TOPIC: THE UNIQUENESS OF BIBLICAL LOVE
TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 13 : 1 - 7
The word 'love' has been defined so subjectively that has made it lose its real meaning. Love is very abstract unless it's qualified by actions but such actions are too often premised on conditions which make it differ from the Biblical teaching of Paul. He made the Church realise that, as much as spiritual gifts are important in building the Church, it will amount to nothing if they are not exercised with love. In vs. 1-3, we notice his advice on the importance of serving the body of Christ with our various gifts.
Many believers exhibit spiritual superiority to others in the exercise of spiritual gifts to draw attention to themselves. Paul used a common expression for such false claims when he said, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal" (vs. 1).
The issue of speaking in 'tongues' usually leads to much argument or controversies in many churches. Some make a big doctrine out of it as if it's a prerequisite for salvation. But Paul said that it amounts to noise making without meaning or benefits to the church if not exercised in love. The characteristics of love are clearly stated in vs. 4 - 7. It therefore means that any use of spiritual gifts without love is useless. Whatever we do in or out of the church must be to God's glory.