Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 13:13 The greatest of these is charity Message 16

Message 16   The greatest of these is charity (love)

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Remember as we read this letter that Paul was correcting the church for the division they caused through their love of themselves instead of loving God and then through His love, loving one another. As we know, the issue of divisions in the church did not affect only the Corinthian church.  Paul also told the Ephesians and Colossians about this new life in the Lord Jesus Christ –

Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Single minded in our walk with the Lord, do not confuse people!

We have carefully examined the definition of love and the truth that love abides forever, as we have learned, God is love and those in God have His love in them, also forever.  Paul stated in verse 13 that charity abides forever, as well as faith and hopeWe need to continue our examination of this verse and find the application to our lives.

We must see that –

        3). The attributes as part of the believer’s new nature result in a man of – faith, hope, and love.


Love provides devotion, Faith provides direction and action, Hope provides dedication.

Love not only has God as its object, but remember that love is also an attribute of the nature of God. Another attribute of God that is founded in His love is that “God is faithful” and will always remain so.  If time will be measured in Heaven, in ten trillion years, God will not cast us out.  From the very moment we were saved, the faithfulness of God was known in a practical way in our lives – our everlasting life with the Lord began and it will never end.  Why?  Because God is faithful!

God is not only love and God is not only faithful – God is the foundation of hope. All hope is dependent on Him.  If it could be phrased in such a way, we can declare that “God is hope”.

Hope is like faithfulness, it is founded in God’s love.  This is why Paul states that the greatest of these is charity (love). It is the very essence of God’s nature.

As believers, faith and hope are to be as real and genuine in our lives as love is.

With faith, God is the object of that faith –

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Our faith is in Him and should be complete in Him (beginning and ending in the Lord Jesus Christ)!

Now, what is a man of –

          a). Faith       Those that have trusted God for –

           (1). Salvation

The beginning of our life with Him –

Romans 10:9-14  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We begin our eternal life, saved, through faith, but there is more –

Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We –


           (2). Live by faith.  Hebrews 11


-”by faith Noah…prepared an Ark to the saving of his house.”
-”By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed…”

-”By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter, Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season..”

Faith leads to action!  Faith and action are vitally connected.  Remember James addressed this in his letter –

James 2:14-18  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jesus illustrated the proof of words is in works –

John 14:10-11  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

That which is on the same level as love, that which abides forever – can be seen now and must be seen in our lives!

As with faith –

Hope also has God as its object.

1 Peter 1:21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Romans 5:1-2  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Paul stated that faith abides, and continues in us as does –

          b). Hope.   Those that keep their focus on God.

Hebrews 6:18-20 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

            (1).  Hope keeps us prepared for the journey.

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

            (2).  Hope gives us patience in the journey –

Colossians 1:3-6  We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

            (3).  Hope abides with us forever because we see the fulfilment of it in the Lord –

Remember as we preached through the first letter to –

1 Timothy 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

that – Paul encouraged Timothy in the truth of hope that which is found only in God.  Paul explained that which he had declared that God is  “…our hope…”  Our expected end – what to look forward to along the way:

Every time we see Jesus throughout all eternity, we will remember that He is faithful, that He is hope and we know that He is Love.

With faith and hope, we are reminded that love is the greatest of these three because they grow up out of love!

In conclusion –

How do I know as a believer if my life has changed and I now am a man that has his faith and hope and love in the Lord?

 – Do you want to spend time with God. Reading God’s Word and prayer?

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

– Do you want to obey God in everything?

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Peter could have argued that he was just a fisherman, not a preacher.  Jesus asked Peter who he loved more, Peter the fisherman or Jesus the Lord?  “Lovest thou me more than these (the fish)?

 – Do you want the whole world to know what the Lord has done for them?  Does your life show this –

In Word –  “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”

In Deed –  Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Has there been a change in your life since you have been saved?

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Permanent and Provisional Gifts

Message 15   1 Corinthians 13:8-13

We have learned in this chapter what God has determined is a prerequisite, and that is charity or, as it is also translated, love.  We also learned in verses 4 through 7 the definition of charity and saw God’s love is pure, as ours should be. 

Today we begin by learning that God, in His infinite power and wisdom, determined what would be permanent and what would be provisional (temporary or transitional, used for a time and then set aside) in the establishment and ministry of His church.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Notice first that which is –

    3. Permanent. 13:8a   Paul declared unto them –

      a. The permanence of love.

1 Corinthians 13:8a   “Charity never faileth….”

We shall make two statements from Scripture which are foundational to this verse –

First –

1 John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love….

We see here that Love will abide as long as God exists.  God is love!

Second –

“… and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

Love will abide as long as the believer is in God –

Now remember the promises of God dealing with this truth –

John 10:27-30  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

1 John 5:11-13  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Being that God is eternal and that the believer is in God forever, love will be forever – eternal – everlasting.   “…charity never faileth…”. 

Compare with the statement in chapter 1 Corinthians 13:13 

“…now abideth faith, hope, charity….”

