The most excellent way

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In his letter to Christians in Corinth, Paul called them “the church of God which is at Corinth.” The church of God is a community of people who share the life of God, are under the governing will of God, and cooperate in the work of God. The city of Corinth was ignorant of the life of God. It was governed by self-will, and antagonistic to the purposes of God. These two entities stand in vivid contrast to one another, however the Christians in Corinth did not walk in the fullness of their real spiritual identity, neglecting a life of holiness and maybe even forgetting their calling to influence the city with a light of the Gospel. This results in many problems within the community of believers such as: claims of spiritual superiority over one another, suing one another in public courts, abusing the communal meal, and sexual misbehavior. 

We live in a cultural climate very similar to the one in which the Corinthian Christians lived. It is a culture characterized by intellectual pluralism, situational ethics and personal selfishness. Dear friends, let’s remember, while we are redeemed and sanctified by the blood of Yeshua, we continue to live in the world. And this world dictates to us how we should live! The spirit of this world influences our thinking and behavior and we it is easy to fall to the same trap as Corinthians, causing pain and bring the division within the believing community rather than healing, mercy and serving each other. 

We should never forget cultivating God’s most important gift given to us –love. Love is the main component of a Christian life. In Greek it is ‘agape’ love, the kind of love that is revealed by the Lord Himself. This kind of love cares and seeks the best for another person without being driven by personal gain. 

When we believe in Christ, God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit and our hearts become the vessels of God’s love. Now, we need to be continually filled with the Spirit to reveal this love to others, serving them with our time, our gifts, and our resources. We can have “the tongues of men and of angels, prophetic powers, understand all mysteries and all knowledge, all faith” (1 Cor 13:2) but without demonstrating agape love it equates to nothing in the eyes of God. Paul says that love is the most excellent way.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7 NKJV)

Agape love suffers long toward all men. It suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God. 

Agape love is kind — mild, gentle. Kindness is acting for the good of people regardless of what they do.

Agape love does not envy and does not parade itself, is not arrogant, convinced of one’s superiority over others. 

Agape love is not puffed up with pride or self-conceit on account of any endowments or qualifications, mental or corporal, natural or acquired, civil or religious.

The Agape kind of love does not behave rudely and does not deal with other people in a way that injures their dignity. 

Agape love does not seek its own and given up on seeking it own status and satisfaction first and foremost. 

Agape love is not provoked, not irritable or touchy. 

It “thinks no evil” means the agape kind of love truly lets go of past hurts (releasing) instead of storing them up and keeping a record of wrongs.

Agape love does not rejoice in iniquity, refusing to take any pleasure from wrongdoing. 

Agape love rejoices in the truth and bears all things for the good of other believers. 

Agape love believes all things and doesn’t have a cynical attitude towards others. 

Agape love hopes all things meaning doesn’t stop hoping for other believers to do good or be restored after shortcomings – no matter the evidence of the past. 

When the trials of life pile up. Love keeps going!! Agape love endures all things and doesn’t quit. 

Agape love is the substance that we need in our midst! Friends, we need a fresh baptism of the Father’s Agape love.