" Ministry Gifts Must Be Exerciced in "Agape" Love"
I. Charity (Love) is “a Must” Verses 1-3
A. The Endowment of Speaking Other Languages Without Love (vs.1)
"Likened to being a loud “noise maker” Your life's ministry work has no real value if is is not done with the love of God toward your fellow man. People will not really listen to what you say until they are convinced that you really care about their plight"!
Quote: “Tongues without love is like sounds without soul.” The sense is, "If I could speak all languages, yet if I had not love, It would be like the clattering. clanging sound of the cymbal, that contributes nothing to the welfare of others. It would all be hollow, vain, useless. It could neither save me nor others, any more than the notes of the trumpet, or the jingling of the cymbal, would promote salvation. "Love" is the vital principle; it is that without which all ether endowments are useless and vain." (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
B. Even if I knew everything , fully acquainted with all the doctrines of religion and had “mountain moving faith: Without Charity (love) Nothing I do would have value in a person’s life, nothing I say would have any real credence. I wouldn’t be any real good to anyone.
Barnes Note Commentary said it this way: [I am nothing] All would be of no value. it would not save me. I should still be an unredeemed, unpardoned sinner. I won’t do good to no one; I should answer none of the great purposes which God has designed; I should not by all this secure my salvation. All would be in vain in regard to the great purpose of my existence. None of these things could be placed before God as a ground of acceptance in the Day of Judgment. Unless I should have love, I should still be lost. A somewhat similar idea is expressed by the Savior, in regard to the Day of Judgment, in Matthew 7:22-23, "Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
C. Even if I’m charitable- feed the poor, die a martyr’s death- there’s no benefit without God's love.
II. The Character of "Agape" Love (verses 4-8)
1. Longsuffering (a fruit of the Spirit). It can endure evil, being injured, and provoked, without causing you to be filled with resentment, indignation, or revenge.
How does longsuffering do this? It does it by making the mind firm, giving it power over your angry passions, and furnishes you with a “persevering” patience, the kind of patience that would rather wait and wish for the reformation (change in) of a brother’s conduct and attitude than fly off the handle showing resentment in response to their behavior. Longsuffering gives you the ability to put up with many slights and neglects from ones you love, and will wait long to see the kindly effects of such patience on him.
2. Kind— It is benign, bountiful; it is courteous and obliging. The law of kindness will be in your lips: in what you say,and in your heart – You become more compassionate toward your fellow man, It opens your arms- and you become more charity, ready to do more good and show more favor toward others and to do good. She seeks to be useful; and not only seizes on opportunities of doing good.
3. Not envious: (or jealous) it is not grieved because of the good recognized in others ( their gifts, their good character qualities, their accomplishments or what they physically possess) "Envy" is the effect of ill-will.
4. Not filled with pride or vain: Love is not puffed up (conceited, bigheaded or arrogant) Love does not go in competition with itself. True love causes you to esteem others above yourself and keeps you from putting them down yet causes you to build them up. Love bring to a person the Spirit of Goodwill.
5. Does not misbehave: Love always shows respect for others, regardless of rank (social status) and doesn’t act immoral or unmoral, is never vile. Love causes you to mind your own business, to show forth the character of God in all that you do, think or say. Love seek to mend fences wherever possible.
6. Selfless: Love doesn’t seek its own praise, honor, profit, or pleasure. Self-love, in some degree, is natural to all men. You have to love yourself to a certain degree without becoming vain, conceited and self centered enters into their very constitution. Jesus said it. it’s the 2nd of the 2 “Love Laws, “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself”. The first law is to Love the Lord Our God with our all….
Note: Paul didn’t mean that charity destroys all regard to a person ‘s personal self; He didn’t mean that the charitable man should never challenge what is his own, he meant true love will cause us to place God first and foremost (Matthew 6:33), that is give Christ preeminence (1st place)
Charity must then root up that principle which is wrought into our nature. Godly love never seeks its own and hurt or neglect others in the process in fact, love often neglects its own for the sake of others. It esteems others, prefers their welfare, and satisfaction, and advantage, to its own; Love seeks to benefit the public sector, the community, whether civil or ecclesiastical, to its private advantage. It would not advance, nor aggrandize, nor enrich, nor gratify itself, at the cost and damage of the public.
7. Not easily provoked : Love corrects a “sharp temper”,You may get mad but, love keeps you from staying mad by sweetening and softening the mind,. When love burns in your heart, your anger will cool quicker and whatever irritation anger remain to be confined the passion of anger within proper limits, (righteous indignation Anger cannot be comfortable in the presence of Love). It is hard to be angry with those we love, but very easy to drop our resentments and be reconciled.
