Love So Amazing | Sermon by Dr. Jack Graham
1 Corinthians 13
The truth of the gospel of God transforms us, not only personally but also in the way we relate to others. It is the gospel of God’s love. Through and through it is the message of God loving you and me, and having been loved so deeply then, we ought to love one another. First Corinthians 13 has been called the love chapter; it is the hymn of love, a beautiful portrait of Christ himself.
Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. Let’s see how this connects with the gospel in the sense that this is the love expressed by God and received by each one of us, who have received this gospel and therefore, lived it out. The way to bring the gospel to the world is by living and sharing this love with others.
Love Is Patient
To be loving means to be slow to anger. It refers to patience not particularly so much with circumstances or events, but it refers to patience with people. Patience with people can be difficult because people can be difficult. It is descriptive of a believer who doesn’t fly off the handle, and one who doesn’t retaliate or seek revenge against enemies. It’s important to remember that God is lovingly patient with us. When you are patient with people it means that you don’t seek revenge or retaliation.
Love Is Kind
The love of Christ is kind. Now to some of us, perhaps kindness may seem like weakness. After all, we celebrate strength and courage and standing up for our rights and ourselves. It is the survival of the fittest. It is kindness that moves toward helping hurting people. It is kindness that reaches out to difficult and demanding people. It is kindness that wins over the weak by compassion and devotion. The love expressed in kindness can heal the hurts of the world. Kindness can restore your marriage and bless your children.
Love Is Not Jealous
Love makes it impossible for you to be jealous or to envy someone else. Now envy, according to Solomon in Proverbs, is rottenness of the bones. Envy makes the bones rot; it means to boil or to seethe. People who get all worked up and steamed up over what others have are full of envy. The way to not be envious is to be grateful to God for what he has given you. He has given us far more than any of us deserve. To learn to be content, to be satisfied with what we have is the way of love.
Love Is Humble
Love is not arrogant. Pride at its root means “windbag” or “blowhard.” Love does not brag in order to make oneself feel superior and others inferior. Love is not egotistical or self-centered, but humble. Humility is genuine. Humility is not thinking lowly of one’s self; it is not thinking of yourself at all. And love thinks of others rather than self. First Corinthians 1:31 (ESV) says, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Love Is Not Rude
Rudeness refers to unbecoming behavior. I don’t know how to put it other than to say, “Love doesn’t act like the south end of a northbound horse!” There is so much crudeness and rudeness today, especially in relationships. Love, however, is courteous and practices good manners. Love is sensitive, considerate, and gracious to others.
Love Is Unselfish
Love does not insist on its own way. We all battle self, and the desire to put ourselves first. But for the loving Christian, the way up is down and to put others ahead of ourselves. Jesus, again, is the example here. Jesus does not insist on his own way. Matthew 20:28 (ESV): “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Love is not selfish.
Love Is Not Irritable or Resentful
Some live in a constant state of being ticked off. But love is not touchy or thin-skinned. Here again, you can lose your testimony with your neighbors or with unbelievers very quickly. Some people are constantly angry and negative. They’re always ready for a fight. Love is the only cure for irritability.
Love Is Optimistic
Rather than being resentful and skeptical, love thinks well of others, believes and looks for the best, and rejoices in the truth. It doesn’t resent. In other words, love does not keep a record of offenses. Real love destroys bitterness and hatred and malice. Love forgives and forgets. Stop rerunning the offenses of others against you. Love accepts and appreciates the difference in people.
Love Bears All Things, Believes All Things, Hopes All Things
Love never quits or gives up! This will save your marriage. You say, “Well, I don’t love her anymore.” In Christ, learn to love her. The same Christ that ignited your heart in love will give you love for your wife and your family or your husband. And if you want to win in life, the way to win is to love God’s way because love is never defeated. Everything else will fail or disappear, but love never fails.
If you want this sermon in a sentence, here it is. Life minus love equals zero, nothing. Jesus said, “By this will all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ESV). Here’s the bottom line: the gospel not only changes our position from death to life, from being objects of God’s wrath to being the objects of God’s love and salvation and not only positioned before God and our purpose, but it changes our personality, and takes us from being critical and self-serving to people who love. The gospel tells us in Jude 1:21 (ESV), “Keep yourselves in the love of God.”
Dr. Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the nation’s largest, most dynamic congregations. Dr. Graham is a noted author of numerous books. His passionate, biblical teaching is also seen and heard across the country and throughout the world on PowerPoint Ministries.