HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church - Let's not forget to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world every day!
Teaching Series: “Be Different” based on 1 Corinthians
Today’s Topic: “Week 8: Love” (Chapter 13)
For further study:
Article - “What Does Agape Love Really Mean in the Bible?”
Book - “New International Biblical Commentary: 1 Corinthians” (Marion L. Soards, 2004)
Article - “Bible Odyssey: The Love Passage (1 Cor 13)” by Gordon Fee
1 Corinthians 13 appears to be plunked down in the middle of an unrelated topic that Paul is discussing regarding our interconnectedness as believers and the Gifts of the Spirit. Next week we will examine chapters 12 and 14, but I don’t think it’s an accident at all that chapter 13 comes in the middle of his teaching on gifts and how believers are to relate to one another. He wants to highlight the value of love against all else, which takes up the entire thirteenth chapter. He again feels compelled to address issues that the believers are using to elevate themselves over others–the use of gifts–and to address their times of worship–are they there to worship God or is it all about me, me, me? He makes it very clear that without the motivation of love for God and others, anything they attempt will have no lasting value.
The early translators of the Bible who created the chapter and verse division recognized the interconnectedness of these three chapters. Chapter 12 ends with, “But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all,” and Chapter 14 begins with, “Let love be your highest goal!” This demonstrates that while ‘love’ is the theme of chapter 13, it is directly related to the arguments Paul is making in chapter 12 and 14.
“ If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!