What’s the difference between a supernaturally changed heart and a heart that is only (what we might call) morally restrained? The answer is—plenty! And understanding the distinction literally makes an eternity’s worth of difference.
In 1 Corinthians 13, which is the guide for this series, the Apostle Paul gives us this incredible statement, he says, “If I give away all my goods to the poor, if I die for my faith, but have not love, I gain…I am…nothing.” This is that radical principle. He’s saying that it’s possible to display all of the morally virtuous behavior on all of the virtue lists of the world (virtues like courage, generosity, justice, integrity, prudence, self-control) without any real, other-centered love at the core. In other words, it’s possible to be incredibly virtuous in your behavior and have that behavior flow out of an inner emptiness rather than an inner fullness of joy and of love and of peace.
Using 1 Corinthians 13 as our guide, we are going to explore what Paul really means when he says love is patient, kind, and so on. In other words, we are going to look at the marks of how the supernatural, grace-changed heart shows itself in practice. Please join us as we look at what we are calling "practical graces."