Love never fails – love always abides (remains, dwells, abides)

Now that this truth is settled, we turn to –


      b. The provisional nature of the gifts.  (Temporary, transitional)

1 Corinthians 13:8b-12  …..but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

We will find help in understanding the difference between the permanent and the provisional by –

        1).  Reviewing the gifts given to men to use for the building up of the church as they were listed in Chapter 12.

          a). The word of wisdom – the right decision.

          b). The word of knowledge – the right information.
          c). Faith – the encouragement to act.
          d). Power – healing, miracles – confirmation of the truth.
          e). Prophesy – proclaiming God’s Word, written or personally revealed (gift of knowledge)
          f). Discernment – knowing and verifying proclamation.
          g). Tongues – languages, Preaching to the foreigners.
          h). Interpretation – making known to all what foreigners were saying.

The church members were given these special tools to use in the church for the good of the church and evangelization of the world.  This was God’s working through men in the church to accomplish His will –

        2).  Reminding ourselves of the purpose of God in this work –

          a).  Establish His church

Matthew 16:16-18  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

          b).  Evangelize the world

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

We learn that these gifts were to be used only for a short time.  Then –

        3).  Realizing the fulfilment of the promise stated by Paul in the following verses –

          a).  The Provision of truth from God.

1 Corinthians 13:9-12  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

The New Testament was written over a period of about 50 years.  God revealed to the writers what He would have them to tell the world.  This first letter to the Corinthians was written about 40 years before the final letter of the New Testament was written – The Revelation of Jesus Christ as given to John the Apostle.  From the time of the writing of the first Gospel to the completion of the Revelation “…we know in part, and we prophesy in part…”.  As the Lord was revealing His Word to those He would have to write, the churches needed to know His will.  He revealed truth to them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit until the Word, “…that which is perfect…” was completed.  At the completion of the writing of His Word, the gifts were no longer necessary.  The people had His Word to preach and to teach.

          b).  The Promotion from partial information to perfect, or complete, information.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We can understand what Paul is writing with this simple illustration.  When you began your formal education at school, you received books to aid in learning.  Each year as you progressed, you put away the books of that year and received books which built upon what you have learned.  Each book was a step up, a promotion, to the next on the staircase of education.  Now, why would you return to your first books, the beginning point of knowledge when you have gained that which you need to accomplish your purpose in life?  You have grown beyond the old books and the old toys and have no need of them any longer.

Paul explained to the church that the gifts were for the education of the entire church in the will of God and not for the promotion of self.  These gifts were only temporary and they should use them as directed by God.  They, as well as we, needed to focus on –


      c. The presence of eternal attributes.

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

In conclusion –

        1. The gifts of God were provisions for service, to be used by the believer (recipient).
        2. The attributes (faith, hope and love), are part of the believer’s nature, defining who he is.


Unbelievers do not have this love.

John 5:39-42  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

The adversaries are not always as obvious as were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes.  Remember Judas, a man who served without love!  Many go through the motions because of the expectation of immediate reward, whether in prestige, power, or purse.

          a). The believer was to exercise the gifts through the attributes of his nature.
          b). The Corinthians had a new nature,

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 but they were not living accordingly. They were living as they were not even saved, according to the flesh.

Do you argue about the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do you admit that what has been stated in this message is true, BUT you still claim your experience is more important than God’s Word?

Why don’t we read Peter’s confession dealing with his personal experience while in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:17-21  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Remember –

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

I submit to you today based on the clear instruction of the Word of God that the gifts set forth in

1 Corinthians 13:8b-12  …..but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

– are not for the church since the completion of the Word of God before the end of the first century AD.

They were not lost, but they were not loving.  What about you?  If you have been wrong about prophesy and speaking in tongues for today’s church, will you turn to God in repentance and faith, as a believer asking the Lord to forgive you for believing the excitement of the flesh over the truth of His Word?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 13:5,6 Message 13

1 Corinthians 13:5,6        Message 13

We are continuing to learn God’s definition of charity (love) in order to enable us to look at our own lives and know whether our thoughts and actions are what the Lord wants us to be and to do.  The Holy Spirit has given the Apostle Paul the words that explain what love is and the Lord Jesus Christ has given us the example of how love acts. 

We are thankful that we are able to understand these characteristics through the actions of the Lord, bringing to life before us the Words that are written. 

The Lord is kind, never seeking another’s hurt, but always desiring repentance and turning to God. 

The Lord is always worthy of respect and honour, but He is always humble and caring for others, never ashamed to sit and converse with any, no matter what their station in life. He always sought their good.  Remember the times He was patient with Peter, who most people would not be patient with.  He was compassionate, caring for the sick, the hungry, the desperate, and through His example we see in His life that no matter who the person is or what the subject is –

      c.  Charity (Love) always behaves in a righteous manner. 

1 Corinthians 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Charity –

        1).  “Doth not behave itself unseemly…”

Behaving unseemly – unacceptable behaviour.  I ask you to think on this for a few moments and name in your minds some forms of unacceptable behaviour.  It is sad that it does not take us long to make this list.

Now, in your list did you include things like ‘being honest with others’, ‘telling the truth’, ‘correcting people when they are wrong’?

You see, behaving unseemly depends on who is judging the behaviour.

An excellent example of this behaviour is seen through the actions of Jesus challenging, then clearing the Temple of those who had changed it from a House of Prayer to a marketplace. 

