Love is vital for the flow of the Spirit. Paul teaches us spiritual gifts, Paul declares love is “a way of life which transcends all others” (1 Cor 12:31). Then Paul writes the love chapter of the Bible (1 Cor 13) prior to urging “Be eager in your pursuit of this Love, and be earnestly ambitious for spiritual gifts, but let it be chiefly so in order that you may prophesy” (1 Cor 14:1).
Love is the “way of life which transcends all others.”
27 As for you, you are the body of Christ, and individually you are members of it. 28 And by God’s appointment there are in the Church—first Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly teachers. Then come miraculous powers, and then ability to cure diseases or render loving service, or powers of organization, or varieties of the gift of `tongues.’ 29 Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all teachers? 30 Have all miraculous powers? Have all ability to cure diseases? Do all speak in `tongues’? Do all interpret? 31 But always seek to excel in the greater gifts. And now I will point out to you a way of life which transcends all others. 1 Cor 12:27-31
1 If I can speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but am destitute of Love, I have but become a loud-sounding trumpet or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I possess the gift of prophecy and am versed in all mysteries and all knowledge, and have such absolute faith that I can remove mountains, but am destitute of Love, I am nothing. 3 And if I distribute all my possessions to the poor, and give up my body to be burned, but am destitute of Love, it profits me nothing. 1 Cor 13:1-3
1 Be eager in your pursuit of this Love, and be earnestly ambitious for spiritual gifts, but let it be chiefly so in order that you may prophesy. 1 Cor 14:1 Weymouth New Testament
Paul, is teaching in the context of a love agape feast. The Lord’s Supper was a love feast early Christians ate together in the fellowship of followers of Jesus they personally knew and loved in thought, word and deed. They gathered in the face-to-face communion of the community of Christ.
Love agape is the more excellent way
God pours His love into our hearts by His Spirit (Ro 5:5). That love is the most important attribute of our relationship with God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. That love under girds “a way of life which transcends all others.”
We learn love from God, for God is love. We love one another for we are born of God. He has shown us His love by sending His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him, our sins forgiven. God dwells in us and His love is perfected in us. We know we dwell in God because He has given us of His Spirit. See 1 John 4:7-21
Agape feasts give us a taste of heaven on earth
Our relationships with one another reflect God’s love. Such love builds us together and creates the environment needed for unhindered participation in the flow of the Spirit.
Our love shows in our gentle, tender, affectionate, good natured, personal care we share with one another in face-to-face communion in the community of Christ.
Our love one another, patience and kindness flows as we relate in harmony with people we eat with before the Lord.
Love in perspective of eternity
Life in the world to come will be completely harmonious agape, God with us in the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21 and 22 ). We look forward to being changed or resurrected (1 Cor 15:50-58) living in our regenerated (Mt 19:28) glorified bodies (Php 3:20-21) eternally.