Berlin Immanuel Church gathered on Sunday, July 29, with a message taken from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 continuing on the topic of love. The sermon expanded on previous one from John 12:24-26 which teaches that we bear fruit when we are like grain that falls to the ground and dies, that we inherit eternal life if we hate our life in this world, that being a disciple of Jesus means to follow him and be where he is even if that means cross, and that we make ourselves servants of Christ obeying his will. This kind of life leads to God himself giving us honor and glory and this is the most worthy and meaningful way to live.
This simple truth taught to Greeks is very profound and important in our lives, and we can see how the principle of bearing fruit through dying works practically in life. In the story of Cain and Abel, it is the wrong brother who dies. Cain, seeing Abel’s life being a success and his offering accepted by God, he as a farmer more than anyone should understand that principle and should have looked at himself and head to the voice of God who told him “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”. He should have died to what he was doing wrong, learning from Able and changing himself to receive blessings, but he did the opposite. So a real tragedy in life happens, when we fail to see the truth and die and be reborn through the truth and become self-centered and arrogant. This is manifested in us as individuals as well as in society.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is teaching is what love is and love isn’t. Paul describes love here in practical ways, not as some kind of philosophical ideal, but he describes love as he saw it in Jesus. As we meditate on these verses, we behold Christ and must look at what true love is and live by it and see what love isn’t and die to that part of ourselves. Love is patient (live suffers long) and is not easily angered. So when things in our lives don’t go as planned and as we wished, we easily complain, grumble, get angry and criticize, but this is not love and so this part in us has to die, we should accept the reality of life. Love does not boast and is not proud – love is humble and is not self-centered but is centered on others. It doesn’t seek my own comfort as priority but the good of many.