I would encourage you to read 1Corinthians 13. Read it many times. It is only 13 verses. There is very much to learn from this short but powerful chapter in The Bible. The title of this series is based on verse 8a: “Love never fails”. We learn from this chapter that the greatest thing is love. It is greater than faith. It is greater than hope. Faith and hope are so very important - yes, even essential - to Christianity; but love is greater still. Why?
The Bible never says “God is faith” or “God is hope”; but it does say, “God is love” (1Jn 4:8). Yes, our God is a faith God, and He is the God of all hope; but He IS Love. When we are in Heaven, do we need faith? I don’t think so. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Once we are there, we see! Will there be hope in Heaven? I don’t think so. Hope is positive expectation, but never possession. It’s a good thing, but it’s only something you have until you receive, or possess, what your expecting. In Heaven, you possess. You have received. The future expectation has become the present reality.
However, God IS Love. God is eternal. Therefore, love is eternal. It will be forever. It abides, remains constant, and endures. There will never be a time when love is no more. There will never be a dispensation in which it passes away. It remains forever, as surely as God remains forever. This is why I believe Paul tells us that the greatest of these is love (1Cor 13:13), because God IS Love.
As I reflected on 1Cor 13, I considered two great things concerning God’s love: 1. I have it within me. 2. It is so powerful, no created thing can ever separate me from it. These are two amazing statements. Let’s start with the latter. In Romans8:35-39, Paul tells us emphatically that there is nothing in the universe that exists, that can separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus. Notice, God’s love is expressed through Christ Jesus (Jn 3:16). If you reject Jesus, you reject God’s love. If you accept Jesus, you accept God’s love. What confidence that brings the Christian, that there is nothing that can ever separate God’s love from me! Praise Jesus!
In Rom 5:5, we learn that God’s powerful, inseparable love has been poured out abundantly in our hearts by The Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within the Believer upon conversion, He pours out God’s love in that person’s heart. From that point on, the Believer has the ability to love as God loves. He now has the supernatural ability to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love other people as themselves. However, this will not produce automatically. If you remain carnally minded, you will continue to act carnal - although you have within you the ability to be spiritual. If you are not spiritually minded, this amazing love within you will lie dormant and ineffective.
So this is God’s love. It never fails. It abides forever. It is the greatest thing. It is so powerful I cannot be separated from it. It has been poured out abundantly in my heart by Holy Spirit. What powerful truth! What comfort and joy! What great love the Father has for us His children!
In 1Cor 13, Paul will express the importance of this love, and then go on to describe what this love looks like in action. Love often has feelings attached with it, but we must always remember that love is not a feeling - like God is not a feeling. Love is a decision; a choice; an action. True, it is a person (God Himself); but God is not idle. God acts. His love is shown through action. Love is not idle. Love acts. Love is shown through action. Lord willing we will continue this next week. Until then, rejoice in The Lord (Philp 4:4)