"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal....," Paul wrote to the fractious Corinthian congregation.
Sounding good, even great, doesn't mean much in Paul's assessment. Love is requisite.
"If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith...."
Being able to be prophetic, that is, to be able to transmit the words of God, means nothing without love.
Being able to perform miracles, being willing to be generous, even sacrificing one's own safety are all nothing without love.
For the church to continue to do God's work in the world, its members must have love.
And that includes love for each other. Not just feeling, but also acting.
Sideline--something else I learned from reading Preaching the Letters without Dismissing the Law by Ronald Allen and Clark Williamson:
The term "love' agape is seldom found in the Greek language until it appears in the Septuagint, where it is standard speech for God's love for Israel (e.g., Dt 10:14) and for how people should live in covenantal community (e.g., Lev 19:18).