John 2:13-18  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

In another way of speaking, they were asking Jesus by what authority did He close down the market that was being operated in the Temple.

Jesus’ was accused of usurping the authority of the temple leaders, but they were informed that it was their behaviour toward God that was ‘unseemly’.  If they loved God, they would not have permitted  the Temple to be used for personal gain instead of a place of congregating for prayer and worship.  Jesus’ love for God was revealed by His actions.

Our behaviour is unseemly in the eyes of God when we keep quiet when we should speak, when we remain still when we should act.  If we love God, we should not just go along with those that do not love Him.

Would our behaviour seem to others to be wrong if, during a war, we enjoyed the company of the enemy more than that of those who love our God as we claim to love Him?

We need to examine our lives, measure ourselves by His Word!

We also learn that Charity –

        2).  “Seeketh not her own…”   Is not selfish. Refer to –

John 6:38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

When we are saved, putting our faith in God through His Son, Jesus, our love should be no longer be like that of the world – self-serving, but that of the Lord, seeking the good of others.  Notice the change in ‘being’ that should be shown to the world, the new love because of the new ‘Light’ that is in us.

Ephesians 4:28  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Being new creatures in Christ Jesus, we see that our love –


        3).  “Is not easily provoked…”  Responds in an ungodly manner –

          a).  When people were ungrateful –       

Mark 5:17-19  And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

The Lord commanded this man to return to those same people who asked Him to leave their community and share with the His love and their need of Him as Saviour!

        b).  When people were demanding –

Mark 6:30-34  And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

We can fully expect that the Lord had lessons prepared to share with the apostles following their ministry among the people and was going to have rest and discussion with them.  When the people converged upon their resting place, the Lord did not return to the ship and seek another place to rest, but He gave the apostles an assignment for the day and He turned to teaching the people.

Does love measure our response when people are ungrateful or demanding, or do we care for them with patience as the Lord did, and still does?

Charity –


        4).  Does not attribute evil to others.

Titus 1:15  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Charity –

      d.  Does not find pleasure in evil   

1 Corinthians 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

The world does not exhibit love and have –

        1).  Separated from the truth, even rejoicing in their choice –

Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Romans 1:29-32  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The Lord is, and we as His people should be, –

        2).  Separated unto truth.

1 Peter 2:21-23  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Notice the judgment following the most careful and the most brutal examination of Jesus by man –

John 19:4  Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

Pilate could find no fault in Him because there is no fault in Him.  He is sinless, not just having not sinned, but is absolutely holy and cannot sin –

John 14:30  Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

If we love God and love people with the love of God, we will determine to reject sin, finding no pleasure in it, but we should “rejoice in truth” knowing that charity (love) –


        3). Seeks man’s good.

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Will we love with God’s love.  If we will, we will live as the Lord lived

1 Peter 2:21-25  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 Corinthians 13:5,6  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Do you behave yourself in a way that pleases and glorifies God?

Do we seek good for others?

Do we respond with love and care when people are ungrateful or demanding?

Are we separated from the truth or are we separated to the truth?

Are we seeking man’s good?

We have the examples of how to live through the Word of God and the life of the Lord Jesus.

How will you love, how will you live?

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 13 Message 12

1 Corinthians 13

Last week we began learning of the power of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  We continue today with a quick review and then continuing in the instructions from the Lord.

II. Instruction for order in the church services.

As we have learned, he corrected their misunderstanding of the –

  A.  Purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 12 dealt with the Purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit with the words of the Apostle Paul – “…and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” 

Paul then wrote to them explaining the –


  B.  Power in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

In the coming weeks we will learn of the –


  C.  Practice of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in chapter 14:1-40

Today we continue in the –

  B. Power in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Paul, following the example of the Lord and through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, explained to them that ministry must be motivated by love. Without love, the ministry had no power.


Love is –

    1. Prerequisite (Required) 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

      a. People’s estimation must be corrected.

        1). The Greeks focus was on what men knew (Intellect) wisdom of the world
        2). The Romans focus was on what men could do (Power)

      b. God’s estimation – Paul’s focus was on what men were (Character)

        1). The gifts from God were real.
        2). The motives of the men were wrong.

We illustrated service without love with the following illustration –


1 x 0 = 0; 1million x 0 = 0 and –
Spiritual gifts exercised with fleshly motives = 0

      c. Prerequisite is love!

The works were not motivated by nor presented in love!  They were not selfless!  Behind the gift was the thought – “I am going to get something in return for this, you should thank me”.  The recipient certainly should be thankful, but this should not be one’s motive to give, to love!

You see, when God gave us the gift of His Son to give Himself for our sins, God did not receive anything from the giving of the Gift.  He did not become more gracious, more worthy, more loving, more just, more holy…..God cannot be added to or detracted from.  He is perfect and unchangeable and in giving His gift, He revealed His infinite love.

We are reminded that love is required, it is the prerequisite to all ministry unto the Lord.  Love is also –

    2. Pure        The explanation. Love –

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Notice that the Holy Spirit did not lead Paul to define love as an emotion, as often defined by the world, but love is that which is an action, that which we decide to give to another.  We must carefully examine the Word of God to understand the love of God that we might be able to obey His command to love others.

