Love = No Fear – Greg Albrecht
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. —1 Corinthians 13:4-8
1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter many have come to know as the “love chapter” of the Bible. 1 Cor. 13 is arranged in three separate sections, two of which we will briefly examine:
The first section, in verses 1-3, is about love as being indispensable. If you’ve ever been to college, you’ll know that there are courses for which there are prerequisites. If a class has a prerequisite, you can’t take that class unless you have already taken another, more basic, fundamental class.
In this first section of 1 Corinthians 13 Paul is saying that love is the fundamental definition of a Christian. Love, for Christians, is a basic requirement—an absolute necessity, a core essential for our relationship with God and for our relationship, as Christians, with mankind at large.
Martin Luther once gave a sermon about this chapter in which he contended that verses 1-3 of 1 Corinthians 13 are intended as what we would call today a reality check. Of course Martin Luther didn’t use the term “reality check”—he simply said that these first few verses serve to silence and humble haughty Christians, particularly teachers and preachers who become impressed with themselves.