8. Love thinks no evil. It produces no malice and does not seek to extract revenge at any time: It is never mischievous, nor inclined to revenge; it does not suspect evil of others it does not reason out evil, place guilt upon anyone by inference and innuendo,esoecially when no evidence of this sort appears out in the open. True love causes us to give others the benefit of the doubt. True love is not apt to be jealous and suspicious; It will seek to hide obvious faults that appear, and go out of its way to cover them up, instead of hunting and raking out those that lies that are covered and concealed: Love will never indulge in suspicion without proofs, but will have an inclination to darken and disbelieve evidence against the person it affects. It will hardly give into an ill opinion of another, and it will do it with regret and reluctance when the evidence cannot be resisted; hence it will never be forward to suspect ill, and reason itself into a bad opinion upon mere appearances, nor give way to suspicion without any. It will not make the worst construction of things, but put the best face that it can on circumstances that have no good appearance.
9. Doesn’t rejoice in iniquity:. Love takes no pleasure in doing injury or hurt to anyone. Love does not think evil of anyone, without very clear proof. It wishes ill to none, much less will it hurt or do anyone wrong. Love does not rejoice in doing harm and mischief to anyone. Nor will it rejoice at the faults and failings of others, and triumph over them, either out of pride or ill-will, because it will set off its own excellences or gratify its spite. It gives it much satisfaction to see truth and justice prevail among men, innocent cleared, and mutual faith and trust established, and to see piety and true religion flourish.
10. It bears all things, it endures all things, Love covers all things. Love will cover a multitude of sins, (1 Peter 4:8). It will draw a veil over them, as far as it can consistently with duty. Agape love keeps us from putting others faults in the public tabloid until all has been done to correct the person privately and ending in failure. (Matthew 18:15-17) We are free to talk to our brother or sister in private concerning their faults not to ridicule or become condescending towards them, We would do all we could to keep our issues and faults private. God’s love teaches us to do the same concerning the faults of others; not publish them to their shame and reproach, but cover them from public notice as long as we can, and be faithful to God and to others.
11. Charity believes and hopes well of others: Believes all things and hope for the best in all things and everybody until proven otherwise. You still must show prudence and discernment and use good judgment. Love will cause you to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong. Even with this real love will still cause you to hope for the best of an obvious bad situation until there is no real ground to do so.
III. God’s love will never fail nor Pass away:” Love is the GREATEST”(verse 8-13)
A. Things that will fail and pass away
1. Prophecy and the gift of public speaking either as a prophet or messenger (minister) publicly conveying the Word of God and edifying the church will no longer be needed) Whatever we need o be taught “over yonder”, God will do it HIMSELF! (vs.8)
2. Neither Faith nor your hope will be needed (in heaven)
3. The speaking of different languages will cease. In heaven, we all will speak the same language.
4. Knowledge will vanish away as we know it in this life on this side.
B. We Possess Paritial Knowledge and We Prophesy in part (vs.9-10)
1. We don’t have complete knowledge of everything. God gave us His WORD in “peacemeal” and over the course of time in history (a span of 1500 years through 40 different “authors”)
2. We receive and speak prophetically in part.
God’s seers in the Bible prophesied in part, forth-telling what God spoke to them to reveal. In the life of Abraham, God prophesied to Abraham concerning Isaac’s birth in “peacemeal”. Concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, God revealed his birth in genesis 3:15 and throughout the Old Testament, in various books gave more details concerning Jesus revealing everything from his birthplace, the His ministry and sacrificial death. etc..
3. When “that” which is perfect comes, everything that is ‘in part’ will be done away with
Note: Children do childish things , they think childish, talk childishand act childish: When we grow up in the Faith we act like a mature Christians ought to.(vs. 11)
Where we are now: We see through a glass darkly.: (vs.12)
This does not mean that we partly "know" the truths of religion, and partly "conjecture" and "guess" at them; or that we know only a part of them, and "conjecture" the remainder. But the apostle is showing the imperfection of the prophetic gift;, that there is the same imperfection which applies to knowledge. It is only in part; it is imperfect; when you compare, it to the full view of truth in heaven; it is obscure, and all that is imparted by that gift will soon become dim and lost in the superior brightness and glory of the heavenly world. The "argument" is, that we ought not to seek so anxiously that which is so imperfect and obscure, and which must soon vanish away; but we should rather seek that love which is permanent, expanding, and eternal.
Where we on day will be: Perfected
It means that when anything which is perfect is seen or enjoyed, everything that is imperfect is forgotten, laid aside, or vanishes. The sense here is, that "in heaven" - a state of absolute perfection and all that is "in part," or which is imperfect, shall be lost in the superior brightness from heaven. All imperfection will vanish. And all that we here possess that is obscure shall be lost in the superior and perfect glory of that eternal world. All our present unsatisfactory methods of obtaining knowledge shall become unknown. All shall be clear, bright, and eternal.