How do we measure up when we compare ourselves with this definition of Love?  Does our pride get in the way?  Pay attention as

Paul again gave a careful explanation to them, this time about Charity (Love) –

1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

      a. Love encourages patience. It does not react in anger. “…suffereth long…

Remember the Lord’s words as He looked upon the city of Jerusalem, the place where He had set His name –

Matthew 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!


      Love responds with kindness. Refer to –

Mark 5:25-34  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

How do you handle interruptions to your plans, even those most important errands (possibly life or death situations)?  Do you love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and your neighbor as He loves them?  Do you trust that if your encounters are by His appointment, He will see that His will be done?

To many times we are angry when our plans are interrupted because they are our plans, and not His plans for us.


      b. Love is not envious, does not seek to elevate self, without pride and is never ashamed of God.

Satan tried to tempt Jesus to envy the things of the world, power, prestige, possessions.  Satan wanted desperately for Jesus to say “I deserve better than what I am receiving”!  Satan wanted Jesus to cry out to the Father “Why does this plan call for me to suffer, going without even bread and water when all the world has plenty”.

The answer as to why Jesus willingly lived out the plan of God is that He was loved and He loved! 

John 17:13-23  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Jesus loved God on purpose.  He loved man on purpose.  He fulfilled the will of God because of this love for God and for man.

What will our decision be as we are faced with loving God and man, as we prayerfully consider the situations we are faced with?

Will we say with the Lord Jesus as He prayed in the garden –

Matthew 26:42  He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

Will our love be tested when someone interrupts our plans or when others seem to have an easier time in life, or success, or possessions?

Remember –

1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Have you ever heard the saying “That person is living on an emotional roller coaster”.  They are forever going up one day and down the next.  They never seem to be steadfast and it is because their love is based on the world’s definition – an emotion instead of God’s definition – a decision. 

Will you decide to Love God’s way?  It begins with salvation.

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Message 11

II. Instruction for order in the church services.

As we preached through chapters one through eleven, we saw that Paul acknowledged the ministry of the Holy Spirit through them, but we need to be reminded again that divisions were seen in their –

   –Allegiance (Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ)
   –Attitudes (Disdain for the poor)
   –Actions – (Misuse of the spiritual gifts)

He corrected their misunderstanding of the ministry and he continued to instruct them in the –

  A.  Purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-31
  B.  Power in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
  C.  Practice of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

 Last week we ended chapter 12 dealing with the Purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit with the words of the Apostle Paul – “…and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”  This morning we begin with that in mind.

  B. Power in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Paul wrote to the Corinthians of the Pharisaical attitude of the people who were promoting themselves through their ministry in the church.  It is sad that this was happening among men that professed to know and serve God before the church was established –

Luke 18:9,10,13  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican…..And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

– and continued among some in the churches at that time, and has continued until our day due to the sinful desires and actions of some in the church.  Refer to –

3 John 9-10  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

Men and women sometimes forget that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of His church such as this Diotrephes did, and others from his time until the present.  They begin to believe that the Lord has given them the leadership in the church, not as servants of the Lord, but as Heads of the church, displacing Him from His position.  They reject the clear instruction from His Word and choose their own way to lead, serving themselves. 

Know that nothing is wrong with the enthusiastic proclamation of the truth, the excitement generated from knowing that God, the Creator of all things, the Sustainer for all time and eternity, is in our midst.  He loves us and works among us enabling us to fulfil His will –

Ephesians 2:8-10  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When we love and serve the Lord, the focus will not be on the individual but on the Lord.  When the messenger is thanked for the message, he should simply say “thank you” believing that he has done his best for the Lord and for the good of others.

The Lord reminded the Jews of God’s command –

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

And at a later time the Lord increased the responsibility of those that claim to honour God –

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.


Paul, following the example of the Lord and through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, explained to them that ministry must be motivated by love. Without love, the ministry had no power.


Love is –

    1. Prerequisite. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

1 Corinthians 13:1-3  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

      a. People’s estimation –

        1). The Greeks focus was on what men knew (Intellect) wisdom of the world
        2). The Romans focus was on what men could do (Power)

      b. God’s estimation – Paul’s focus was on what men were (Character)

        1). The gifts from God were real.
        2). The motives of the men were wrong.


1 x 0 = 0; 1million x 0 = 0 and –
Spiritual gifts exercised with fleshly motives = 0

      c. Prerequisite is love!

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Note that serving the Lord never has been about the servant, but always has been about the Saviour!

Leviticus 1:9  But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.

Amos 5:22-23  Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The works were not motivated by nor presented in love!  They were not selfless!  Behind the gift was the thought – “I am going to get something in return for this, you should thank me”.  The recipient certainly should be thankful, but this should not be one’s motive to give, to love!

You see, when God gave us the gift of His Son to give Himself for our sins, God did not receive anything from the giving of the Gift.  He did not become more gracious, more worthy, more loving, more just, more holy…..God cannot be added to or detracted from.  He is perfect and unchangeable and in giving His gift, He revealed His infinite love.

Love is required, it is the prerequisite to all ministry unto the Lord.  Love is also –

    2. Pure        The explanation. Love –

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

How do we measure up when we compare ourselves with this definition of Love?  Does our pride get in the way?

