Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

The Labor of Love
1 Cor. 13: 1-3

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

INTRODUCTION:
Every normal person loves being Loved. This chapter is called the "love chapter" of the Bible. We find a comparison of love and many spiritual qualities in this text.

The greatest labor is a labor of love. All of us need to seek to be more loving.

I. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Tongues.

II. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Prophecy.

III. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Wisdom.

IV. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Knowledge.

V. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Faith.

VI. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Giving.
 
 
 

1.    THE LABOR OF LOVE IS BETTER . . THAN THE GIFT OF TONGUES.   v 1


        Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am
        become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ Tongues vs Love. Though = "IF"

        1. Some In Corinth Emphasized Tongues As A Number One Gift.
            Tongues Of Men And Angels.

        2. Paul Emphasized Love As A More Excellent Way.

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ Tongues vs Love
        ". . . I Am Become As Sounding Brass, Or A Tinkling Cymbal."

        1. These Noises Were Used In Pagan Worship Practices.
            To Wake Up Their God's

Sounding Strong's # 2278 Echeo (Ay-Kheh'-O); From 2279; To Make A Loud Noise, I.e. Reverberate: -- Roar, Sound. (Dic)

Luke 21:25 And There Shall Be Signs In The Sun, And In The Moon, And In The Stars; And Upon The Earth Distress Of Nations, With Perplexity; The Sea And The Waves Roaring; (Kjv)

Brass
Strong's # 5475 Chalkos (Khal-Kos'); Perhaps From 5465 Through The Idea Of Hollowing Out As A Vessel (This Metal Being Chiefly Used For That Purpose); Copper (The Substance, Or Some Implement Or Coin Made Of It): Kjv-- Brass, Money. (Dic)

Mark 6:8 And Commanded Them That They Should Take Nothing For Their Journey, Save A Staff Only; No Scrip, No Bread, No Money In Their Purse: (Kjv)

Tinkling
Strong's # 214 Alalazo (Al-Al-Ad'-Zo); From Alale (A Shout, "Halloo"); To Vociferate, I.e. (By Implication) To Wail; Figuratively, To Clang:     Kjv-- Tinkle, Wail. (Dic)

Mark 5:38 And He Cometh To The House Of The Ruler Of The Synagogue, And Seeth The Tumult, And Them That Wept And Wailed Greatly. (Kjv)

Cymbal ( Only Time In N.T. )
Strong's # 2950 Kumbalon (Koom'-Bal-On); From A Derivative Of The Base Of 2949; A "Cymbal" (As Hollow): Kjv-- Cymbal. (Dic)

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1.    The Evidence of Christian Labor Is Love.
 

APPLICATION:

The Spirit Of God Gives Gifts Through Which We Labor.

He Gives Love As The Number One Gift.

Our Labor Must Be A Labor Of Love.
 
 
 

II.    THE LABOR OF LOVE IS BETTER . . THAN THE GIFT OF PROPHECY.  v 2



        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and
        though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ Prophecy vs Love.
        1. The gift of prophecy defined.

Strong's # 4394 propheteia (prof-ay-ti'-ah); from 4396 ("prophecy"); prediction (scriptural or other): KJV-- prophecy, prophesying. (DIC)

4394 from 4396
Strong's # 4396 prophetes (prof-ay'-tace); from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller ("prophet"); by analogy, an inspired speaker; by extension, a poet: KJV-- prophet. (DIC)

4396 from 4253 and 5346 Strong's # 4253 pro (pro); a primary
preposition; "fore", i.e. in front of, prior-figuratively, superior to:

Strong's # 5346 phemi (fay-mee'); to show or make known one's
thoughts, i.e. speak or say: KJV-- affirm, say. Compare 3004. (DIC)
 

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ Prophecy vs Love. "I am nothing"
        1. The Labor of Great prophecies Is nothing without love.
            a. A big zero.

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1. The Evidence of Christian Labor Is not gifts but Love.
 

APPLICATION:

The Spirit Of God Gives Gifts Through Which We Labor.

He Gives Love As The Number One Gift.

Our Labor Must Be A Labor Of Love.
 
 
 

III.    THE LABOR OF LOVE IS BETTER . . THAN THE GIFT OF WISDOM.   v 2



        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and
        though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ WISDOM vs Love.
        1. The gift of WISDOM defined. hidden wisdom,
                1 Cor 12:6-7 -- wisdom

Strong's # 4678 sophia (sof-ee'-ah); from 4680; wisdom (higher
or lower, worldly or spiritual): KJV-- wisdom. (DIC)

1 Cor 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 1 Cor 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
 

        2.    The gift of WISDOM described.

Understand
Strong's # 1492 eido (i'-do); a primary verb; used only in certain past tenses,

Mysteries
Strong's # 3466 musterion (moos-tay'-ree-on); from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites

Luke 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (KJV)
 

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ WISDOM vs Love "I am nothing."
        1.    The Labor of Great WISDOM Is nothing without love.
            a. A big zero.

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1. The Evidence Of Christian Labor Is Love Not Gifts.

ILLUSTRATION: Spelling so the grandchildren will not understand.
 

APPLICATION:

The Spirit Of God Gives Gifts Through Which We Labor.

He Gives Love As The Number One Gift. Our Labor Must Be A Labor Of Love.
 
