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bible study devotion

Devotion: the greatest of these is love

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Prayer

Heavenly Father, open our spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts to apply and obey the truth of Your words. Help us engage in Your word for the transformation of hearts and renewal of minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love is not a spiritual gift but it is the first fruit of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Commentary

1 Corinthians 13 is the love chapter.

The Greek word for love is agape, which means selfless, sacrificial love, and unconditional love. Agape is the highest form of love. 

Without love, speaking in tongues is noisy and irritating. Without love, prophesy, words of knowledge, faith, selfless giving, and even martyrdom are valueless in God’s eyes. 

Paul spelled out the 17 characteristics of what love is, what love is not, and what love does and does not do. Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not abusive, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil and injustice, rejoices in truth, never gives up, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere, never fails. Even, prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will fail but not love. 

On this side of eternity, we do not have full revelation, perfect vision, and comprehensive knowledge. Our speech, understanding, and thoughts are only partial at best. We are works in progress being sanctified by the Holy Spirit into spiritual maturity. 

Comparing the three virtues of love, faith, and hope, the greatest of these is love.

Application

Love is the first and greatest fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23. Love covers a multitude of sins, 1 Peter 4:8. Love is the greatest commandment, horizontal love to others, and vertical love to God, Matthew 22:23.

Do you love the Lord with all your hearts, souls, and minds? Do you love your neighbour as yourself? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23, NIV

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

Matthew 22:23

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for teaching us to love. Help us to obey Your commandment to love You with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Help us to love others just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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book review books

1 Corinthians: the greatest of these is love

By Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Amazon Ranking No 1 in King James Christian Bibles.

Foreword:

by Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Many people, including Christians, are looking for a perfect church. Someone once said this aptly, ‘

If you find a perfect church, please do not join it; because once you join it, it will become imperfect.’

Christians today are always very critical of their church and leadership. They seem to think that the grass is greener next door. They are unconsciously hoping for a ‘Garden of Eden’ within their church. Unfortunately, some Christians resolve to leave their church, which is imperfect, and journey to the next church, which they think is better.

Reviews:

Dr. Andrew C S Koh has done a wonderful job in creating this Bible study on 1st Corinthians. As a Religious Studies major, this book of the Bible was one of my favorites to study and it was nice to have this book to revisit those favorite passages and dwell in thought on them

R E Creech, Goodreads, Bookbub, 5 stars

1 Corinthians is a Christ-centered, life-changing, Bible study, and daily devotional guide for readers from all walks of life. Dr. Andrew C S Koh emphasized that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and all are given for us to learn and grow. The study is well-written, and broken down into units for each participant to review and learn from the word of God. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This review is my honest opinion

P A Reinert, Goodreads, 5 stars

A Great Read and a very inspiring book on the teaching of Apostle Paul. A clear explanation of each chapter for a good Bible study. Apostle Paul did not mince words but was very direct in his words. His great love for God was shown in these teachings. There are inspiring prayers too in each chapter. I found this book very informative and better understand these teachings. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I also recommend this book to other readers

S Jeyaram, Amazon, 5 stars

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bible study devotion

Devotion: Who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Dr. Andrew C S Koh

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Clouds

Bible verse

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”, Psalm 44:22. 37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from God’s love which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 36-39

Devotion

Paul formulated and answered his own rhetorical question and for our benefit. He asked his audience and us, can anything separate us from the love of Christ? What things? He went on to name some of the things, oppression, anguish, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even martyrdom. These are the trials and sufferings we faced in life as Christians. What about wars, accidents, and natural disasters like landslides, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, volcano eruptions, etc? When such things happened to us, does it mean that He did not love us? These are the things that Paul himself went through in his life. He was persecuted mercilessly by the Jewish leaders from day one and eventually faced martyrdom at the hand of Nero, yet he never even once doubted the love of Christ.

Paul went on to name even more things. What about death, life, angels, demons, present things, future things, powerful things, heights, depths, or any other created things? Can these separate us from the love of Christ? Paul’s answer? Nothing! No way! By no means! 