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, Message 10

1 Corinthians 12:7-14   Message 10

We were reminded last week that the Lord used the Apostle Paul to teach the people, using illustrations that were familiar to them in order to help them understand that they were wrong in the way they both thought and acted. They, as well as we, need to know and do the will of God.  His desire was that they would learn the truth, understand, and apply it to their lives, then care for others by teaching the same things –

2 Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

As we continue to look at the singlemindedness commanded by the Lord in serving Him, we learn more about –

   1. The administration of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-14

       The Holy Spirit is –

      a.  Selective in Service.

1 Corinthians 12:4a “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit….”

          Gifts, administrations, operations to individuals as He sees fit for the overall ministry in the church – different parts which make up the whole.  Note the use of the word in –

1 Corinthians 12:11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The Holy Spirit is –

      b. Supported in His action.   Note the involvement of the Spirit, the Son, and the Father.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

– toward this end we see that the Holy Spirit is –

      c.  Singular in His purpose. 1 Corinthians 12:7-14

        1). To perfect the church.

1 Corinthians 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

We see this also ministry with the perfection of the church in mind in –

Ephesians 4:11-13  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    2).  To provide that which each church needed to accomplish this perfection.   1 Corinthians 12:8-10


They did not have the completed revelation of God as yet, and the Holy Spirit equipped the church members with –

          a). The provisions to minster   1 Corinthians 12:8-10

            (1). The word of wisdom – the right decision.
            (2). The word of knowledge – the right information.
            (3). Faith – the encouragement to act.
            (4). Power – healing, miracles – confirmation of the truth.
            (5). Prophesy – proclaiming God’s Word, written or personally revealed.
            (6). Discernment – knowing and verifying proclamation.
            (7). Tongues – languages, Preaching the foreigners.
            (8). Interpretation – making known to all what foreigners were saying.

The church members were given these special tools to use in the church for the good of the church and evangelization of the world.  This was God’s working in each member –

          b).   Plan fulfilled –

The Holy Spirit gives to men to manifest to other men –

1 Corinthians 12:8-11  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The Holy Spirit leads men to their place in the church –

1 Corinthians 12:12-13  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Illustrations of the ministry of the Holy Spirit –

Page 1  The individual, you, when you were saved

Page 2  The individual obeying the Lord – “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” through the leadership of the Holy Spirit who is in you.  The church is made up of saved, baptized individuals.

Page 3  The individuals in the church are given ministries in the church by the Holy Spirit for the instruction of the whole church.

Page 4  The individuals now each have the Bible, God’s completed Word, given by God through the leadership of the Holy Spirit –

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

For the instruction of the whole church as we have seen in these verses –

          3). To prevent divisions, promoting dependence in God and in one another.

 1 Corinthians 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.

    2. The illustration of the body. 1 Corinthians 12:15-26

Last week we took time to carefully examine the illustration use by the Apostle Paul to help the church members understand that each of them was important to the whole.  We will not repeat here what was said, but will emphasize the unity and care demanded by the Lord for His church as stated in –

1 Corinthians 12:25-26  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

You will notice here that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth.  This chapter in no way teaches what some believe to be a doctrine known as the Universal Invisible Church.  It is taught by some that this chapter teaches that the Holy Spirit baptizes saved individuals, at the moment of their salvation, into the Universal Invisible Church.  We have seen that the Holy Spirit leads saved individuals, whom He indwells at the moment of their salvation, to obey the Lord and be baptized, becoming a member of the church that baptizes them, and then leads them to serve the Lord in the church through His Word.


    3. The exhortation to obedience.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Each member was to desire to use the tools the Holy Spirit equipped them with to the best of their ability for the Lord and for the church.  The church had been divided in fellowship and desiring those gifts of God that would lead to exalting themselves with little thought of others.  In chapters 13 and 14, Paul instructs them in the right way to serve the Lord with the ministry opportunities that He provided.

Today I ask you about your position before the Lord.

Are you saved?

Are you serving in the place the Lord has put you?

Are you serving with the tools the Lord has given into your possession –

   The Word of God, the Bible

   The prayers for others and for self

   The love for God and for one another

   The faithful fulfilment of responsibilities in your family

   The faithful attendance and service in your church

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1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Message 9

1 Corinthians 12:4-31   Message 9

II. Instruction for order in the church services.

Paul acknowledged the ministry of the Holy Spirit through them, yet divisions were seen in their –

   –Allegiance (Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ)
   –Attitudes (Disdain for the poor)
   –Actions – (Misuse of the spiritual gifts)

He corrected their misunderstanding of the ministry and he continued to instruct them in the –

Purpose of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-31
Power in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Practice of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

  A.  We will begin by looking into the purpose of this ministry of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4-31

I thought it would help us to have better understanding of what he is speaking of if we begin by reading the illustration that he used and then review the text.

The Lord Jesus Christ often used illustrations the people were familiar with in order to help them understand God’s truth.  We can see this as he illustrated His teachings with stories about children playing in the market, seed being sowed in the fields, helpful travelers, and other everyday instances that the people knew in order to help them understand what the Lord was teaching them.  In this same fashion –

The Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul’s experiences and education to reason with believers and unbelievers alike, which included not only an intimate knowledge of the Scriptures and tradition as we know from –

Philippians 3:4-6  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Acts 22:3  I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

Which was well known among men –

Acts 26:24  And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.

