Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, December 29, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Text: 1 Corinthians 13:3
1 Corinthians 13:3 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: What is all this GIVING stuff about anyway?
At Christmas time so much emphasis is placed upon GIVING.
When a person comes to church, he hears about GIVING at every service.
The pastor preaches that people should not only give tithes, but that they should give offerings ABOVE their tithes.
Look with me at the word, “charity,” as it occurs in our text. The word charity, contrary to most modern usage, does not refer to GIVING as much as it refers to LOVING. The first definition for charity in a common dictionary, such as my Wester’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary, is “Benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.
CHARITY, as the Bible uses the word, is not a reference to giving, but to LOVING. Verse 3 shows that it is possible to give without having charity.
However, true love GIVES. See John 3:16. That is why TRUE love, BIBLE love, RIGHTEOUS love, and SPIRITUAL love is called CHARITY.
Learn this: You can GIVE without LOVING, but you can’t LOVE without GIVING.
With that in mind, let’s examine charity by considering what love gives.
I. LOVE GIVES LOYALTY
1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
A. If we love Christ, we are loyal to Him
- We serve Him
- We rejoice in His truth – 1 Corinthians 13:6
B. If we love our church, we are loyal to it
- We support it
C. If we love our companion and children we are loyal to them
- We stick with them
D. If we love our comrades, we are loyal to them
- We stand up for them
II. LOVE GIVES LIFE
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
A. This is sacrificial living and giving – Romans 12:1
B. This is substitutionary living nd giving
- It is an attitude of taking someone else’s pain that they might benefit. That is GRACE.
- 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
C. This is saving living and giving
- This is what soul-winning is all about: giving our time to give a witness to lost people.
- This is what missions is all about: giving our money to give a witness to lost people on foreign soil.
III. LOVE GIVES LIBERTY
John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
A. Jesus liberated from despair
B. Jesus liberated from doubt
C. Jesus liberated from death
D. Jesus liberated from damnation
If we truly love our spouses, our children, and our friends, then our love will lead them into the liberty of Christ FROM sin and its bondage, from unbelief, from indifference, and from inactivity!
IV. LOVE GIVES A LIFT
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.