Welcome to the Kerwin Baptist with charity, these three. But the greatest of these is charity. Why is it so great?
What's so great about it? I hope that we can answer that question here this morning, especially as it relates to a church and as it relates to us as Christians. By the way, let me give you just a side note here.
This is a freebie. If you're married here this morning, you're always interested in learning some stuff about marriage. You know, we are the bride of Christ. And everywhere through the Bible when it describes the love that Christ has for us, that illustrates the love that should be in a marriage. Just so you know that it applies directly. The things that will make you a better Christian will also make and give you a better marriage. It just intertwines. That's just the picture that Christ gives. And what is so great about love?
Why is it the greatest of all the things that he has mentioned here? Let's pray. Lord, we love you. And as we deal with your word this morning, I pray that you would really, Lord, fill me with the power that only you can provide. Lord, I pray you'd use your word today.
You have promised that it would never return void. So Lord, I pray that I would share it correctly and that you would do the work in hearts this morning in Jesus' name. Amen. I'm going to ask you three questions and it kind of deals with this passage in Colossians chapter one. And I want to ask these questions and I want to answer them. You ever been around somebody that asked the questions and they gave the answers and you felt like you had no part in the conversation? Well, this morning you have no part in the conversation.
If we did, it would be chaotic, wouldn't it? So let's just, I'm the preacher so I got to do my part. But I want to answer three questions that you may or may not have asked or even be wondering about. But for us to understand this passage of why it is that out of faith, hope, charity, and there's some other things mentioned in chapter 13, why is love so great?
Why is it so important? Question number one I want to ask you this morning is this. When a church lacks charity, what does that produce? When a church lacks charity and everybody here would say, oh, we love the Lord and do you have charity this morning? Hopefully all of us say, yeah, yeah, I love people and I love my fellow church members. And you know, sometimes for us if we really love each other, we have a lousy way of showing it. Now all four of us might well agree with that, but everybody that agrees with that say amen.
We have a lousy way. When you're married, your husband and wives and you know each other, you know everything about each other and sometimes when you've had a bad day, you take it out and the one you love the most because you're comfortable around them and you love them and they're the ones that's there. And so sometimes you let it out and you think, man, I love you, why would I have treated you that way? We're flesh, we're human, we're sinners, that's just the way it goes. But when a church lacks charity, what does that produce? Look at verse one of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and you say, preacher, why are you talking about this on a Sunday morning? Well, we've been talking about revival and how does God revive a church?
And what are some things that need to change in a church for God to be able to revive our hearts? Look at verse one, the Bible says this, though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. Look at verse two, 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 and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. When a church lacks charity, what does that produce? Number one, it produces words without weight. When you have the right words and when you are even eloquent in your words and you've got it down pat and you know all the verses and you know how to speak and you know how to explain and when a church is very gifted at making things and we have good materials and we design good stuff hopefully and we're trying to get better and they are words without weight. They're nothing but chaotic.
Why? Because when we share the right words with the world and our hearts do not have love, it doesn't make sense to them. We're speaking one way and acting another. And I know a lot of churches that have the right words but they don't have charity. Boy have our churches been guilty of that over the years. It doesn't mean that what we need to do is just have charity and not have the right words. It doesn't mean that at all.
It means that you've got to have both. I've been in churches that had charity left and right but they didn't teach doctrine, they didn't teach the Bible right and then I've been in places but bless God they'll shove the truth down your throat and they will teach it right and straight and bless God. They are passionate about it and you couldn't find an ounce of charity within ten miles.
And dear friends I'm here to tell you when you have the right words, but you don't have love, they are words without weight. No wonder it seems that as we try to reach people that they have no interest and there's no conviction and they have no desire to come be part because often times the people they've been around had words without weight. Number two, when a church lacks charity what does that produce? Number two, look at verse two, and though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, look at the end, I am nothing. It means this that when you and I as a church if we lack charity it produces words without weight, second it produces prophecy without power. He said I can understand all prophecy and all the mysteries and have all the knowledge and I can dig into God's word and I can tell you what's going to happen and what the chain of events are going to be and thank God for a lot of preachers that have the time to put in to do that.
I'm going to be honest with you, I'm just trying to breathe air. I don't want to be able to explain all the things that are going to happen to you, but what I will tell you that I do have time to tell you is that God wins. So I'm going to go on and try to pastor people and they can study prophecy and have the time to do it and I'm just trying to get in God's word and pray enough so I can preach three times a week and I find the more prophecy I try to study the more confused I get. But I'm here to tell you we might could master prophecy and we could master all the mysteries and I could get up here and explain to people and we could have all knowledge and know everything the Bible teaches, but if we don't have charity it is prophecy without any power. I know a lot of people that are focusing and prioritizing a lot of things except love.
