Learning to Love

1 Corinthians 13

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 13

In this wicked world, where darkness spreads and lawlessness abounds, love is a rare commodity. As children of the light, it is our responsibility to learn to love. In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul explains why love is exceedingly valuable in our lawless age.

First, love excels all other virtues, and without it, those virtues are meaningless.

“But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Love is more valuable than speaking in tongues, prophecy, and knowledge. Scripture is meant to encourage, exhort, and edify us, but if we handle it without love and use it to divide, we are nothing.

Love is even greater than faith. What good is faith that can remove mountains if it cannot remove malice in our hearts?

Love inspires a charitable attitude, but our good works are worthless if we do not do them in love (see 1 Corinthians 13:3).

Second, this passage explains that love enables all other virtues.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Love enables us to be patient and kind; it enables a humble spirit, a courteous new nature, and an unselfish attitude. Love does not envy or harbor irritability. It enables us to be forgiving and sympathetic; it does not collect grudges, and it rejoices in truth (see 1 Corinthians 13:5-6).

Adrian Rogers says, “Love is not blind; literally, love sees more, but love forgives. Real love is not giving people what they deserve; it’s giving people what they need.”

Finally, in verse 7, the Apostle Paul says love, “...bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

While other virtues fade and fail, the mighty force of love endures; it conquers all things, making friends out of enemies. It completes everything else, adding infinite value to prophecy, worship, and knowledge.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

One day we will see the Lord face to face. Our faith will become sight, our hope will become reality, yet love will continue on and on, throughout all eternity.

Apply it to your life

Are you learning to love, which excels all other virtues, enables the fruits of the Spirit, and endures all things?