What an exquisite idyll â€“ what a perfect poem of love! The thirteenth chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians is devoted to the praise of Christ-like love.
Dr. John MacArthur has well said: â€śLove is action â€“ not an abstraction.â€ť True love has been perverted by our modern secular society into lust, or at best, mere romantic feeling. The love described in this chapter is â€śagapeâ€ť love, or divine love. It is even deeper than family love or brotherly love. It is a love that chooses to give, to sacrifice, and to compassionate, regardless of whether that love is reciprocated.
Agape love is â€ślove in action.â€ť A church may be very correct in doctrine and even orthodox in practice, but love may be conspicuously absent. Such was the case for the most part with the church in Corinth (See 1:7; 11:2).
If we truly comprehend the beauty, sublimity, and permanence of agape love, our chief request in prayer would be, â€śEvermore give us this love.â€ť This kind of love gets the world's attention because it gives legitimacy to our profession as Christ's disciples (John 13:35). This kind of love is divine in its nature and origin, and is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22: Rom. 5:5).
Let's look a little deeper to see what true love really looks like!
Bob Vradenburgh is the senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has spent 40 years in full-time Christian service: the first 20 years as a missionary and the past 20 years in the pastorate. Bobâ€™s passion is the expository preaching of Godâ€™s Word,...