The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Love is an action, and I believe Paul wanted the Corinthians to act in love. They boasted about their gifts and acted rudely toward each other. Love would humble them and allow them to promote others. If we love others, we are concerned about their needs and less preoccupied with our rights. They envied what they considered to be the more spiritual gifts. Love would remove that envy. They were impatient in public meetings (1 Cor. 14:29-30), but love could make them long-suffering.

Paul gave the Corinthians a manner of conduct to influence how they acted toward one another. It was directed at the body of Christ, although it certainly should affect how they acted towards those outside the church. 1 Corinthians 13 should be the Christian’s basic code of conduct.  

Jesus is Our Model of Love

Paul set a high standard for acting out of love. We can’t meet these standards without the help of the Holy Spirit. Our ultimate example of love is Jesus. Taking 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and replacing the word “love” with Jesus demonstrates what Jesus has done for us.

Jesus is patient and kind. Jesus is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. He does not demand His own way. Jesus is not irritable, and He keeps no record of being wronged. He does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Jesus never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

God sent Jesus out of love for us even though we did not deserve it. Jesus put Himself before us to die on the cross for our sins. Only a sinless Jesus could accomplish all these things. Our human nature gets in the way of acting out of love in all situations. But Jesus came so we can be forgiven. God’s very essence and character is love.

1 John 4: Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.[1]  

Love in Our Churches

William Baker notes, “Love cannot be limited to a feeling, emotion, or even attitude or motivation. Rather, love must be lived out in real life in relationship to real people who may well be hard to get along with in the church. For love to be love, it must be shown in relationship to others within the life of the church.”[2]

Love helps build up the church and provides an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can move freely. Our enemy wants to divide the church and make us powerless. But as we follow Jesus and His example of love, we have a tool that unifies the church. To learn how love is an action, listen here:

[1]Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.

[2] Baker, W. (2009). 1 Corinthians. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians (Vol. 15, pp. 191–192). Tyndale House Publishers.

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