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  • Pastor Ralph


The context of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 was a dysfunctional church.  People were circulating in cliques. They were selfish and not caring about those in need. They were in conflict and even taking each other to court.  Overall, when you look at it, the Corinthian assembly was far from displaying Jesus.  Paul says they operated in their old nature – the flesh, “for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?” (1 Corinthians 3:3 NLT)  It was a pretty rough culture in Corinth and these believers were fitting right in.  Then Paul writes to them what true love, unconditional love, looks like.

This love the early Christians called agape love.  They took a rather unused and ambiguous word at that time and infused into it the love exemplified by Jesus. Ultimately, that love was demonstrated by Jesus going to the cross.  As Paul says, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”  Philippians 2:8 (NIV)  Christ, in His Passion, endured brutal beating, inhuman whipping, the tearing apart of His flesh, unknown humiliation, betrayal by His friends, six illegal and fixed trials and a horrific death on a Roman cross.   As William Barclay states, The Cross is the proof that there is no length to which the love of God will refuse to go, in order to win men’s hearts.  The Cross is the medium of reconciliation because the Cross is the final proof of the love of God; and love like that demands an answering love.  If the Cross will not waken love and wonder in men’s hearts, nothing will.”

As we look forward to assembling together via the internet this Friday, may the love of Jesus be awakened once again in our hearts.  May His sacrifice shine through as we celebrate the love and forgiveness we have in Him. May the bread and the cup unite our hearts in thanksgiving for the glorious grace we have in Jesus.  I look forward to Friday (or whenever you can join in) when we can join together to celebrate a day that would forever change our world.  Remember, whatever things you have for the elements, use them. Don’t go out to get them.

Till then, be safe.  In the love of Jesus  – Pastor Ralph

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