Skip to main content
March 6, 2024

Love: The More Excellent Way (Afterglow)

Passage: 1 Corinthians 12
Service Type:

In this sermon, Pastor Allen elaborates on Paul's teachings in 1 Corinthians regarding spiritual gifts, emphasizing the significance of love as the pinnacle of Christian virtue. Paul opens with a plea not to remain ignorant concerning spiritual gifts, delineating their nature and purpose, along with guidelines for their proper use, particularly cautioning against speaking in tongues in the presence of unbelievers and emphasizing restraint in their exercise. Moving on, Paul highlights the diversity of gifts within the Body of Christ, underscoring that each gift serves a unique purpose, which, when misunderstood, can lead to division among believers. Drawing a vivid analogy, Paul likens the Body of Christ to a human body, elucidating that just as each part has its distinct function, so too do believers within the church, urging us to celebrate our diversity while warning against inward-turning tendencies that lead to spiritual cancer and the production of bad fruit.

Transitioning from the discussion of spiritual gifts, Paul introduces "a more excellent way," identifying love as surpassing all gifts in importance. Here, Paul draws a sharp contrast between gifts, which denote abilities, and love, which epitomizes character. Using a poignant example, he poses the crucial question: can one be trusted with life and intimate relationships solely on the basis of gifts? The subsequent exploration of love, as expounded in 1 Corinthians 13, underscores its indispensability, asserting that without love, even the possession of remarkable gifts amounts to nothing more than empty noise.

Central to Paul's thesis is the question of how to discern the presence of love within us. Drawing from Galatians, he identifies the fruits of the Spirit as the litmus test, stressing that genuine love will inevitably bear these fruits, evidenced in our obedience to God's commandments and our love for fellow believers. Paul's teaching echoes Jesus' own words, linking love for God with love for others, asserting that the absence of the latter negates the former.

The sermon then pivots to an exploration of why love supersedes spiritual gifts. Paul argues that love serves as a tangible marker of being filled with the Spirit, far surpassing the exhibition of gifts. Drawing on Jesus' teachings and his own epistles, Paul illustrates that love is not only a characteristic of discipleship but also a unifying force within the church, fostering an environment of edification rather than division.

Concluding with the question of how to receive the gift of love, Paul emphasizes our dependence on Christ, likening believers to branches connected to the vine. In essence, the acquisition of love stems not from mere prayer or laying on of hands but from abiding in Christ, allowing His life to flow through us and bear the abundant fruit of love.

As we reflect on these profound truths, let us commit ourselves to pursue love above all else, recognizing it as the more excellent way that not only transforms our own lives but also radiates God's love to a world in need.

Join us at Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville, under the leadership of Pastor Allen Victor, as we continue to explore the depths of God's Word and seek to embody the transformative power of love.

#Love #SpiritualGifts #ChristianCharacter #FruitsOfTheSpirit #ChurchUnity

Leave a Reply