Part 3 of the series Gifted Christians
You can listen to this sermon here.
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
The Necessity of Love
…but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal (v. 1).
…but have not love, I am nothing (v. 2).
…but have not love, I gain nothing (v. 3).
The use of our spiritual gifts must be motivated by love.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Spiritual gifts are what we do. Spiritual fruit is what we are. Who we are is more important than what we do (even if there is outward success).
Tim Keller writes, “Spiritual gifts without spiritual fruit is like a tire slowly losing air” (“Ministry Can Be Dangerous to Your Spiritual Health”).
What Is Love?
True love was demonstrated by the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
In the NT, love and serving are inseparable. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). “Through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
How can we receive from God but not give to others? We are not to be consumers; we are to be servants. Jesus said, “Even the Son of Man came not to be serve but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).