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Paul declares God’s Love the Greatest Gift Part 2
1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. NKJV
Paul was perhaps the most prophetic speaker for our Lord Jesus Christ that ever lived and he declares that even if he were able to predict or foretell what was going to happen in the future every single day of his life, but his heart was absent of God’s Love what good would that be, for he would be no better than a diviner. Paul had confronted a slave girl possessed by a demon of divination and she was able (through the limited power of that demon) to predict the future, but we all know that demons have no love for God, nor do they possess the love of God. Therefore, Paul is making it clear to these Corinthian believers and to us that if the gift of prophesy is manifested in anyone without agape love which is primarily made visible in the concern for the eternal souls of lost men and women (Luke 19:10), then that person’s predictions are no more valuable than that slave girl Paul encountered who was a diviner and soothsayer (Acts 16:16). Paul declares himself and anyone who were gifted to know or to see and understand every mystery of God’s Universe, His Spiritual Power, and to know all that God knows without it exercised or used being governed by His Love would be nothing, for even God’s judgment is as declared through the Prophet Isaiah His “strange work”, “For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act” (Isaiah 28:21).
The English word Isaiah uses here strange is translated by the Hebrew word zur which means to turn aside or to go away from or to be a foreigner. In other words, it is God’s Essence or His most vital and most essential part of His inner being or core or center of which He is to Love and this is why the Apostle John writes this, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). It is a foreign thing to His Nature to judge, but it is also because of His Love that He must perform His “strange work” of judgment when His Love is rejected, refused, or resisted and men and women persist in their sin and rebellion. No where will you find written by any of the writers of Scripture that “God is Judgment” but you will find littered or scattered all over the Scripture God’s Judgment rendered upon sinful rebellious man and it is done because of His Great Love, for as it is written, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You cannot look on wickedness with favor” (Habakkuk 1:13) and it was His Great Love that sent our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth to take man’s sin into Himself (1 Peter 2:24) so that God the Father could forgive sinful wicked men and women and not have to do His “strange work” of judgment, as the Apostle John also writes, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
Paul goes on to hearken back to the words of our Lord Jesus when He said the following to the disciples when they were unable to cast out a demon in a little boy and this was the discourse, “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out?’ And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:19-20). Paul declares that even if one had the faith or the Greek word pistis which means persuasion or conviction of religious truth in such a great degree that huge problems were overcome by such faith it would be worthless and nothing absent agape love, for we see every day in this generation we live in Muslims strapping explosives on their bodies and killing themselves and other people because of their great faith, which is not in the One Only True God Jesus Christ, but instead it is demonic (filled with hate) and it is what actuates and activates their actions. Paul is saying, “What kind of faith is that?” and “What good is that kind of faith?” Faith without God’s Love activating it only produces death as the Apostle James says in this manner, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). The faith given at regeneration and new birth from God the Father through what God the Son did on the Cross and activated by God the Holy Spirit produces works of righteousness and a changed and transformed life and heart that loves others and seeks their good and not to hurt or harm them.
“All would be of no value. It would not save me. I should still be an unredeemed, unpardoned sinner. I should do good to no one; I should answer none of the great purposes which God has designed; I should not by all this secure my salvation. All would be in vain in regard to the great purpose of my existence. None of these things could be placed before God as a ground of acceptance in the Day of Judgment. Unless I should have love, I should still be lost. A somewhat similar idea is expressed by the Saviour, in regard to the Day of Judgment, in Matthew 7:22-23, ‘Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’” Albert Barnes
“The most wonder-working faith, to which nothing is in a manner impossible, is itself nothing without love. Moving mountains is a great achievement in the account of men; but one dram of love is, in God’s account, of much greater worth than all the faith of this sort in the world. Those may do many wondrous works in Christ’s Name whom yet He will disown, and bid depart from Him, as workers of iniquity, Matthew 7:22, Matthew 7:23. Saving faith is ever in conjunction with love, but the faith of miracles may be without it.” Matthew Henry
“Balaam, and several others not under the influence of this love of God, prophesied; and we daily see many men, who are profound scholars, and well skilled in arts and sciences, and yet not only careless about religion but downright infidels! It does not require the tongue of the inspired to say that these men, in the sight of God, are nothing; nor can their literary or scientific acquisitions give them a passport to glory.” Adam Clarke
“Paul declares that all that he taught or wrote or preached amounted to a big fat zero, if he did it without loving God and loving men and women who were made in the image of God.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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