Knowing the Love of Christ

1 Corinthians 13.4

Paul speaks of knowing ‘the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.’ This message describes the nature of Christ’s love towards those who find and know Him – actions of affection, kindness and power unmatched in human society. Here is how it may be experienced.

‘Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13 and verse 4, a chapter that we were considering this morning in the morning service, and I’ve come back to it this evening, particularly to look at some words from this fourth verse:

‘Charity suffereth long and is kind.’

Well, our subject will be ‘knowing the love of Christ.’ It’s a passage about love which should exist between people. Love particularly which should be between Christian people, people who’ve sought and found Christ, people who are brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God. It’s about a love which should rule all human relationships, especially marriage, love between husbands and wives, family love. It is about love. Our King James translators translated ‘charity’, because here it refers to giving love, outflowing love. It refers also to love which is free in the sense of being unfettered and free, in that it makes no charge and it expects nothing in return.

The great thinker of past decades, C.S. Lewis, called it unconditional love, but he was only half right because it isn’t really unconditional love. The love of God, that it reflects his love, is not unconditional. You could call it unconditional in the sense that it doesn’t require conditions from us. We can do nothing to deserve it or earn it. It’s a free, one-way traffic of love from God to those who trust in him and reverence him. But it’s not unconditional. The wonderful thing about it is that the conditions that are very stringent are met by someone else. The condition for God’s love is perfection.