Love – The More Excellent WayBy: Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 01/28/2018
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 KJV
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 KJV
1. The Manifestation of the Spirit.
a. But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit (1 Corinthians 12:7 AMPC).
b. The Lord gives particular gifts – distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments – to different people in the Body of Christ for our edification.
c. There are distinctive varieties of service and ministration.
d. There are distinctive varieties of operation.
e. But they are all good and profitable.&
f. Even though the gifts differ, they all come from the same source – the Spirit of God.
g. The gifts are the word of wisdom; the word of knowledge; the gift of faith; the gifts of healing; the working of miracles; prophecy; the discerning of spirits; divers kinds of tongues; the interpretation of tongues.
h. These operate through believers, as the Spirit wills (not as we will).
i. The gift is not our own, but it flows through us as we make ourselves available to be used by the Spirit of God.
j. You do not have to be a minister to flow in these gifts.
2. Offices and Callings.
a. God has placed certain people in the Body of Christ as gifts to the Church.
b. They stand in an office (a position) or a calling.
c. These are referred to as five-fold ministers.
d. These are apostles; prophets; evangelists; pastors; teachers (Ephesians 4:11).
e. Not everyone in the Body of Christ is a five-fold minister.
f. God is the One Who calls a person, and He is the One Who anoints him or her to fulfill their calling.
3. A More Excellent Way.
a. Earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31 AMPC).
b. One gift is not better than another.
c. The ‘best gifts’ are the ones that are needed at the time.
d. The more excellent way is the way of Love.
e. The gifts operate through love.
f. The callings are motivated by love.
g. Galatians 5:6 AMPC - “For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.”
h. Everything in the Kingdom of God works by and through Love.
i. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV - “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
j. All the words, all the songs, all the gifts, all the knowledge, all the wisdom, all the faith, all the good works, all the sacrifice in the world, is worth nothing to you, if it is not done by and through Love.
4. The Love of God.
a. Romans 5:5 tells us that God’s Love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
b. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (AMPC) tells us what
c. Love is and how we can operate in the Love of God.
d. Love endures long and is patient and kind.
e. Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.
f. It is not boastful or vainglorious.
g. It does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride).
h. It is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
i. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way.
j. It is not self-seeking.
k. It is not touchy or fretful or resentful.
l. It takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
m. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
n. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
o. Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
p. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
q. The sign, or the proof, that you are a true Christian, is the Love you show to others.
r. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).