And the Bible makes it clear that all these things without love produces nothing. You all agree with me on that? Are you ready for number three? Or should we close shop now?
I don't want you to lynch me or nothing, okay? Number three, notice verse two. He says this, and though I have all faith, whoa, wait a minute, isn't faith good, preacher? And though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains and have not charity, I am nothing.
When a church lacks charity, what does that produce? It produces words without weight, verse one. It produces prophecy without power, verse two, but notice in verse two it produces faith without foundation. I can have enough faith that I could remove mountains. Bless God, I can move mountains, but if you don't have love you can't move people.
Lord, I don't know if they realize how good that was. I'll tell you why it was good, it came from the Lord. Faith can move mountains. But it takes God's love to move people. And I'm going to tell you something, over the years we've tried to fine tune our faith and bless God we're going to know this and we're going to know that and then I'm going to remove mountains and I'm going to accomplish all these things. And then we wonder why it doesn't bear fruit and it doesn't end up producing the desired result. And over the years I've seen churches that had faith to build buildings but they couldn't even fill it with people. Did I get on something? Isn't it amazing how things all of a sudden start making sense? We have faith and all of a sudden we build the buildings and the ministries and in ten years we're closed down because we didn't reach the people.
We didn't reduce anything. Number four, this is exciting to me. I feel like I'm one out of five hundred but it's exciting. I'm picking with you. Look at verse three, and though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor. That means I'm giving out to people.
I'm generous. Notice this, and though I give my body to be burned. That means I'm even literally willing to sacrifice my own life and body for God. And have not charity.
It profiteth me nothing. That means number four, it produces sacrifice without substance. I mean we can sacrifice to people and we can sacrifice to God and what does the Bible say? To obey is better than sacrifice. Hey friend I'm here to tell you, you can sacrifice everything you want. You can sacrifice your house and your cars and your money and God lays on your heart, thank God for it. We read of churches in the Bible where the people sold possessions, put it all together, help the poor, help people.
And God was moving in their midst and if God lays on your heart to do that, obey Him. But I'm here to tell you, you can sacrifice and give all your things and you can literally be willing to sacrifice your own body. But if we don't have charity and if we don't have love, it means nothing.
Anybody else guilty here this morning? Anybody else like me that we've learned and heard all the things and we're going to work on this and we're going to do this and I'm going to get faith and I'm going to study prophecy and I'm going to understand the Bible and I'm going to get all the mysteries and I'm going to make sure I've got all these things and I want to know how to answer everybody. And I'm going to have faith to move mountains and I'm going to give out to the poor and we're going to have ministries and give to people and I'm even going to keep going and I'm going to keep serving despite whatever, even if I've got to die, I'm going to do this for God. And all those things are admirable and necessary.
But what we have left in the dust is the one thing God said you have to have to do anything and that's love. That's just one question I've answered. You're like let's just stop with one today preacher.
Question number two. Why is charity so important? So we've seen what a church that lacks charity produces. It produces words without weight. It produces prophecy without power. It produces faith without foundation. It produces sacrifice without substance.
So why is it so important? This chapter makes it so clear and I'm not even going to tell you or take the time to go through all the characteristics of love. He begins that obviously and we know how all that goes and that's another whole sermon. But why is charity then so important? Notice if you would verse nine and ten number one.
He gives us four illustrations to try to describe why charity is so important. Number one and you've got to understand this concept. It is part versus complete.
Part versus complete. Notice if you would verse nine. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, meaning Christ, then that which is in part shall be done away. And when I say by Christ I mean in his return for us, the saved, the bride of Christ. Now listen to me.
That means this. The reason that love is so much greater than prophecy is because the best of our ability we are operating on limited knowledge. God has not told us everything.
He has told us what we need to know. And so if we dig into prophecy and we prophesy we still are only going to be able to prophesy in part because we've only been given part knowledge. We'll never fully understand until we get to heaven. So charity is so important because prophecy the best we could do and all the time we give to prophecy we'll never be able to fully understand it and it will always only be in part. But love that is based on Christ is complete because Christ is complete.
Does that make sense? So we know in verse nine and ten prophecy and all these things and all this study it's done in part because we only know in part. But when that which is perfect is come then all these things that we've only had partial ability to discover that which is perfect is come then that which is in part shall be done away. Then we'll understand. Dear friend when the Lord comes back we're going to understand a whole lot of things a lot better than we do now.
That's what we're supposed to do. But if you do that without love you've got to understand that prophecy and that understanding is limited but charity is limitless. Number two he gives us the principle of childhood versus manhood.
