Love: A More Excellent Way
Topic: Christ in our Conflicts Passage: 1 Corinthians 13–13
It's regarded by many as the most well-known text in the entire Bible. It is frequently used at weddings, funerals and special events and is given a privileged position by many as the epitome of ideal love. It is often referred to as the love chapter in the Bible - 1 Corinthians 13. Yet this poetic passage that was penned by the Apostle Paul is far from an abstract and sentimental reflection on the nature of love. Further, it is not a warm encouragement to affirm a Church in its faith and practice. Rather it's words are, at times, a bombshell to the church most rife with conflict (namely division, factions and disunity) in the entire Bible.
Corinth was, arguably, comprised of some of the most gifted, competent and capable men and women in the Roman Empire. For those who became Christians they soon realized that the Holy Spirit had now also endowed them each with the addition of a spiritual gift(s). A few of these spiritual endowments were spectacular in their public manifestation namely the supernatural ability to speak in other tongues/languages, remarkable faith and prophetic capabilities. Although the Corinthians seemed to have every advantage in becoming a healthy and growing community they missed the most vital and indispensable characteristic - love. This week we continued our Series on Christ in our Conflicts. Specifically we saw how Paul's explication of love makes a radical difference in a community characterized by conflict and how by understanding this it can safeguard and support a community that constantly and continually flourishes.