Sunday, December 9, 2012

1 Corinthians 13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

This chapter is called the love chapter, it describes God's love. It does not describe our love, it describes the kind of love we should strive for once we become Christians. Paul is showing the Corinthians the example of behavior they are suppose to be showing toward each other. The rivalry, the division that is a major problem in their church is not the way Christian love is suppose to be displayed.

God's Word is full of examples of the kind of love, Christian are to strive for. It is a love that for the most part is alien to this world. In fact, this kind of love cannot be displayed in our world as a whole because it is the kind of love that the Holy Spirit must work in us. We may feel that this is not the way it truly is because we see example of sacrificial love all the time. In fact if you watch the evening news, you know that they usually end with a story of someone who has displayed love in a sacrificial way. The problem with the love that we can display, is subject to change, it is no unconditional. Someone who displays love today can do gross sin tomorrow. We all have experienced love of family and friends, but although good, that love was lacking, because the fullness of love that most of us want cant be given by another human person. What we lack is at the spiritual level and only God can fulfilled that. That is also the reason we fall for false displays of love because we are willing to take the chance that fulfilling love will come through this relationship, this sin, that sin. The love or pleasures that we receive from these are temporary and unfulfilling.

One example of the love in the Bible is a strange story it is the story of the prophet Hosea, when God first spoke to him he said "Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD. (Hosea 1: 2) We may take this is a terrible request for God to make to someone. Why would God ask Hosea to marry a whore? God says that His people do the same thing to Him, they whore; they leave Him, who is their first love and seek love from someone or something else. We think too highly of ourselves - we are not honest about our sins, yet in the eyes of a Holy God, how do we look in our wickedness? Thank God that the blood of Christ covers our sin, yet when we leave God, we act as a whore, the question to ask is how many times have we acted the whore before the eyes of God? God's purpose was shown in the fact that after Hosea had married Gomer and they had a few children together she left him and went back to whoring. She got in difficulty and it got so back with her that she was given to the market to be sold as a slave. Hosea went to the market and paid the price for her.  God has done the same for each one of us if we are Christians. Although this is n example of love the most profound example of love the world has is the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of human beings. The fact that God the Creator would act on behalf of people who initially could care less about salvation or the things of God, who under the deception of their sin and the devil would walk right into the fires of hell.

 But God intervenes this is what He says in Hosea "And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD. (Hosea 2:19-20) God talks about justice here. It would completely just for God to let everyone go to hell. But, He is not going too, and in order for His justice to be taken care of, someone else has to die and bear the punishment, the punishment for all sinners is hell, so, Jesus Christ paid the price He died a sinner death and receive descending int hell and bore the full wrath of God, not for His sin, but for our sins. That is love, and that love once we come to know it should brings us to humble gratitude. Paul says all the gifts that the Corinthians are so proud of will come to an end, they will no longer be needed. Just so, Paul also says for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. v. 12.


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