What You Need to Know About Love and Spiritual Gifts

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Tallowood Baptist Church, Sermon, Love, Spiritual Gifts, Deuteronomy 6, Shema, Matthew 5, Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 Corinthians 14, Matthew 22, Faith, Church, Prophesy, Speaking in Tongues, MusicIf you had asked an ancient Hebrew rabbi to describe to you the central confession of the Israelite religion, he would have responded with the Shema:

 Hear, O Israel!  The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

If you were to ask Jesus to tell you about the greatest commandment, you would hear the Shema repeated with a further relational application:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind …you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37, 39)

“On these two commandments,” Jesus said, “Depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:40) All the ethical meaning of scripture, all of the legal import of scripture, and all of the prophetic words of scripture can be summarized in these two commandments.

What’s love got to do with it?

This remarkable summary is given magnificent expression in Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians.  1 Corinthians 13 is often read on its own, apart from its context in the book of Corinthians. This is a beautiful passage that is valuable in its own right, but it will help you, as you read it, to know that it is placed in the context of Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts. Continue reading

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