Real Love

1 Corinthians 13

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: 1 Corinthians 13

We are fast approaching a loveless world; in our mechanical society, it is clearer than ever that real love is what we lack.

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul shares three observations about real love, and why it is exceedingly valuable in our lawless age.

First, real 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; although it is necessary, 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 reminds us that real love enables all other things.

“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 a humble spirit, a courteous new nature, and an unselfish attitude.

Adrian Rogers says, “Love and pride don’t dwell in the same heart; you can be big-headed or you can be big-hearted, but you can’t be both.”

Love does not vaunt itself; it enables us to not envy, or to 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.)

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 and our faith will become sight, our hope will become reality, yet love will continue on and on.

Apply it to your life

Are you filled with real love, which excels all other virtues, enables the fruits of the Spirit, and endures all things?