Look if you go to verse eleven. When I was a child I spake as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child. But when I became a man I put away childish things. He is saying that on earth it is compared to us in childhood. But when we get to heaven and learn all the mysteries and all the knowledge that God has prepared that would be compared to adulthood or manhood. That means this that right now the best of our ability and the best things that we can do in the flesh is nothing but childhood.
But one day we're going to understand the fullness of God and that will be manhood. Let me explain. I think back when I was a youngster and how I thought about things and how I felt about things and now that I'm older and I've had some experience and you go through some things I look back and I realize how ridiculously I thought. Anybody else like that? Let me just illustrate if some of you ever dated or went with somebody before you got married or maybe some of you when you were a young teenager or something you start going with somebody or date a girl or date a guy or something like that. Do you remember when that relationship ended how it just crushed you and you just thought your life was over? Are any of you that are not too old to remember that how it crushed you when you lost that first boyfriend or girlfriend? Y'all remember that?
They're still there. I'm 53. Listen, I want you to get this. That was so real then and it was so major then and now that I'm 42 and I've got a wonderful wife and three boys I look back and I think it was ridiculous that I was so crushed by that. Well I didn't have full understanding then. I was limited on experience.
I was limited on knowledge. And as my knowledge and experience grows then I realize how ridiculous that was and the reason is that all of our understanding is really not going to help people so much is because it's nothing but childhood. But when we get to heaven we're going to understand a whole bunch of things that are going to make us feel ridiculous that we even thought what we thought. The day's going to come when we're in heaven and we're going to look back and say man I just feel so ridiculous that I let such and such bother me when I was at church. I can't believe I got mad at so and so. I can't believe how ridiculous that is now.
I can't believe it had me so wound up and so mad and this and that. And you're going to look back and think that was ridiculous. We're going to look back and think man I can't believe that I was so hurt by such and such and I got up and I did something and I failed and I blew it and I can't believe I just let that get me out of church and I know people that not because somebody else but because they have failed and they've done wrong and they get out of church and they get out of things and man a lot of things can happen in life and we're not proud of those things and all those things go on and I'm here to tell you one day you're going to get to heaven and you're going to realize all that God has done for us and how he forgave us of our sins and he's willing to use us and you're going to think man alive I don't think we're going to have earthly minds at that point but what we did now and what we thought now it's going to seem ridiculous when we understand the fullness of Christ. But then shall I know even as I am known. Things are all dark and confused right now in comparison to what they will be when we get to heaven. I don't know but we can get up and we can say I don't understand why this world gets worse and worse and God hadn't done something about it. And by the way you ought to be glad he hasn't or you wouldn't be here. Because we're all sinners.
We've all blown it. We get up and say I don't know why God hadn't done this and I read this and I don't understand why. Well it's because we're looking through a cloudy glass right now. We don't understand the mind of God. We don't understand all the things of God.
It's just too way above us and we can't we're looking through a cloudy glass. But when the Lord comes and we get to heaven we'll see it clearly then. You say well preacher what is the point you're trying to make?
Number four. He gives us the principle of temporary versus eternal. Now we're getting to the end. Look at verse 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three.
He's saying this. Right now on earth these three things are what's important. Faith, hope, charity. All these other things are limited. There's not wrong to do them. It's not wrong to dig into them.
You should. But there are some things that the church must have. And that means this. Question number three is this. What are the ingredients that a church must have? What does a church produce that lacks charity? Okay. Why is charity so important?
Okay here's why. Because all the other things don't make sense right now. All the other things are operating under part knowledge.
All the other things you know they can leave with a lot of questions and different things. But charity is that one thing that is already eternal. That will last through eternity. That is already established based on Christ.
Charity is the one thing that can help everybody right now and always will. So what are the three ingredients that a church must have? He makes it very clear. Look at verse 13. And now abideth. In other words now what needs to abide, what needs to be here is faith, hope, charity, these three. But the greatest of these is charity. Listen to me. Love or charity is eternal.
Why? Because God's eternal. It's a picture that doesn't make sense. 1 John chapter four verse seven and eight. Beloved let us love one another. For love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is eternal.
It is what? So the fact why charity is so important is because that is God himself. He's the one that invented love. He's the one that made love. He's the one that's been the example of love.
He's the one that has shown ultimate love. So if a church has charity that is representing God. All the other stuff is representing us. Charity is representing God. Now listen to me.
Why are these three things so important? Now turn to Colossians chapter one. We'll be done. Real quick. Colossians chapter one. Let me tell you why this is so exciting to me. It all started in Colossians chapter one. Paul here is writing to the church obviously and we're going to read this in the book of Colossians. Now let me tell you what's interesting. Where we just read in 1 Corinthians 13 Paul was writing the church of Corinth.
