W. Austin Gardner
A More Excellent Way—Love
I Corinthians 12:31
When the Apostle Paul spoke with the church about the spiritual gifts, he found them fussing, fighting, and jealous of each other. He told them that there was a better way. They needed to learn to love. The King James Bible translates the word love here as charity. That is because it is unselfish love.
This charity love is a love without limitation. It is the kind of love that God has for us. We do not deserve His love. We cannot earn His love. He loves us with a one-way love. Charity is a love that is given when it is not deserved.
Webster’s First edition says this word charity means: the disposition of heart that inclines men to think favorably of their fellow man and do them good. The word had to do with gratuitous service to those in need.
Notice in I Corinthians 13:1-3 that no matter how beautifully I can speak, without love, it means nothing. If I have super understanding and spiritual power but no love again, it is nothing. If I give more than any other and have not love, I am nothing. The point of the chapter is that I learn to love.
Without love, our worship is just noise. Without love, our preaching is empty and worthless. Without love, our Bible and spiritual knowledge only inflates our egos. Without love, our faith is dead. Without love, our giving is worthless. Without love, any sacrifices we have made were just selfish. No matter how doctrinally right we are, it is only of value if we have love. This love is a love that gives with no hope of anything in return.
Biblical love is more than big talk. This love is more than great wisdom. Bible love is more than generosity. Love is the more excellent way.
Charity is the highest form of love. This type of love has action and demonstrates itself. Nothing is so valuable as this love, not talents, abilities, understanding, knowledge, faith, good works, or sacrifice!