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What Is This Thing Called Love?

The Christian life often boils down to being patient and kind with people—even impossible people.

From the editor:

Over the next few months, PreachingToday.com is going to run an entire transcript series from Haddon Robinson on 1 Corinthians 13. The first sermon in Haddon's series—The Basic Need—has already been posted to the site. To read it, click here. Just below this note—before the actual sermon transcript—Haddon shares the story behind this wonderful series.

The story behind the series (from Haddon Robinson):

This sermon series came about because of tensions around the Gordon-Conwell seminary campus that were more than I had seen in the years I have been here. Jim White, the former president, resigned after a year, and to some degree unexpectedly, and I was asked to be the president. I did a number of things to try to draw the campus together and work on morale, but one of the major ingredients was I chose to speak a series of messages in chapel on 1 Corinthians 13, because it spoke of love and relationships, and it was positive in the sense that I wasn't going to major on what we didn't do or what we didn't like but on what we should do. There are times when we preach to a situation that is not a crisis as much as it is a presenting need, and that's what I was doing.

This series reflects the intersection of expository preaching with the role of being a leader. The sense of purpose that I had for these messages was strong. I chose the passage because I knew I needed to bring the campus together. As a leader I knew I was not going to be in my position for a long time, so I was thinking, If I'm here for two years, what do I want to accomplish? I saw myself as a middle-relief pitcher. I wanted to do what I could to prepare the campus for the person to follow me. When I'm preparing to preach in ...

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Haddon Robinson was a preacher and teacher of preachers all over the world. His last teaching position was as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

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Sermon Outline:


What is this thing called love?

Phileo and eros love

I. Agape love

II. Agape love is patient

III. Agape love is kind


God's Spirit is working in us so that we can show this love to others—even impossible people.