1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.…
I. HOW FAR A MAN MAY GO IN RELIGION, AND YET BE NOTHING.
1. We may speak well on religion, and yet be nothing. Beyond all doubt Judas had the power of speaking; and to all appearance there was no difference between his speaking and the speaking of every other of the twelve.
2. We may have knowledge, and be nothing. Had not Balaam great knowledge? Yet he never had the saving grace of God.
3. We may do miracles, and yet be nothing. Did not the magicians in Moses' time do many wonderful things? Did not our Lord tell us that many in the last day shall say, "Lord, Lord, have we not in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you".
4. We may give all our substance, and yet be nothing in the sight of God. Many in the Middle Ages did so; many an old cathedral or religious house shows still what men did from false principles in the matter of giving money. It is not the quantity of our gifts, but the quality that God regards.
5. We may even die for our opinions, and yet be nothing. Has not many and many an one laid down his life before Juggernaut, and thus showed the sincerity of his belief in his poor, miserable, false idol? There is a zeal that is taught by the Spirit of God, and a zeal also that is "not according to knowledge." These are solemn things. Let us not be content with a little religion. Remember Lot's wife — how far she went; remember Demas, Judas Iscariot, the sixth of Hebrews.
II. WHAT IS THIS GRACE OF CHARITY, WITHOUT WHICH WE ARE NOTHING ? I know no more simple definition of charity than this: "the mind that was in Christ Jesus" towards His fellow-men.
Parallel VersesKJV: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.