But also a broad knowledge of Greek and Roman literature –

Acts 17:27-28  That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

 Such as the Roman writer –

Livy ii, 32    (Live e)

In the days when man’s members4 did not all agree amongst themselves, as is now the case, but had each its own ideas and a voice of its own, the other parts thought it unfair that they should have the worry and the trouble and the labour of providing everything for the belly, while the belly remained quietly in their midst with nothing to do but to enjoy the good things which they bestowed upon it; they therefore conspired together that the hands should carry no food to the mouth, nor the mouth accept anything that was given it, nor the teeth grind up what they received.  While they sought in this angry spirit to starve the belly into submission, the members themselves and the whole body were reduced to the utmost weakness.  Hence it had become clear that even the belly had no idle task to perform, and was no more nourished than it nourished the rest, by giving out to all parts of the body that by which we live and thrive, when it has been divided equally amongst the veins and is enriched with digested food —that is, the blood.  Drawing a parallel from this to show how like was the internal dissension of the bodily members to the anger of the plebs against the Fathers, he prevailed upon the minds of his hearers.

And also the Greek writers they were already familiar with, such as mentioned in his letter to –

Titus 1:11-12  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

(This statement is attributed to the philosopher Epimenides (Epi me nee des) the Cretan says, ‘that all the Cretans are liars,’ but Epimenides is himself a Cretan; therefore he is himself a liar. But if he is a liar, what he says is untrue, and consequently, the Cretans are truthful; but Epimenides is a Cretan, and therefore what he says is true; saying the Cretans are liars, Epimenides is himself a liar, and what he says is untrue. Thus we may go on alternately proving that Epimenides and the Cretans are truthful and untruthful)

And –

Xenophon    (Zenafin)  who died in Corinth in 354 BC

He wrote of two men who were quarreling –

“What if a pair of hands refused the office of mutual help for which God made them, and tried to thwart each other; or if a pair of feet neglected the duty of working together, for which they were fashioned, and took to hampering each other? That is how you two are behaving at present.

Paul took these familiar stories and applied them to the work of the Lord in supplying the church with every person necessary to bring glory to Him.

Notice the argument he developed to reason with the people –

1 Corinthians 12:14-25  For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

Notice the statements “…now hath God set the members in the body, as it has pleased him…”  and “…God hath tempered the body together…”

The placement has been determined by God to accomplish His purpose for His glory!  We, as they were, are to pray for the Lord’s leadership and serve Him, not ourselves, inbuilding one another up in the church in order to fulfil His will.

Every member is important in the church and should faithfully discharge their responsibilities to the glory of God and the good of all of the members.  We begin with the ministry to others of faithfulness and obedience to the Lord.  Do you realize how important your being in church each service is?  When a member enters the meeting place and sees you in your place, they are encouraged.  Just being faithful in attendance is a ministry of encouragement to everyone.  From this ministry, we grow from ministry to ministry as the Lord leads and gives opportunities to serve.  We are helping others as we obey the Lord –

Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Paul has used this illustration to again rebuke divisiveness and pride and to encourage submission with a humble heart in serving the Lord, reaching out to the lost world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 12:2,3 Message 8

1 Corinthians 12:2,3   Message 8 

We have learned of Paul’s concern for the Corinthians ignorance of the purpose and proper use of the gifts of God.  The church was divided, even in their claim to the leadership of God in the gifts of ministry.  Paul began to correct them, teaching them that God is not divided and will not contradict Himself in any way.  We will begin to examine –

  B. His explanation. 1 Corinthians 12:2,3

    1. The spirit of the world.

1 Corinthians 12:2  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

      a. They had been only recently informed of the truth of the Gospel. 

Acts 18:1-6  After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.

         
      b. They had been superstitious.

        1). Sacrificing to idols.
        2). Submitting to false teachings and to evil priests.

God has warned men about the spirit of this world –

1 Corinthians 10:19-21  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

    2. The Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 12:3

No divided loyalties can exist in the hearts of believers.  We are to be “One Way”, “Singled Minded” in our devotion to God.  When we are “…in Christ…” we can be ‘in no other’!  This includes self.  Paul expressed this truth clearly in his statement to the Galations –

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

And commanded believers to be single minded in the letter to the Colossians –

Colossians 3:1-7  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

We are to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit’s ministry willingly, knowing that His purpose is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in His people  –

John 14:15-17  If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

There will be no confusion in His ministry –

John 16:8-11  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

He will make the truth known and clear –

      a. He will never deny Jesus. 12:3a

1 Corinthians 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

They spoke by the spirit of another –

2 Corinthians 11:14-15  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

As both the Jews did –

Matthew 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

These Jews were not being directed by God when they denied that Jesus is Christ.  They were being directed by the spirit of this world.

And Gentiles did, as recorded in –

Acts 17:31-32  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.


      b. He will always testify of Jesus. 12:3b

1 Corinthians 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

        1). Note the testimony of God the Father to God the Son, Jesus of Nazareth –

Matthew 16:15-17 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

And the testimony of God the Holy Spirit

John 16:13-14  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.


