Thursday, August 27, 2009

Away With Clanging Cymbals Of Every Kind

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-4

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35
Two centuries ago, Jonathan Edwards probed the question as to what makes the church like heaven. His answer: its love. The church's manifestation in time of the glories that are yet to come is not accomplished in the gift of tongues, nor even in prophecy, giving, teaching. It is accomplished in love. One day all the charismatics who know the Lord and all the noncharismatics who know the Lord will have nothing to fight over; for the so-called charismatic gifts will have forever passed [1 Corinthians 13:8]. At that point, both of these groups of believers will look back and thoughtfully contemplate the fact that what connects them with the world they have left behind is not the gift of tongues, nor animosity toward the gift of tongues, but the love they sometimes managed to display toward each other despite the gift of tongues. The greatest evidence that heaven has invaded our sphere, that the Spirit has been poured out upon us, that we are citizens of a kingdom not yet consummated, is Christian love.

--D.A. Carson, Showing The Spirit: A Theological Exposition Of 1 Corinthians 12-14, p. 75-76.
When I was like a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11
One day, we will have love that is fully grown and matured because we will have put behind us all of our childish arguing and bickering about who's right and who's wrong that we so struggle with today. Oh Lord, help us. For Jesus' sake, Amen.

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