The Necessity of Love
Text: 1 Cor.13:1-3 (TNIV)
The exercise of spiritual gifts without agape-love causes us to produce, become and receive nothing of value.
The Iliad by Homer is a classic story about the Trojan wars. It was about a 10 years siege of Troy by the combined Greek armies. It is about heroism, honor and the influence of the Greek gods on human lives. The greatest hero of the Greeks was Achilles while the greatest hero of the Trojans was Hector. The recent movie, Troy starting Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom was about the Greek hero Achilles. Achilles was the greatest warrior the Greeks ever had. He was skilled in all the arts of war, smart, intelligent and invincible. He cannot be killed except at his left heel. The Greek legend had it that after he was born, his mother, the sea goddess Thetis wanted to make him invulnerable. So the mother held him by the heel and dipped him in the river Styx. Hence all parts of his body are invulnerable except for his heel. The way he dispatched the champion of the Thessalonians at the start of the movie was well worth the watching. Achilles has all the gifts and talents but he has one fault. He loved only himself. He wanted glory and immortality: that his name will be remembered forever. So Achilles used all his skills and talents to win glory for himself. Thus Homer told of this greatest of Greek hero sulking in his tent because King Agamemnon took a slave girl he liked. He sulked in his tent while his comrades were being slaughtered by the Trojans. Achilles was very proud of his skills as a warrior but he loved only himself. So much skills and talent but he couldn’t care less about his people. Later Troy was captured by the trick of the Trojan horse.
In the same way, the Corinthian church has a lot of talents, wealth and spiritual gifts. Like Achilles, they are heroes. They are spiritual heroes with their spiritual gifts. They are mighty in power. Unfortunately they were selfish, self-willed, self-seeking and were doing everything to promote themselves. They have the spiritual gifts but they do not have love. That’s why Paul has to write 1 Cor. 13. Chapter 12 deals with the different types of spiritual gifts in the Corinthian church and chapter 14 deals with how to use these gifts. But Paul has to insert in chapter 13 to show them a more excellent way to use their gifts. There is nothing wrong with spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts are given by God. Paul wants to show the Corinthian church a more excellent way to use their spiritual gifts.
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