For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life

John 3:16

Go back to the cross whenever you begin to doubt the love of Christ for you. Jesus died for you and me on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins for us. This is how much Christ loved us. He died so that we can live. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s for another. Yet, Jesus died for you and me when we were still sinners and did not love Him. God loved you and me with an everlasting love.

Yahweh appeared of old to me, saying, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness”

Jeremiah 31:3

Application

Right now, we are witnessing a brutal war in Ukraine, entering into its ninth month. Does this mean that Christ do not love the Ukrainian Christians? By no means! Christ loved the Ukrainians just as much as He loved everyone everywhere in the world. He died on the cross for everyone irrespective of race, religion, custom, creed, geography, or pedigree. God is a God of love.

Be careful of what you hear on the pulpit or read from the internet. Countercheck everything you hear or read with scripture and come to the correct and balanced conclusion.

Do not blindly believe and follow someone’s opinion hook, line, and sinker, without counterchecking with scripture. I was once following a Bible teacher on the internet, but when he kept on saying that God is not a God of love, I stopped following him!  

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking to us today right out of scripture. Thank You for your agape love for us. Thank You that while we were still sinners, You died for us. Thank You for doing something for us that we will never be able to do for ourselves. You paid the debt of sin for us on the cross which we will never be able to pay. Thank You for the truth that nothing can ever separate us from Your love, in Jesus’ name. Amen.  

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Newsletter: the Gospel in a nutshell

4/10/2022

https://news.drandrewcskoh.com/g8j4y6z6p2

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A priest holding a bible

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bible study devotion

Devotion: the Gospel in one verse

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

John 3:16 is undoubtedly the most famous and widely quoted verse of the Bible. This verse encapsulates the Gospel in one verse. God loved the world so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son on the cross to save the world. Here are the 5 components of this verse:

#1. God is the originator of God’s love. God initiates His divine love for us. 1 John 4:19, We love because he first loved us.

# 2. The world is the destination of God’s love. God’s divine love is universal and for everyone irrespective of race, social status, sexual orientation, etc. Galatians 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

# 3. Giving is the demonstration of God’s love. God sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ into the world to pay the penalty of sin for us Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

# 4. Believers are the recipients of God’s love. John 3:18, Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 

# 5. Eternal life is the consequence of God’s love John 5:24, Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

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A sculpture of Apostle John holding a Bible

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Book: 1 Corinthians

by Dr. Andrew C S Koh

https://youtu.be/03CriwKaK2U

Amazon

www.amazon.com/dp/B09DCTDPRW/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_a_SM473WTZSRZG8K48HJ78

1 Corinthians: the greatest of these is love

Commentary, Bible study, Devotion

Foreword

Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Anglican Archbishop of Southeast Asia

Many people, including Christians, are looking for a perfect church. Someone once said this aptly: ‘If you find a perfect church, please do not join it; because once you join it, it will become imperfect.’ Christians today are always very critical of their church and leadership. They seem to think that the grass is greener next door. They are unconsciously hoping for a ‘Garden of Eden’ within their church. Unfortunately, some Christians resolve to leave their church, which is imperfect, and journey to the next church, which they think is better.

What people are saying

“1 Corinthians is a Christ-centered, life-changing, Bible study guide and daily devotional guide for readers from all walks of life. Dr. Koh emphasizes that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and all are given for us to learn and grow. The study is well written, broken down into units for each participant to review and learn from the word of God. I received this novel from StoryOrigin. This review is my honest opinion”

— Pamela Anne Reinert, Goodreads, 5 out of 5 stars”

A Great Read: A very inspiring book on the teaching of Apostle Paul. A clear explanation of each chapter for a good Bible study. Apostle Paul did not mince words but was very direct in his words. His great love for God is shown in these teachings. There are inspiring prayers too in each chapter. I found this book very informative and better understand these teachings. I am on the ARC team. I leave an honest review. I also recommend this book to other readers”

— Sharmani Jeyaram, Amazon, 5 out of 5 stars

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