The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Charity…The Greatest

Posted by Pastor Szekely on November 17, 2006

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

Why is charity the greatest? Before this is answered, understand that charity is a godly, giving love that meets the needs of others even when the giver doesn’t get anything back in return. So again…why is charity – a godly, giving love – “the greatest of these”? Think on these 5 things:

1. Love is the fulfilling of the Law. Romans 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”.

2. Love glorifies both faith and hope (1 Cor 13).

3. God is Love. 1 John 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

4. From verse 13, charity – that godly, giving love – will be the only one of those that will last forever. Our faith will one day become sight; Hope, which means a confident expectation, will be realized when we are with the Lord; but “Charity never faileth” (1 Cor 13:8).

5. The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed that the “first and great commandment” was to love…”the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:36-38). Then He stated the second commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:39-40).

The way the Church at Corinth was going was not with charity, and it was producing schisms, confusion, and strife. Paul tells them at the end of Chapter 12, “…yet I shew unto you a more excellent way”…and that more excellent way is the way of charity.

Which way are you going today? I know I’m going the right way – that’s not boasting, that’s just fact…but it’s not because of who I am – it’s because of the One I follow. It’s one thing to “be right”, but it means nothing if it is not driven by charity. “Our methods are doctrinal ~ Our motive is love” = that’s a saying at our church…but it has to be much more than a saying – it must be an application. Someone once stated, “Love is the choice that I make – the action that I take“. Remember, we don’t fall in love – we fall down stairs. Love is legislated by God because love is an act of will. What motivates you today? Which way are you going? May God shew us all a more excellent way.

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