Order without love is meaningless
The only thing more excellent than the manifestation of the gifting of God is the manifestation of the love of God. As previously discussed God is love it is love that builds and sustains unity.

The love of God (in unity) is so important to unity that 1 Corinthians states that without it everything is worthless. No matter how able a person is (“knowledge”, “faith”, etc.) if they do not posess the love of God in unity they are worthless. Ironically a person that knows everything should know that he is worthless appart from unity in God. Without love, unity is nothing.

It is impossible to properly respect the position of God as lord and the positions (and gift) of others without the love of God in unity. This leads to selfish ambition appart from God, where individuals seek to create value and meaning in a worthless existance. Not loving any single member (including yourself) is a rejection of the headship of God and the whole union, because God determins each persons place in the whole.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV)

The importance of love cannot be over stated. Christ is the perfect example of the love of God in unity. 1 Corinthians 13 describes what the love of God in perfect unity looks like:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, eendures all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV)

Christ is at work in the world now, by his spirit, building his kingdom (union) for the age to come. Love will continue into the new creation, when creation is destroyed and the judgement of God on all things is finally complete love will remain, because unity in God remains. In the new creation when all who are united in Christ take hold of what has been promised there will be no need for faith and hope because their union will be will be perfect. They will no longer need to relate to one another in the imperfect ways of the flesh of Adam (self-interest). Humanity will no longer be separated from Christ in body, they will see him face to face and their life will be in him perfectly and they will love one another with the love of God.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 13:8-13 ESV)


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