        2). Note the rejection of the declaration of the spirit of this world.

Acts 16:16-18  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

It is very possible that this young woman heard the witness of the Lord Jesus Christ from the ladies who Paul ministered to in the city.  She was conflicted, as many of us were (even though we might not have been directed by a demon spirit) once she heard the truth and cried out after these men until she was finally rescued from the evil spirit by the command given by Paul through the power of God.

The Holy Spirit convicted then, as He does now, of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, bringing men to a decision to either accept the truth of God or ignore the saving grace of God through His Son, Jesus.

Do you have the mind of Christ?  If you do, and each member also has the mind of Christ, you will be single minded, with no division at all in the church.

 Colossians 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Not me, not you, not anyone but the Lord  Jesus Christ!  This is the truth the Corinthians were being taught.  We are to be one in Him!

Why did the Lord lead Paul to write to the church in this way, rebuking them and correcting them?  Continue reading the verses from the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians –

Colossians 1:19-23  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

The members of the church in Corinth had begun moving away from the truth, the doctrine of God, not losing their salvation, but losing their testimony to the preeminence of Jesus and promoting themselves to the position that only He should hold, and in the process of doing this, claimed they were being led by the Holy Spirit to in their speech and actions.

Paul was trying to correct them, to remind them Who it was who shed blood that they could have peace with God,

that they could be reconciled to God,

that they could be holy before God,

that they could be unblameable before God,

that they could be unreproveable before God!

We need to learn today that this can happen in our lives, that even though you and I are saved, we can begin to think of ourselves more than we think of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We might claim to think of Him, especially when asked or are in church, but what do our actions say about us?

Is God’s Word more important to you than your feelings?

Is God’s Word more important to you than what others say?

Is God’s Word more important to you than being a part of the actions of those around you?

Does the Lord have first place in your life?

When we are saved, we are changed by the Lord.  Have you been changed?  Have your family and friends noticed a change, a putting the Lord before yourself?

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 12:1 Message 7

1 Corinthians 12:1   Message 7

I. Introduction of the argument for order in the service.

  A. His exhortation. They needed correction.

1 Corinthians 12:1  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.


Members in the church perverted the use of the gifts from God in their worship, changing the gifts of God from that of spiritual edification, worship and service unto the Lord to a self-exalting excitement, promoting themselves and their groups.  While they believed their hearts were right with the Lord, they ignored the sin of others to the detriment of the church.  In order to increase their influence, they invited the world into the church, not to be changed through the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, but to be cheered by the excitement and ever-increasing intensity and promotion of gifts. 

They were believers, but were going to lead others away from the Lord by changing –

    1. Worship.

      a.  From honouring the Lord in being –

          Prepared to worship – come with purpose.
          Practice of worship – serious minded
          Promise of worship – submitting to the Lord’s will, serving Him.

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

      b.  To honouring themselves by their self exaltation.

They needed correction in their –

    2. Lifestyle.

They were ignorant of the destruction of lives they were promoting by allowing sin to continue in the church, turning a blind eye to it, while practicing a form of worship of God in their own lives.

They should have remembered the terrible things that happened in Jacob’s family, while he built altars and offered sacrifices, he failed to lead in a Godly manner –


Jacob had God on his mind, but his family did not have Him in their hearts. He built an altar but they did not prepare themselves for worship! They met the world as they were and reaped the terrible results. Jacob learned the lesson that a casual heart leads to careless living.


Jacob, because of his focus on himself and the casual attitude in leading his family, was responsible for the defilement of his daughter, the disgraceful actions of his sons, and the destruction of Shechem.

Let’s take a moment to look at the life of Jacob and learn from the mistakes of this man who believed God, yet struggled with his own flesh and desires.  We will not read all of the verses, but will give the references in the book of Genesis for you to study this out for yourselves –

      a. His Character

        1). With men.  Non-confrontational; manipulative

          a). Esau Genesis 25:24-34

          b). Rebekah Genesis 27:6-14

          c). Laban Genesis 29:16-28

          d). Esau Genesis 32:1-8; 33:8-17 (Insinuated he would follow Esau, then turned West)

        2). With God.

          a). The Covenant. Genesis 28:11-22

          b). The intervention.

            (1). For the wives. Genesis 29:31; 30:6,17,22

            (2). For Jacob Genesis 30:27-30

          c). The Call. Genesis 31:3

          d). The Comparison.

Note that Abraham’s servant was dealing with the same man, Laban. Genesis 24:12-14; 24-27; 34, 35, 40, 42, 44, 48, 50-52, 56.

Jacob received the blessings of God, but we do not read of him acknowledging God in his day to day life. This is the manner of many believers.

      b.  His Crisis

        1). The defilement of his daughter. 

Genesis 34:1-2  And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

        2). The disgraceful action of his sons. 

Genesis 34:13-18  And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully………

        3). The destruction of Shechem Genesis 34:25-31

Genesis 34:25-31  And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. …..And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

What caused this crisis? –

      c. His carelessness.

Genesis 35:1-4  And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

As we said before – Jacob had God on his mind but his family did not have Him in their hearts. He built an altar, but he did not prepare his family for worship! They met the world as they were, with their idols and superstition and reaped the terrible results. They may have excused themselves to Jacob with their cultural icons and harmless jewlery, but Jacob learned the lesson that a casual heart leads to careless living.