Why? Because he had heard of division. He had heard of fighting. They had written to Paul and asked him are we supposed to sacrifice me to idols? They had asked him some questions on marriage. And as he wrote back to answer those questions he had heard some things that he was disturbed about and he was talking to them about the fact that there had been division. People were getting mad at each other in the church. And so his answer was in chapter 13 that you've got to have love. And if your church is good in all these other areas but they don't have love guess what?
You're not even going to get along with each other. Paul is praying to the Lord Jesus Christ by the will of God and to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colossae. Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is how Paul greets them.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ praying always for you since we heard of your faith in Christ and the love which you have to all the saints for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven. Right there we're told that this church has the three things that we're supposed to have. Faith, hope, charity.
Now briefly real quick let me explain. Notice if you would number one faith. Look at verse four. He says we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus. So when we say faith preacher you're saying our church should have faith. What is faith? Faith is moral conviction or persuasion. It means it's something that you are convicted of or persuaded of. That means that you don't have any questions or doubts. I am absolutely persuaded that this is the case. That is what our faith is.
Now listen to me. Romans 8 38. I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor debt nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God. That means that my faith is this. When I get saved my sin and everybody else's sin and nothing else can separate me from the love of God.
I'm convinced of that. Let me read you another verse. 2 Timothy 1 2 I am appointed a preacher and an apostle a teacher of the Gentiles for the which cause also I suffer these things nevertheless I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day. What is faith? Faith is things that we are persuaded of. We're convinced of. And if a church is not convinced then they're not a church. If a church doesn't really know what they believe it's just a group of people. According to the Bible a church has faith. Number 2 hope. Look if you would at verse 5.
I love this. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven. Now what is that hope? It's the fact that we know he's in heaven preparing a place for us and that when our time here on earth is done that we will spend eternity with him in heaven. That's what you and I have to hope for. I'm convinced that that's where we're going and that hope is what motivates us every day. We're going to see the Lord one day. I'm serving him now because of what he's done for me and I know I'm going to see him face to face.
Now I'm going to explain this. Titus 2 13 looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. My time's gone so I'm going to save the rest of those. Alright that's hope. So a church has to have faith.
It has to have hope. But number 3 notice in Colossians. Look at verse 4. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which ye have to all the what? Look at verse 8. Who also declared unto us your love what? There's the two things that you and I are supposed to have in a church. We're supposed to have love to all the saints and our love is to be in the spirit.
Now I want you to get this. Listen to me. Faith is in Christ. Our hope is in heaven. Our love is to people and in the spirit. I do not have the earthly ability to love you like I'm supposed to. For me to love you and have charity like I'm supposed to it has to be done in the spirit. And I know it is of the spirit when I am able to love all the saints.
Dear friend look at me. I've tried to paint this whole picture to let you know this. Let me tell you what Kerwin Baptist Church needs. Of all the things we're trying to do and all the things that we're spending time on that's great. But I'm here to tell you 3 things we have to have. We have to have our faith. We've got to be convinced of the Bible and the doctrine of the Bible and we are here. And we have to have a hope that we believe that there is a place in heaven. And we're going to spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. And we believe that. But what we also have to have is love to the saints and our faith and love in the spirit. And if we don't have that then we're nothing but sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Everything else is vain.
Nothing's going to help people. And we're wasting our time if we don't have charity. Read your verse.
Are you ready? John 13, 35. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if ye have love one for another.
Now this has been a teaching type message but listen to me. Do you have a clean heart and pure conscience to everybody in this church? Do you have love for every member? I didn't say do you like every member. I said do you love every member. The Bible says we're commanded to love each other. It doesn't say we have to like each other.
That's Danielology right there. But anyway. If it was possible that's why the Bible says if it be possible as much as life then you live peaceably with all men. That means God knows there's some people you just can't live at peace with if you try. But you still have to love them.
And I'm here to say this. It doesn't matter if we give everything to this area. If we have a big clothes giveaway. If we hand out soup suppers to all the homeless and everybody that we can try to help. If we go knock on every door. If we study and we have doctrine and we have college and we can explain every mystery in this Bible. If we have all the love that and we can't even love each other. We don't have anything. We can't even love each other. And that means all our other efforts aren't going to produce the fruit that God wants to produce. Because we lack charity. God help Kerwin Baptist Church.
God help us to be people that are willing to admit when we are wrong. The Kerwin Baptist Church is located at 4520 Old Hollow Road in Kernersville, North Carolina. You may also contact us by phone at 336-993-5192 or via the web at KerwinBaptistChurch.com. Enjoy our services live and all our media on our website and church app. Thank you for listening to the Kerwin broadcast today. God bless you. You
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