Royal Road of Love, The

Skip Heitzig

God's love is the missing ingredient in many of our relationships. Many of them are merely perfunctory and unfortunately erode over time. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul paints a picture of what true love is and what it is not. Throughout the text, Paul shows us that true love has many facets and explains it in both positive and negative terms. He tells us our love for others is meant to be a mirror of Christ's love for us. This series looks at what true love really is, highlighting how we can learn to let love govern our personal relationships.


Table of Contents

1 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13 The Royal Road of Love
2 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 The Missing Ingredient
3 1 Corinthians 13:4 Five Facets on the Diamond of Love
4 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 So Easy to Say, So Hard to Do!
5 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 Love 101: A Mid Term Exam
6 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 The Main Thing is the Greatest Thing



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: The Royal Road of Love
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

Today, we begin a new series based on perhaps Paul the Apostle's most famous literary work, 1 Corinthians 13. This "chapter of love" is one of the most beautiful, most needed, and most misunderstood sections of the New Testament. As we survey this plot of scriptural real estate together, my hope is that God will work within each of us a heart of mature love—love that is unconditional, sacrificial, and satisfying!


  1. The Meaning of Love

    1. What Love is Not

    2. What Love Is

  2. The Malfunction of Love

    1. What They Had

    2. What They Needed

  3. The Misunderstanding of Love

    1. Love Can't be Separated From Truth

    2. Love Can't be Separated From Discipline

Pondering the Principles:
  1. In terms of relationships, think of those ­closest to you? How is your love demonstrated to them? Now draw a circle which includes your relatives and friends with whom you occasionally meet. How is your love revealed to them? Now draw an even bigger circle that includes Christians in your church, other churches, unbelievers, the poor and then finally people in other parts of the world. How should love be shown in these cases?

  2. In what ways has your own idea of what love really means been challenged



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: The Missing Ingredient
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Imagine having a simplified cake mix with only one requirement—"Just add water"—only to find that the city turned off your water supply! The simple instructions now become frustrating because you're missing only one ingredient: water. What water is to your recipe, love is to the Christian believer—without it you have only dust and crumbs! In this second message in our series on real love, we discover the preeminence of this ingredient.


  1. Speech Without Love (v. 1)

  2. Sensation Without Love (v. 2)

    1. Prophecy

    2. Knowledge

    3. Faith

  3. Sacrifice Without Love (v. 3)

    1. Giving My Resources

    2. Giving My Life

Pondering the Principles:
  1. Have you ever served faithfully as a Christian but felt empty inside? Why the void? Why the frustration? Consider the possibility that the motivation for your service isn’t love and discover what else it could be.  Though others may be saved or spiritually profited, Paul insists that without love “it profits me nothing.”

  2. Name the top three people that have influence your life.  Was it their aptitude that influenced you or was it their love?



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: Five Facets on the Diamond of Love
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:4

The splendor of a fine jewel is due to the summation of all its attributes. Love is no different. To define real love is difficult; to describe love is much easier. That's what Paul does for us here. Like spinning a diamond and examining its fine markings, he looks at agape love under the magnifying glass of its own characteristics. Today, we turn the light onto one verse and see five facets of this exquisite gem.


  1. The Diamond is Positive Light - What Love Is

    1. Love is Longsuffering

    2. Love is Kind

  2. The Diamond in Negative Light - What Love Isn’t

    1. Love Isn’t Envious

    2. Love Isn’t Boastful

    3. Love Isn’t Arrogant

Pondering the Principles:
  1. Do a cross-reference check with Galatians 5:22-23 where Paul paints another picture of Christlikeness. Are there any similarities in these two pictures?

  2. Think back through your life – your childhood, adolescence, teen years, and adult life. Who do you remember that was most like the gem facets we discussed today? How did that person show love to you? Who do you know who would describe you similarly?



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: So Easy to Say, So Hard to Do!
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:5-6

In the movie classic Fiddler On The Roof, Tevye, the husband and main character, gently asked his wife, Golde, in song, "Do you love me?" Her response was very pragmatic and evidential. She explained that since she has been committed for over 25 years to him in marriage and serves him around the house that her love is sure. How can we tell that we are people of love? What is the proof? How do loving people act around other people? These verses tell us.


  1. How Loving People Behave – Not Rudely

  2. What Loving People Want - Not Their Own Way

  3. What Loving People Withstand - Not Provoked

  4. What Loving People Think - Not Evil

  5. What Loving People Get Happy About - Not Sin but Truth

Pondering the Principles:
  1. The five traits listed above, which best describes the way you love Others? Which are your weak points? Make those a matter of prayer and change.

  2. If you lack love, ask Jesus to love others through you!



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: Love 101: A Mid Term Exam
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Many of our kids have just finished their school year. No more homework and no more tests to take. But not so in life! Our education never really ends. We're taught lessons every day and those lessons are often accompanied by tests—opportunities to demonstrate if we've learned the necessary material. Today let's take a test to see how well we stack up in the area of Christian love.


  1. HOW Strong is Your LOVE? “Love bears all things

  2. How Trusting is Your Love? “...B­elieves all things,

  3. Hopeful is Your Love? “...Hopes all things,

  4. How Committed is Your Love? “...Endures all things,

  5. How Lasting is Your Love? “Love never fails.

Pondering the Principles:
  1. Though it might be a bit painful, give the above list to someone you’re close to and loves you. Ask them to constructively evaluate your love in light of these attributes. Then humble yourself before God and ask Him to work them out in your life.

  2. Have you ever been hurt in a love relationship? What went wrong? How was the love in that relationship different from this love described in these verses?



SERIES: Royal Road of Love, The
MESSAGE: The Main Thing is the Greatest Thing
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

You've heard the old saying, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!" The whole premise of this thirteenth chapter to the Corinthians is that love is the main thing. But why is it so? And why should it be always cultivated and maintained in any relationship or friendship? Because, says Paul, it is the greatest thing of all!


  1. Love is Permanent (vv. 8-10)

    1. That Which Passes

    2. That Which is Perfect

  2. Love Becomes Prominent (vv. 11-12)

    1. Childhood

    2. Adulthood

  3. Love is to Be Preeminent (v. 13)

    1. The Christian Life Summarized

    2. The Christian Life Prioritized

Pondering the Principles:
  1. How many times in one day do you think about eternity? How does the thought of heaven make any difference here on earth?

  2. Is there someone yon know who has died and is with the Lord? Take comfort in the fact that one day when you are reunited in eternity, both of you having a resurrected, glorified body and perfected mind, your love, though once on hiatus, will flow freely again.

Royal Road of Love, The |
Page |