The Greatest of These…

Not everyone is familiar with all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays, but we all know

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…

We all know

Life’s a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

We all know

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.

Certain passages in the plays are so universally true and so stirring that over the years they’ve become Shakespeare’s signatures. They’re how we know his mind. 

Psalm 23, The Lord’s Prayer, and I Corinthians 13 are to the Bible what the words of Hamlet, Macbeth, and Gloucester are to Shakespeare. They’re signatures. They’re how we know the Bible’s mind. Not everyone knows the Bible end to end or can even tell you its simple plot, but we all know these words. 

Over the last decade your preachers have covered The Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23. Now it’s time to tackle the last item in the trifecta. It’s the law. They’ll take our ordination away if we don’t cover it. 

Henry Drummond (1851–1897), a Scottish scientist and preacher, once preached a sermon called The Greatest Thing in the World that was so popular they turned it into a thin book that’s never gone out of print. 

It might be too nineteenth-century and evangelical for us to get much use out of it today, but Katie, Christine, and I will use Dr. Drummond’s basic scaffolding to cover I Corinthians 13 this fall in a sermon series called The Greatest of These…

DateSermonLesson
Sep. 10The Greatest of These, I: PatienceI Corinthians 13:4; Exodus 14:5–14
Sep. 17The Greatest of These, II: KindnessI Corinthians 13:4; Micah 6:6–8
Sep. 24The Greatest of These, Ill: EquanimityI Corinthians 13:4; I Kings 21:1–19
Oct. 1The Greatest of These, IV: HumilityI Corinthians 13:4; Luke 14:7–11
Oct. 8The Greatest of These, V: CourtesyI Corinthians 13:5; Titus 3:1–11
Oct. 15The Greatest of These, VI: GuilelessnessI Corinthians 13:6; John 1:43–51
Oct. 22The Greatest of These, VII: SteadinessI Corinthians 13:5; Matthew 24:42–51
Oct. 29The Greatest of These, VIII: SelflessnessI Corinthians 13:5; I John 3:1–18
Nov. 5The Greatest of These, IX: IntegrityI Corinthians 13:6; Daniel 3:13–30
Nov. 12The Greatest of These, X: ImmortalityI Corinthians 13:7-13
September 1, 2023

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