A  More  Excellent  Way



When I was a young man and excited about the Charismatic Renewal, I was puzzled by what seemed to be a paradox. If God was sending us the wonderful renewing power of His Holy Spirit, why were so many of the Saints in traditional churches offended when spiritual gifts were manifested in public worship? To be specific about this paradox: the Holy Spirit’s renewing power was also supposed to bring unifying power as well. Yet, everywhere I went across the country I saw polarity and division.

In the churches I pastored when gifted people would wish to bring the whisperings of the Holy Spirit to the congregations I would hear about it the next morning after the meetings. There were rankled board members and ruffled feathers everywhere. What was the problem?

The real renewing and unifying power of the Holy Spirit is manifested through God’s awesome love.  When God’s love is present, there is renewing and unifying power. Part of the paradox is that His love is so different from anything we have ever experienced that when we encounter His love, the carnal man feels out-of-control and threatened. This sermon explores what Paul calls the more excellent way.

February 10, 2007

Sheepfold Ministries – pastor Phil Roland

A  More  Excellent  Way

1 Corinthians 13

“People who speak in tongues are not superior to other Christians.  God's love in a person's heart does not make them superior, it makes them more vulnerable." Pastor Phil Roland

"But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way."                                                                                            1 Cor 12:31

glossa lalios = GLOSSA LALIOS = Tongues Speaking

Isaiah 28:11-12 – Paul’s Exegesis – (See 1 Cor. 14)

“For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, To whom He said, "This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest," And, "This is the refreshing"; Yet they would not hear.”

Zephaniah 3:9

"For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.”


The More Excellent Way:


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

          A. God's Agape Love delivers us from fear

          B. Fear of Death is Man’s Primal Fear - King of Fears


The More Excellent Way:


"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”

          A. Imprisonment of Self-Preoccupation

          B. Loving until self is forgotten


The More Excellent Way:

III. F O R G I V E S - John 20:23

"If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

    A. Actual evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit

          B. Forgiveness is the More Excellent Way

                   1. Not Passive/Not aggressive

                   2. Jesus spoke the Truth in Love


The More Excellent Way:

IV. IS JOYFUL - Nehemiah 8:10

“Then he (Nehemiah) said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

          A. Strength comes from the Lord's Joy

          B. Evidence of the indwelling, resurrected Christ

The More Excellent Way:


    A. Gives with no thought of return - 1 John 3:16,17

          “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to

lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees

his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God

abide in him?”

          B. Don't know how to love Him?  Read Matt. 25:37-40

'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?

 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?

 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' "And the King will

answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one

of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'”



















A  More  Excellent  Way, Text:

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where         there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Matthew 26:1-13

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples,

2  "You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."

3  Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

4  and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.

5  But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people."

6  And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,

7  a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.

8  But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?

9  "For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor."

10  But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.

11  "For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.

12  "For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.

13  "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."



The Legacy


When I die, give that which is left of me to children.


If you need to cry, cry for your brothers walking beside you


Put your arms around anyone and give them what you need        to give me.


I want to leave you with something, something better than          words or sounds.


Look for me in the people I have known and loved.


And if you cannot live without me, then let me live on in your eyes, your mind and your acts of kindness.


You can love me most by letting hands touch hands and    letting go of children that need to be free.


Love does not die, people do.


So when all that is left of me is love. . .

          Give me away. . .


Author Unknown