Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Epiphany 4
Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Super Love"
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

A. Infected Love
    1. Sex- and self-love and passion, fondness and affection
    2. Controlling and ingenuine and, often, temporary

B. Reflected Love
    1. Other-directed, rising above feelings and emotions
    2. Controlled and genuine and always lasting


 1. makrothumeo (verse 4): to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart; to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles; to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others; to be mild and slow in avenging; to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish

 2. perpereuomai (verse 4): to boast one's self; a self display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one's self excessively

 3. zeteo (verse 5): to crave, demand something from someone

 4. stego (verse 7): to hide, conceal the errors and faults of others

 5. apomeno (verse 7): to perservere; under misfortunes and trials, to hold fast to one's faith in Christ

 6. ekpipto (verse 8): fall powerless, to fall to the ground, to be without the effect of the divine promise of salvation

 7. "You tend to think you are loving people when you are really pitying and rescuing them. This love is not the agape love described in Scripture (cf. 1 Corinthians 13 et al). Instead, it is a manipulative, indirect, and self-serving form of control which hinders genuine expressions of love." (Thomas F. Fischer)

 8. "Kindness is not so much a sweet disposition as it is the practice of useful, beneficial, friendly acts." (Carlton Toppe)

 9. "Good manners are more than etiquette; they are ways of showing respect for the feelings of others." (Ibid)

10. "[Love isn't] 'touchy'... It doesn't flare up every time our pride is hurt." (Ibid)

11. "Love is not softness. It doesn't erase the boundary between right and wrong." (Paul Althaus & Gerhard Friedrich)

12. "[Love] is not gullible but has faith in [people]. It is ready to believe the best about everyone (cf. the Eighth Commandment)." (Toppe)

13. "Paul does not describe love in its greatest works, sacrifices, martyrdoms, triumphs; instead he goes into the ordinary circumstances of life as we meet them day by day, and shows us the picture of love as it must be under these. Be a true everyday Christian in the exercise of love--then all the great triumphs of love will take care of themselves." (R. C. H. Lenski)

14. "Why is Christian love greater than either faith or hope? Paul does not tell us. Perhaps the best answer is that of Johann Bengel: 'God is not called faith or hope directly, he is called love.' 'God is love' (1 John 4:16). (Toppe)

Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.

Ministry Health Sermon Starters
Copyright 2001 Ministry Health, LLC
All Rights Reserved
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Director

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