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Apr 04, 2021

Beyond Limits

Beyond Limits

Passage: 1 Corinthians 13:7-13

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: We Must Love One Another, or Die - Lent 2021

Keywords: love, believing, knowing, enduring, hoping, being fully known

When an injury has impaired some ordinary function, it is regained only through learning that function again. In a season when our love may have been impaired, we’ve needed a bit of therapy in what is the nature and importance of love. For love we find is more necessary than we imagined, and would seem to have a future we may have underestimated, and therefore would have a greatness we must not lose sight of. That Jesus rose from the dead is testimony not merely to the power of God, but to the centrality of love to all things--even God Himself. Love therefore transcends time and space.

Order of WOrship, Readings & Scripture

PREPARATION: Genesis 3:8-15     
LEADER: And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 

ALL: 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Isaiah 52:3;53:4-10
LEADER: 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him

the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

ALL: 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

Luke 24:1-12
LEADER: 1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 

ALL: 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

MESSAGE: Beyond Limits

CENTRAL TEXT: Philippians 1:9
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 

1 Corinthians 13:7
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

ILLUSTRATIONS:        Interstellar & Ted Lasso

RESPONSE: Crucifixion & Resurrection            
LEADER: O Lord, I marvel that you would be crucified, buried, and risen the third day. 

ALL: The gospel attests it. The witnesses prove it. Our hearts experience it. 

LEADER: Give me to die with Thee that I may rise to new life. Continually freed from everything contrary to Your Word. Grant me more of the resurrection life. 

ALL: That I may walk in its power. Clothed in righteousness. Changed by its influence. Joy in obedience. Proclaiming this good news.

BENEDICTION: Hebrews 13:20-21
LEADER: 20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, 
ALL: and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Related Scriptures:

  • Numbers 12:8
  • Ezekiel 43:3
  • John 15:13
  • 2 Corinthians 3
  • Colossians 1:4, 5
  • 1 John 2:28-3:2


InView Media Album 04.04.2021


  1. With credit given where it is due (Fred Rogers), who are all the people who have loved you into being--who fallibly but faithfully gave of themselves for your good? While it’s hard to answer a question like this, what would you still be in need of if you hadn’t received their love?
  2. Circle back to 1 Corinthians 12 to get a sense of what Paul is saying in vv.8-12 of our passage. What might he be discerning in the Corinthian church that would lead him to say what he does in vv.8-12? 
  3. Why might love be a mark of maturity--of adulthood--in keeping with the metaphor of setting aside childish ways? At what point do you remember sensing that you’d entered into adulthood? Did your sense of the importance of love have anything to do with it? If so, how so?
  4. Paul doesn’t elaborate on what he means by love being even greater than faith and hope. If you had to venture a guess, what would you say he had in mind? How is the love we see in the gospel testimony to love’s greatness?


  • I have hardly prayed to God since I was a teenager, but the pandemic has cracked open inside me a profound yearning for reverence, humility and awe. I have an overdraft on my outrage account. I want moral authority from someone who isn’t shilling a memoir or calling out her enemies on social media for clout. - Leigh Stein
  • Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed. - Hans Urs Von Balthasar
  • To have death, this once, be reversed is to let us feel the depth of our ordinary loss in it, not to pretend it away. -  Francis Spufford
  • Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another.” - Dorothy Sayers