1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails
As we close out this series on the comparative nature of agape love with our understanding and performance of love there is a contrast between agape love and the gifts. In chapter 12 Paul speaks about the better gifts and then announces a better way. Now at the conclusion of his listing of agape love attributes he draws us back to the gifts. Why?
Churches that focus on the gifts fail. They fail because love has to be the central character of this Christian life in order for any of it to work. Prophecy occurs because the prophet loves God not the gift. It is the same with any and all gifts, they exist because we love God and allow Him to be at the center of everything.
None of the gifts ever saved anyone. The love of God does. Grace and mercy flow from love. Forgiveness is meaningless without love. Grace churches often focus on tolerance, mercy, and forgiveness but they fail the lost if love isn’t at the center of all they do.
If you think that the character and quality of agape love is given to judge your performance, you miss the point of what Paul has been saying. That love abides in His believers and we cannot match it, produce it, duplicate it, or release it.
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Our part in this is cooperative, obedience of faith. (Romans 16:26) If we are to be found pleasing in His sight, it is by faith. (Hebrews 11:6) That faith is a gift from God. (1 Corinthians 12:9) It is given so that we may walk in it, to accomplish His will. (Psalms 101:6, Romans 4:12, 2 Corinthians 5:7)