Op-Ed: Love Comes First for Christians

The primacy of love over knowledge is taught in many scriptures.

In beautiful prose, the great apostle Paul illuminates the importance of love for a believer in 1 Corinthians 13:1: “When I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have no love, I have become a noisy bell with a tinkling cymbal. “

The point is clear: words count for little when there is no love in the heart.

Paul repeats this truth in 1 Corinthians 8:1b: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Loving our Savior and loving others must be the primary pursuit in the believer’s life.

But it is important to understand that Paul’s astute observations in these scriptures should not discourage us from also seeking knowledge. Some believers think “love is all it takes” and tend to see those who deviate from this narrow view as unloving. But the Bible teaches otherwise.


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In truth, the believer in office, or any believer for that matter, can be both knowledgeable and loving at the same time. Those who seek knowledge are not necessarily unloving; to say otherwise would be propagating a false dichotomy.

Spiritually, spiritual readiness, the attainment of knowledge, is essential to any important ministry in the kingdom, such as serving Christ in city, county, state, or state government, or any other profession.

The word “knowledge” appears 40 times in the book of Proverbs and always refers to and describes a wise person.

Proverbs 1:22 says: “How long, you naïve, will you love to be simple? And mockers delight in mockery, and fools hate knowledge?”

At Proverbs 1:28-29, knowledge is directly related to finding God: “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.”

These passages are just two of many that show the importance of the pursuit of knowledge.

The underlying motive for acquiring knowledge is often a determining factor in whether or not it is a sacred pursuit. When we possess the right spirit to glorify God, build up His kingdom, win the lost to Christ, and be a preserver and illuminator in culture, then our quest for knowledge is undoubtedly a wonderful quest that both honors God and honors God is blessed!

Perhaps the most powerful way to illustrate the point made here—that the Bible teaches that our faith in Christ must be both cognitive and loving in nature—is to examine the three biblically identified stages of the believer’s spiritual growth as they do are listed in 1 John 2:12-14:

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you fathers because you know Him who was from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you fathers because you know Him who was from the beginning. I wrote to you young men because you are strong and the Word of God abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one.”


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This passage illustrates how knowledge is vital to the life and growth of a Christian in Christ! These verses show an important progression in a believer’s spiritual maturity from a “little child” to a spiritually mature “father.” In fact, without the pursuit of biblical knowledge, there will be no maturation in Christ.

I invite you to read my Bible study The Essentiality of Knowledge for additional insight on this topic and why developing a love for the pursuit of knowledge is critical to your spiritual growth as a believer.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an op-ed for The Western Journal, you can learn more about our submission guidelines and process here.

https://www.westernjournal.com/op-ed-love-comes-first-christians-close-second-key-spiritual-growth/ Op-Ed: Love Comes First for Christians


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