ourselves.
- We rob ourselves of personal spiritual growth.
- This passage mentions five spiritual gifts: tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, and giving.
- If we exercise these spiritual gifts without love, it is nothing but noise.
- The only way to minster in love is in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Love is edifying (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
- When we exercise spiritual gifts without love, we are robbing the church.
- We rob the church of spiritual grace.
- Each of the descriptions of love touch on a problem in the Corinthian church.
- The purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up the church.
- When a gift is ministered in love, it is for the good of other people and builds up the church.
- The body of Christ grows in an atmosphere of love.
- Love is enduring (1 Corinthians 13:8-13).
- When we exercise spiritual gifts without love, we are robbing God.
- We rob God of eternal glory.
- God is love, so when we minister in love, we are ministering in God.
- What we do in love should last forever and bring glory to God.
- Love has existed before any spiritual gifts.
- God saved us to minister for His glory.
- Paul says we will no longer need the gifts prophecy or knowledge, and tongues will cease (will be discussed more in next sermon). But we will always need love.
- Spiritual gifts are partial and temporary, but love is eternal.
Paul commands believers to mature in their spiritual thinking and actions.
When we are not exercising our gifts in love, we cause problems in the church.
When the church grows and matures, God gets glory. Be careful judging the ministry of others.
The greatest need in Christian work today is love.