So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:13
What would you say about a church experiencing divisions, envy, strife, and contention? A church where members sue each other? Or where people practice immorality and then condone immorality in others?
These were all problems in the church in Corinth, described in 1 Corinthians. This was a church that had all of the above problems plus more. Yet in many ways, the Corinthian church had a lot going for it. The church members were actively using their spiritual gifts. It had a great heritage, with many great teachers of God’s Word. And for the most part, the church was characterized by right doctrine.
However, there was something missing—love.
The absence of love in this church created multiple other problems, just like the absence of love in our churches creates problems. It’s possible to be doctrinally sound and be active in church work but not to have love. As the apostle Paul said, we can do all the right things, but if we don’t have love, then we have “nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).
Make it Personal
How can the absence of love, even if we’re doing everything else right, create problems— either in our churches or our personal lives?