1. The Lord's followers are to be: a. "people of faith" (Hebrews 11:6) b. "people of hope" (1 Peter 1:3) c. "people of love" (John 13:34-35). 2. To be "people of love" we must practice the admonition given in 1 Corinthians 16:14 ["Let all your things be done with 'charity' (love)"]. 3. In this lesson we are studying 1 Corinthians 13, "the love chapter of the Bible." 4. This chapter presents 3 reasons why everything must be done with love.
I. (vs.1-3) EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE WITH LOVE BECAUSE WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT IT
A. (vs.1-2) This point is made in reference to spiritual gifts. B. (vs.3) This point is also made in reference to benevolence and acts of sacrifice. C. A careful study of 1 Corinthians shows that love was lacking or missing in things done by the Christians in Corinth -- they were not being "people of love."
II. (vs.4-7) EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE WITH LOVE BECAUSE OF HOW IT BEHAVES
A. 15 characteristics of love are listed, including 8 negative and 7 positive. B. Negatively, love: 1. does not envy (is not jealous) 2. does not vaunt itself (doesn’t brag or boast) 3. is not puffed up (arrogant) 4. does not behave itself unseemly (act in a way unbecoming of a child of God) 5. does not seek its own (have to have its own way) 6. is not easily provoked 7. does not think evil (does not take into account a wrong suffered) 8. does not rejoice in iniquity (unrighteousness). C. "People of love" do not possess these characteristics. D. Positively, love: 1. suffers long (is patient) 2. is kind 3. rejoices in the truth 4. bears all things 5. believes all things 6. hopes all things 7. endures all things. E. "People of love" do possess these characteristics.
III. (vs.8-13) EVERYTHING MUST BE DONE WITH LOVE BECAUSE IT IS EVERLASTING
A. Love never fails, even though spiritual gifts failed, ceased, and vanished away. B. The Lord never intended for spiritual gifts to last forever -- they were temporary. C. However, He intended for love to last forever. D. One day, faith will become sight and hope will become a reality, but love will continue.