Love and the Practical Graces - Gospel in Life

Love and the Practical Graces

Tim Keller |  January 13, 2002

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  • God's Love
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
RS 145-01

1 Corinthians 13:1–8

In 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, Paul tells the Corinthians that it’s not enough to have abilities or achieve things if you don’t have love and character. He explains what love really means and tells them to focus more on becoming better people. This message about changing ourselves through God’s love is still important today when we talk about what makes a person good.

1. Being gifted is not the same as having a good heart

In verse 2, Paul says that even if you have faith that can do incredible things, it doesn’t mean you’re saved. It’s just a special ability for leading and inspiring people. But having these talents doesn’t make you more worthy in spiritual terms. This highlights the importance of love and the danger of thinking that talent equals character. You can have talents and achievements without truly experiencing God’s grace and holiness. So, it’s more important to work on having a heart transformed by God’s love instead of just relying on your skills.

2. Having a good heart is not just about being good

Doing good things doesn’t mean much if you don’t do them out of love. In the book “Pride and Prejudice”, the character Mary thinks she’s better than everyone else because she’s moral, but she’s really just trying to make up for her own shortcomings. This shows that we should focus on loving and serving others genuinely, not just trying to make ourselves look good. True love requires a real change of heart, not just doing good things or serving others for our own benefit.

3. Having a good heart comes from experiencing grace

Experiencing God’s grace helps you grow as a person and develop a real relationship with God. It’s not just about doing religious things. Jesus showed us what love really means by sacrificing himself on the cross. This kind of love cares more about other people’s happiness than anything else. Jesus’ sacrifice, his ownership of everything, and the joy he feels for believers show us that spiritual transformation is more important than having things or behaving well.



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