Alexander Strauch writes,
1 Cor. 14:1
My first encounter with the biblical principles of love started in a negative way during my early years as a born-again Christian. I was surprised when I saw true believers fight, display angry attitudes, and separate from one another. To make matters worse, the conflicts I witnessed weren’t about lofty, eternal theological issues of the gospel, but rather, personal preferences and church traditions. To me, as a young believer, fighting among older, godly believers was quite discouraging.
To deal with my disillusionment, I began to search the New Testament for answers as to what should really be important in the life of the local church. What are correct Christian priorities and attitudes? How can true believers disagree without mutual destruction (Gal. 5:15)? What I discovered, among other things, was what I called, at the time, the moral (or Christlike) character of the church. The church is to be a family of brothers and sisters characterized by humility, gentleness, peace, forgiveness, forbearance, faith, hope, and love, with love being the supreme, overarching virtue. “And above all these, ” writes Paul, “put on love, which binds everything in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:14).
First Corinthians 13, in particular, spoke to me about the fact that there is a “more excellent way” of thinking and behaving, and that the greatest theological knowledge, the most extraordinary spiritual gifts, and most sacrificial services are profitless–even hurtful–if not motivated and colored by the spirit of Christlike love. As a result of my Bible study, I realized the priority of love in all that we do and say.
Read the rest here.
Love or Die: Christ’s Wake-up Call to the Church
If You Bite & Devour One Another
Christian Love (Puritan Paperbacks)
Glorious Freedom: The Excellency of the Gospel Above the Law (Puritan Paperbacks)