The Greatest of These (Ch 1 of “Charity…”)

Do you love enough? I don’t. And I know it.

But I want to love more. Love God more. Love you more. Deeper. Truer. charity-and-its-fruits Visibly.

So I’m joining with Laurie and friends to dig deeper with Jonathan Edwards into 1 Corinthians 13, to learn how to love better. This week we read the first part of chapter 1, “Love, the Sum of All Virtue” in Charity and Its Fruits.

* * *

Which virtue is the most insisted upon in the New Testament? Love. But not just any love. Agape love. Christian love.

Christian love takes many forms and extends to many objects. But its source is singular—the Spirit of God. Love for God and love for men both originate from God’s Spirit.

Love for God leads to honoring him, worshiping him, obeying him, trusting him.
Love for God also leads to love for others—giving to the poor, bearing others’ burdens, crying with the grieved, rejoicing with the glad.

Without this special love, the works are empty, regardless of how many. Without this special love, it doesn’t matter how good a person you are.

. . . because it brings no honor to God. Duty without love is forced. It is mere outward conduct. It is not enough.

True love is the most essential ingredient of faith. Faith then works its way out in obedience. Live by faith, but be grounded by love.

       1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 
       2  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 
       3  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 
                                  1 Corinthians 13

Next week: Application of Chapter 1

1 comment:

Laurie M. said...

You've summed it up well, Lisa.

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