Love Is the Greatest
The apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthian Church declared, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love is the greatest simply because it describes the very essence of God (1 John 4:8). God is the only source of love. And all who are sons of God will manifest the love that comes from their Father.
The apostle John wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love…And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:7, 8, 16).
Love is the greatest of all virtues because:
It Is in Harmony With the Will of God
As a manner of life, love is more real, more triumphant, more fulfilling, than having the various gifts of the Spirit, which is enumerated in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve (v. 31). Loving God and man is the highest illustration of harmony with the Divine (Matthew 22:37–40). Love exhibited in the life of the Christian is the great test of the genuineness of his life (Isaiah 58:6–8; Matthew 25:34–40).
It Reflects Christ
To be a Christian is to be like Christ, who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). This means that Christians are those who walk in the path that Christ went which is doing good to all who need assistance. They do it with no selfish motive, but simply because the love of God fills their minds. They can’t help it. It comes natural to them. “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13)
It Decides the Eternal Destiny of Man
Love’s practical application is the test that decides the eternal destiny of all men. “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). Those whose religion is one of mere outward obedience to forms and observances will discover that such practices are not acceptable to God. Self-denying love that is producing unity among the believers, will convince the world that God did send His Son into the world to save mankind. This is God’s chosen method for His people to bear testimony to the truth of the gospel (John 17:21, 23).
It Is Selfless
Such love, which shows no wish to exalt, justify, or gratify self, but is dedicated to selfless ministry to the needy, is an argument that unconverted men cannot oppose. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When the people see this love in the lives of converted men, their hearts will be touched, and their minds will respond to the evidence of the power of truths. Thus, love is shown to be the greatest way of spreading the gospel and promoting the kingdom of God.
In His service,