Charity is Success (1 Corinthians #48)

Text: 1 Corinthians 13:8-12

Success because there is no limit to its application (vss 8-10)

  • Charity is 100% successful.  If you can learn to love God, love others, you can overcome anything that comes your way.  There isn’t anything that will derail your Christianity and walk with God.
  • Paul compares to spiritual gifts, which are good things.  Spiritual gifts are temporary tools of reconciliation and edification.  Paul identifies three gifts that people get puffed up about.
  • Prophecy – Prophecies all come to pass.
    • There is fulfillment which proves the word of God and you move on.
    • Prophecy can be a fun thing.  Folks have prophecy conferences and focus on prophecy on the radio, but it isn’t the meat people think it is.
  • Tongues – Tongues accomplished a specific job God had in mind in getting the gospel to a wider audience of unbelievers.
    • Tongues were for a sign to them that believe not.
    • They served a purpose to prove the work of the Holy Spirit of God before the scriptures were complete.
  • Knowledge – Knowledge is necessary now, but will not be needed in the future.
    • The flashlight is necessary in the darkness, but during the daytime it is irrelevant.
    • As children become teenagers and teenagers become young adults there can be a false sense of accomplishment because of information they take in.  Some of you may think your Bible knowledge makes you mature.
  • So each gift plays its part, but charity is how they all operate.  Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Success because it is spiritual maturity (vs 11)

  • What makes a person a spiritual baby?
    • Unskillful in the word of God.
    • Hebrews 5:13-14 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
  • Charity is the mature Christian language
    • Spake as a child
    • Without charity I sound like, “goo goo ga ga”
    • Charity is the voice serving its purpose.
  • Charity is the mature Christian comprehension
    • Understood as a child
    • Had no awareness beyond what pertained to me.
    • You thought everything was your own personal play toy and you were unaware of how God used the tools He was using.
    • Charity is the understanding serving its purpose.
  • Charity is the mature Christian thinking
    • Thought as a child
    • What’s the next entertainment?
    • Calvin and Hobbes is the imagination of a child.  Live in a pretend world.
    • Charity is the mind serving its purpose.
    • Charity is the maturing process
  • Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
    • We’ve found that the Lord is good for eternal life and salvation, but that is easy.  But we’ve never experienced the juicy steak of trusting God.
    • Philippino man asked if a missionary liked rats.  Missionary said, No.  Philippino said, Oh, you never been hungry.
    • Our spiritual appetite has been done away with because we keep eating candy.
    • Like Momma always said you’ll spoil your dinner, and spiritually we have spoiled our dinner.
    • Knowing to do right, but not doing it
    • That amounts to undigested spiritual food.  Spiritual nourishment that isn’t getting into the joints and the marrow and the cells of the body the way it should.
  • Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
    • Growth is change and that is usually the scary part of it.
    • The other reason is spiritual lethargy, laziness.

Success because it is eternal life in action (vss 12-13)

  • Charity is the way a Christian navigates this old world successfully.
  • Trying to see Jesus Christ is like looking through a foggy window.
    • Revelation 4:6 – sea of glass
    • 1 Corinthians 13:12 – we look through a glass darkly
    • Genesis 1:14-18 firmament is filled with lights
    • 2 Corinthians 12:2 – third heaven is the residence of God
    • Psalm 148:1-4 the three tiers of the heavens separated by waters
  • Face to face will be at the rapture of the church when we see Jesus Christ face to face.