        1). He acknowledged God as His God.

        2). He ignored the activities of his family. They had become ‘of the world’.

      d.  His compliance to the will of God.

        1). To seek the Lord. “…go up to Beth-el…and make there an altar…”

        2). To separate from the world. Note what he told them to do in order to accomplish this –

          a). Cleanse your hearts. Put away the idols.

          b). Cleanse your minds.

          c). Cleanse your bodies.

Jacob instructed his family to separate themselves from the things of the world and separate themselves unto the Lord. They were on their way to worship the Lord and they prepared their hearts and their dress accordingly.

Leaders need to ask themselves –

“Am I diligent in my own spiritual growth”?

“Am I negligent of the spiritual condition of my church” (Compromising Biblical values to avoid conflict)

“Di I understand the consequences resulting in my negligence”? (Beyond anything you might imagine!!)

Leaders, will you answer –

“I am going to submit myself to God and serve Him in the church,  seeking His will and obeying Him”.

Or are you going to have to face a destructive crisis before you take control. The consequences will have to be borne and they can be beyond anything that we may imagine!

As much as the leaders need to ask themselves these questions, –

Parents, as responsible for the spiritual wellbeing of the family, need to ask themselves –

“Am I diligent in my own spiritual growth”?

“Am I negligent of the spiritual condition of my family” (Compromising Biblical values to avoid conflict)

“Am I cognizant of the consequences resulting in my negligence”? (Beyond anything you might imagine!!)

Parents, will you answer – “I am going to submit myself to God and lead my family to seek His will and obey Him”. Or are you going to have to face a destructive crisis before you take control. The consequences will have to be borne and they can be beyond anything that we may imagine!

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Preaching Outline 1 Corinthians 12:1-14:40 Introduction Message Six

Message Six

You can go back and watch these messages if you missed them.  I believe they will be a help in answering many of the questions you and others may have about these issues of life.  Today, we continue to learn of the trouble in the church caused by division, which even destroyed the special communion of the church with one another and with the Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 11 is an account of the problems in the church having to do with –

V. Disorder. 1 Corinthians 11:2 – 14:40

Paul turned now to correct the attitudes of the people involved practices that they had incorporated into their assembly. There was disorder in the church regarding –

  A.  Authority. 1 Corinthians 11:2-16  

    1.  Appreciation for their respect.

1 Corinthians 11:2  Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.


    2. Addressing their misconduct.

1 Corinthians 11:3-16  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Paul developed his argument by teaching the proper order of authority and then correcting their conduct. His instructed them in Godly –

      a. Order. 11:3 Refer to Ephesians 5:18-33
      b. Conduct. 11:4-15

Though there is much dispute about the practice of headcoverings in Corinthians, two things are clear: (a) men did not wear them and women did, and (b) the headcovering was a sign of distinction between men and women.
Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 148

        1). The man. 11:4
He is to be the leader, in submission to the Lord.
The woman is to be under submission to the man.
        2). The woman. 11:5-15

          a). Women in ministry. 11:5a  Note the examples in Scripture –
Ladies that led ladies-

            (1). Miriam – Exodus 15:20,21
            (2). Elisabeth – Luke 1:40-45
            (3). Mary – Luke 1:46-56

Note that propriety is required even in the company of ladies only

        b). Women in submission is taught by Paul. 11:5b-15

      c.  Correction. 11:16 Submission of both the men and women.

  B. The Lord’s Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

    1.  Paul rebuked their careless practice in taking the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:17-22  Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.


Instead of communion, they were partial. Notice –

      a. Their conduct – divided.

1 Corinthians 11:18-19  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

      b. Their contempt. 11:20-22

        1).  For doctrine –

1 Corinthians 11:20  When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

They did not observe the truth of God as given by Him, choosing to please themselves instead of God.  They chose what suited them and what they enjoyed and ignored the equality of others as demanded by the Lord –

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.


        2).  For brethren. 11:21,22

1 Corinthians 11:21-22  For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.

    2. Paul reminded them of the correct purpose of taking the Lord’s Supper. 11:23-34

      a. Reminds the believer of Jesus Christ our Lord. 11:23-26
“…in remembrance of me…”

      b. Reverence for the Lord and His ordinance. 11:27-32

1 Corinthians 11:27-32  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.


      c. Respect for the brethren in worship of the Lord. 11:33,34

1 Corinthians 11:33-34  Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Paul continued to teach the church the importance of obedience and unity, even as the Lord proclaimed this truth in Matthew 22

Matthew 22:35-39 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

This morning I ask you, have been hurt by divisions in a church?  If so, you know the pain and hurt that is caused and we all should know that the Lord feels this pain and hurt also. 

It is wrong and we need to turn to the Lord with honest hearts seeking to heal wounds and divisions that we may honour the Lord in all things.

This morning I ask you if you are saved?  Have you trusted the Lord as Saviour?

These message have been an introduction to the content contained in chapters 12 through 14.  We will begin these messages next week and I ask that you read these chapters carefully and prayerfully.  Read them as a letter from God, through Paul, to you and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the truth.

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