1 Corinthians 13:13
A STRONG ROPE FOR ROUGH SEAS
Intro: By ay of introduction, please turn to Eccl. 4:9-12. These verses
speak of the value of fellowship. They remind us that two are better than
one and the three together is better than two together. Solomon uses the
analogy of a three-fold cord. He reminds us that a one stranded cord is
weak by itself. A double stranded cord is stronger, but that a three stranded
rope is stronger than either. If I were sailing a stormy sea and wanted to
drop my anchor for stability in the storm, I would want such a strong rope.
I would want something that would allow me to get anchored and weather
the storm that was assailing me.
There are times when life is like a stormy sea. Times when we need to
anchor ourselves in Someone stronger than ourselves. Times when we
need such a strong rope to bind us to a Rock of safety. Our text verse tells
us of such a three-fold spiritual rope. When these three things, Faith, Hope
and Love are utilized and exercised together, they enable us to weather any
storm that arises in our lives.
If we aren't properly anchored, there is a tendency to drift when the
storms come. If we aren't tied connected well enough by this strong,
three-fold cord, then when the going gets too tough, we just might find
ourselves trying to run away. Psalm 118:27 speaks of binding sacrifices to
the horns of the altar. This was done to prevent them from running away
until it was their time to die. Well, we are told to present our bodies a living
sacrifice to the Lord, Rom. 12:1. Since this is true, and since we have a
tendency to drift away and run away when the pressure is on, then we need
to bind ourselves to the things of God and determine in our hearts that we
will stand for Him, regardless of what others do!
Let's examine the three-fold cord Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 13:13. I
believe you will see that this cord is a Strong Rope For The Rough Seas
I. THE CORD OF A CONVINCED FAITH
A. Faith Defined - Heb. 11:1 - Faith is not a blind leap into the dark, but
it is a confident leap into the arms of God. Often the end is not in
view when this leap is made, but the landing is never in doubt! Faith
has the capacity to behold what the eyes cannot see. Faith is the
knowledge that God is in absolute control of all the situations of life
and that He is working in everything, all the time, Rom. 8:28; Eph.
1:11. Faith cashes the checks God has written in His Word!
B. Faith Demanded - There is only one life that pleases the Lord and
it is the life lived in faith, Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23. The secret to
experiencing and enjoying God's best is to let go of your life, place
it in His hands and live it His way.
C. Faith Demonstrated - Heb. 11:3-40 Genuine biblical faith can be
seen in thousands of ways in the Bible and within your life and mine.
It takes faith to stand when others are falling! It takes faith to serve
God when those around you won't. It takes faith to follow God into
an unknown future, believing that He will work all things our for your
good and His glory! It takes faith to be like the Widow of Zarephath, 1 Kings 17. It takes faith to be a Daniel, to be a Shadrach, a
Meshach and an Abednego. It takes faith to be an Abraham, a
David, Peter, a blind man looking for a miracle. But, it takes faith to
be a parent, a partner in a marriage, a friend, deal with sickness, go
to work, etc. Life is all about faith! When we learn that God is in
absolute control of it all, then it will bind us more securely to Him and
His will for us!
Are You Bound With The Strong Cord Of Faith?
II. THE CORD OF A CONFIDENT HOPE
A. Hope's Features - What is hope? The dictionary defines it as "to
have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen
or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely."
Biblical hope is something far different. Biblical hope is, "A
confident expectation which rests upon the promises of God."
In other words, Hope is believing that God's Word is true and can be
believed. B. Hope's Focus - Genuine hope is not wishful thinking, but a confident
expectation that God will do as He has promised. Hope takes the
Word of God at face value! (Psa. 119:89; Matt. 24:35 - Friends, we
can believe the Bible!)
C. Hope's Future - Because hope is anchored in the Word of God, it
will see all that it expects come to pass, if not in time, then surely in
eternity. Our hope will be finally realized in two splendid events:
1. His Return - Titus 2:13
2. Heaven's Reward - 1 Pet. 1:3-5; John 14:1-3
(Note: While we roam this world, things do not always go like we
think they will. But, those who have anchored their hope in the Word
of God know that even the rough seas of this life are under His
control this evening! He can still say "Peace be still!". He can still
walk on your waves this evening! He is still the same God He has
Are You Bound With The Strong Cord Of Hope?
III. THE CORD OF A CHRISTLIKE LOVE
A. Love's Nature - Genuine biblical love is a rare commodity in this
world. There are plenty of manifestations of fleshly and worldly love,
but genuine, biblical love is hard to find! It is Constant - Jer. 31:3;
It is Impartial - John 3:16 and it is Stable - Rom. 8:38-39. Biblical
love is described in 1 Cor. 13:4-8. (Note: Biblical love loves in spite
of .......... all! Notice 1 John 4:7-13; 1 John 4:19-21.)
B. Love's Necessity - Matt. 22:36-40; 1 Cor. 13:1-3. (Note: If you do
not possess the right kind of horizontal love, that is, love for your
fellow man, you will fall out. If you do not possess the right kind of vertical love, that is, love for the Lord, you will fall away!) Without
genuine, biblical love, we are wasting our time trying to live for the
Lord. Why? Because we will always be out of step on one level or
the other! When we love the Lord as we should, nothing will be
allowed between us. When we love our brother as we should,
nothing will be tolerated between us! It is genuine love that keeps
all the relationships in our life in perfect balance!
Are You Bound With The Strong Cord Of Love?
Conc: Here is the invitation: Are you bound to God, His work and His people
with this three-fold cord this evening? If not, bring your sacrifice, you, Rom.
12:1, to this altar and bind it to the horns of the altar! If you can see that
you are bound with 1 cord, but not the other two; or with two of them, but
one in missing, I want you to know that 1 or 2 of them is not going to be
enough! You need all three cords binding your life to the altar for the glory
Friends, we are sailing stormy seas this evening! We must be bound
with a strong rope. Are you?