Working definition of biblical (agape) love: “Actions and words directed towards someone else that arise from a commitment to value and address the needs, feelings, and well-being of that person over and above those of myself.
Big Idea: When disconnected or untied to genuine love, our words, knowledge, and actions are a useless waste.
I. What we say is pointless and annoying if doesn’t come from love 1
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
A. The tongues of men: oratorical skill without love = pointless
B. The tongues of angels: supernatural empowerment without love = annoying
II. What we know is useless and hollow if it is not accompanied by love 2
A. Our breadth of knowledge is useless if it isn’t bathed in love 2a
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge;
prophecy = discernment as to the actions and movements of God in the world.
All mysteries, all knowledge = things previously unrevealed, now revealed by God.
B. Our faith is hollow if it is not saturated in love 2b
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
III. What we do for others and for the Lord is worthless if not done in love 3
A. Material sacrifice: great, public display of generosity towards the poor/hungry, without love, is worthless condescension 3a
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor,
B. Physical sacrifice: Choosing to die for your beliefs, without love, is a useless gesture 3b
and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
CONCLUSION: What about Grace Bible Church today? How shall we become a church marked by love?
1. Let’s go to God, asking Him to expose, forgive, and heal us of our non-loving responses to each other, and the community we live in.
2. Let’s trust that God will certainly teach us to love, and will empower us to creatively, graciously express genuine love—as a way of life.
3. Let’s commit to obeying the Holy Spirit when He confronts our lack of love, and suggests to us the loving ways that we might speak and act!