 
 

IV.    The Labor of Love is Better . . Than the Gift of Knowelege.  v 2



        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and
        though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ KNOWLEDGE vs Love.
        1. The gift of KNOWLEDGE defined.

Strong's # 1108 gnosis (gno'-sis); from 1097; knowing (the act), i.e. (by
implication) knowledge: KJV-- knowledge, science. (DIC)

1 Cor 8:1-3 1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, (or makes arrogant) but charity edifieth.   2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.   3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. (KJV)

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ KNOWLEDGE vs Love "I am nothing."
        1. The Labor of Great KNOWLEDGE Is nothing without love.
            a. A big zero.

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1.    The Evidence Of Christian Labor Is Love Not Gifts.

Illustration TOPIC: Giving INDEX: 2124 SUBTOPIC: Generous DATE: 5/1994.25
The Columbian scientist who developed the first vaccine against malaria,
Dr. Manuel Elkin Padaroyal, says that he will not sell his vaccine for the fortune it is worth. Malaria hits 300 million people a year and kills 3 million. Dr. Padaroyal says that he will give the vaccine to the world for free! -- Associated Press, 5-13-93. See: Luke 6:38
 

APPLICATION:

The Spirit Of God Gives Gifts Through Which We Labor.

He Gives Love As The Number One Gift.

Our Labor Must Be A Labor Of Love.
 
 
 

V.    THE LABOR OF LOVE IS BETTER . . THAN THE GIFT OF FAITH.  v 2



        And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and
        though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

MAT 17:20 And He *said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to
you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here
to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

hyperbole

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ FAITH vs Love.
        1. The gift of FAITH defined.

Faith Strong's # 4102 pistis (pis'-tis); from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation;

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (KJV)

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me
thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Remove Strong's # 3179 methistemi (meth-is'-tay-mee); from 3326 and 2476; to transfer, i.e. carry away, depose or (figuratively) exchange,

Acts 19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost
throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away
much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

Nothing Strong's # 3762 oudeis (oo-dice'); from 3761 and 1520; not even one (man, woman or thing), i.e. none, nobody, nothing:

1 Cor 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (KJV) no, man, no, man

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ FAITH vs Love "I am nothing."
        1. The Labor of Great FAITH Is nothing without love.
            a. A big zero.

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1. The Evidence Of Christian Labor Is Love Not Gifts.

Illustration: TOPIC: Love INDEX: 4183 DATE: 2/1987.15 TITLE: Love Must Cost
Mother Teresa heard vows from 11 new members of her growing order, the Society of the Missionaries of Charity, and spoke briefly about this weekend. Her trip here Saturday from Cuba was unannounced, but about 700 people crowded Mission Dolores for the profession of vows by sisters who have completed their novitiate. "Love, to be real, must cost," said the frail and stooped Mother Teresa, 75, whose big voice belies her stature, "It must hurt. It must empty us of self." -- "USA Today," Nov. 17, 1986

APPLICATION:

The Spirit Of God Gives Gifts Through Which We Labor.

He Gives Love As The Number One Gift.

Our Labor Must Be A Labor Of Love.
 
 
 

VI.    THE LABOR OF LOVE IS BETTER . . THAN THE GIFT OF GIVING.  v 3



        And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be
        burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

This is an act of the "will" "my goods"

A.    Paul'S Comparison __ GIVING vs Love.
        1. The gift of GIVING defined.

Strong's # 3860 paradidomi (par-ad-id'-o-mee); from 3844 and 1325; to surrender, i.e yield up, intrust, transmit: KJV-- betray, bring forth, cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison,

1 Cor 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: (KJV) delivered, betrayed
 

B.    Paul'S Condemnation __ GIVING vs Love "it profiteth me nothing."
        1. The Labor of Great GIVING Is PROFITLESS without love.

Strong's # 4851 sumphero (soom-fer'-o); from 4862 and 5342 (including its alternate); to bear together (contribute), i.e. (literally) to collect, or (figuratively) to conduce; especially (neuter participle as a noun) advantage: KJV-- be better for, bring together, be expedient (for), be good, (be) profit (-able for). (DIC)

1 Cor 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (KJV)

1 Cor 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? (KJV)
profiteth no Strongs LISTING for this

Mark 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent
all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, (KJV)

        a. A big zero.

C.    Paul's Conclusion.
        1. The Evidence Of Christian Labor Is Love Not Gifts.
 

ILLUSTRATION: TOPIC: Knowledge INDEX: 2020 DATE: 9/1989.28
Two friends who hadn't seen each other in years met in a supermarket. One woman asked, "Tell me, Ruth, how is your son George?"

"He's getting along fine," Ruth replied. "He's a poet. He just received his master's degree in literature from the university."

"And what about Mary?"

"She's just as smart as George," Ruth replied. "She graduated from college with a degree in modern art."

"Wonderful. And how is little Freddy? What is he doing?"

"Well," Ruth said, "Freddy is still Freddy. He wouldn't go to college -- he became a plumber instead. If it weren't for him, we'd all be starving." Sunshine Magazine
 


CONCLUSION:


 


I. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Tongues.
 

II. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Prophecy.
 

III. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Wisdom.
 

IV. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Knowledge.
 

V. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Faith.
 

VI. The Labor of Love Is Better than the . . Gift of Giving.