1 Corinthians 13:1-8; Matthew 1:18-21
Christmas and the More Excellent Way (Part 1)
Sunday, December 5, 2021
Scripture: And I will show you a more excellent way. 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.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:1–8).
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18–21).
Main Point: God is love and we can have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect gift of love.
I. People can do nothing of eternal significance without love. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
II. God is love. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).
III. Humanity has sinned and lost their ability to love with God’s loves.
a. Phileo - People can love as platonically.
b. Eros - People can love passionately.
c. Storge’ - People can love paternally.
d. Splanchnizo – People can have compassion for other people.
e. Philargaria - People can even love possessions.
1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil….
f. Agape – But people can’t love with an unconditional, eternal, divine love without God.
Luke 10:27 – And he answered and said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
IV. Jesus is God’s gift of love, and Christ gives us the ability to love as God loves.
Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
V. The presence of divine love is an essential evidence of Salvation.
1 John 3:10 – By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Challenge: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Does your life display the kind of love that can only come from God?