d. Love is also the greatest because it is an attribute of God (1 John 4:8), and faith and hope are not part of God’s character and personality. If God’s love is in us, we will show longsuffering to those who annoy us and hurt us. When we are in heaven, faith and hope will have fulfilled their purpose. Charity, or love to God and man, the sum and substance of all true religion; so that without it, the most splendid eloquence, the gift of prophecy, the most profound knowledge, faith by which the most stupendous miracles might be wrought, benevolence the most unbounded, and zeal for the truth, even to martyrdom, would all be unavailing to salvation, 1 … Love suffers long: Love will endure a long time. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. It refers to sexual love. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. Even those who do not like Paul, for whatever reason, still love this chapter because love is good. But in the ultimate sense, it will wait until then, when we are united with Jesus in glory. i. It should all come back to faith, hope, and love. i. “Love, as far as she can, believes in her fellows. iii. Many Christians believe the Christian life is all about sacrifice – sacrificing your money, your life, for the cause of Jesus Christ. The Way of Love. And I will … Continue reading "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13" But in heaven, I will know God as perfectly as I can; I will know just as I also am known. iv. But love is so valuable, so important, that apart from it, every other good thing is useless. These destroy more souls by tithing mint and cummin, than others do by neglecting the weightier matters of the law. Today, Christians all over the world know who he was and honor him. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love. Paul isn’t trying to make us choose, but he wants to emphasize the point to the Corinthian Christians: without love as the motive and goal, the gifts are meaningless distractions. c. Love… is not puffed up: To be puffed up is to be arrogant and self-focused. 1 Corinthians 13:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.But the greatest of these is love." (Galatians 5:5-6), iv. When I was a child: Childish things are appropriate for children, and the gifts are appropriate for our present time. The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. iv. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. The greatness of agape love is it keeps on bearing, believing, and hoping. This chapter of Corinthians is addressing themes of integrity, and of the heart. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. “Love covers; that is, it never proclaims the errors of good men. (Colossians 1:4-5), vi. You can check these in your browser security settings. The Apostle Paul spent 18 months there on his Second Missionary Journey and established a … i. 1 Corinthians 13:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 1 Corinthians 13:11, NIV: "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 the ways of childhood behind me." Among Christians, the worst pride is spiritual pride. ii. Tongues are good, prophecy and knowledge and faith are good, sacrifice is good. What is your Christian life focused on? Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Explanation and Commentary of 1 Corinthians 13:12. Paul draws the attention back to love. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. You can also change some of your preferences. Love can always stand with and on truth, because love is pure and good like truth. . Even if this translation is correct, it does nothing to suggest when tongues will cease. The ‘previous’ letter. Bragging is an outward manifestation of pride. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be overshadowed by the immediate presence of Jesus. This is the sense in which John says No one has seen God at any time (1 John 4:12). ii. True love is always demonstrated by action. The necessity and advantage of the grace of love. But we need to put this chapter in the Corinthian context. In Corinth, much of the meat available for human consumption had been sacrificed to idols. When Paul was in Ephesus, he received newsabout troubles in the church at Corinth. It also says that God is Love. It seems like a lot more than a part! Paul said, ‘I wrote you a letter. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. c. Each thing described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 is a good thing. Paul is emphasizing the focus and goal of the gifts: love, not the gifts for their own sake. What an amazing thing it would be to have faith that could work the impossible! 2 Up until this point in the letter, much of Paul’s discussion about speaking in tongues, prophesy, knowledge, and insight has affirmed these as ingredients of Christian worship and life. However, the parallels between these passages have sometimes been overstated. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians, so that pearls of patience, gentleness, long-suffering, and forgiveness might be bred within us by that which has harmed us.” (Spurgeon). And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. It cannot eject the evil, and what does it do but cover it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl. We couldn’t handle this greater knowledge on this side of eternity. But the way tongues is used here shows it can, and usually does, refer to a supernatural language by which a believer communicates to God. Clearly, the time of fulfillment Paul refers to with then face to face and then I shall know just as I also am known speaks of being in the glory of heaven with Jesus. ii. But even if the rich young ruler had done what Jesus said, yet had not love, it would have been of no profit. Sometimes the people who seem to work the hardest at love are the ones the furthest from it. But it can be defined as a sacrificial, giving, absorbing kind of love. Jesus said that the most important commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. ii. This is being like Jesus in a most basic way, being an others-centered person instead of a self-centered person. a. It is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing. Does it sound totally ridiculous or just a “little” far-fetched? e. Whether there are tongues, they will cease: In his use of will fail and will cease and will vanish away, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is not trying to say that prophecies, tongues, and knowledge have different fates. It does not have to have the limelight or the attention to do a good job, or to be satisfied with the result. What do you really want more of? 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. Adam Clarke Commentary1 Corinthians 13. ii. There will be no more barriers to our relationship with God. 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. (1 Thessalonians 5:8), iii. Once when Carey was at a dinner party, a snobbish lord tried to insult him by saying very loudly, “Mr. Yet I know some who are not half so eager to publish the gospel as to publish slander. When the sun rises, we turn off the lesser lights. Perhaps not in the stuffy, “look at how cultured I am” way of showing manners, but in the simply way people do not behave rudely. g. Love… thinks no evil: Literally this means “love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received.” Love will put away the hurts of the past instead of clinging to them. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Paul is not writing about how love feels, he is writing about how it can be seen in action. ii. 1 Corinthians 13 is considered one of the most frequently-cited chapters. They will end, but love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV: "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. The city of Corinth was famous for producing some of the best bronze mirrors in antiquity, but at their best, they couldn’t give a really clear vision. One of the three major types of rhetoric was epideictic (involving praise or blame), and one of the three types of epideictic rhetoric was the encomium, a praise of a person or subject. A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. He is simply writing well, saying the same thing in three different ways. Moses was kept from the Promised Land because he became provoked at the people of Israel (Numbers 20:2-11). Love is the best measure. Yet, it is interesting to consider angels may have capacities for communication that we do not have, and will not have until believers are glorified in their resurrection bodies. It doesn’t mean I will be all knowing as God is, but it means I will know Him as perfectly as I can. (1 Peter 1:21-22), v. Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel. “Many persons cover a spirit of envy and uncharitableness with the name of godly zeal and tender concern for the salvation of others; they find fault with all; their spirit is a spirit of universal censoriousness; none can please them; and every one suffers by them. 1 Corinthians 13:1. d. For now we see in a mirror: This speaks again to the perfect fellowship with God we will have one day. “If we knew more of our own sinfulness, we might be driven to despair; if we knew more of God’s glory, we might die of terror; if we had more understanding, unless we had equivalent capacity to employ it, we might be filled with conceit and tormented with ambition. It is important, but not the most important. We want to walk the streets of gold, see the pearly gates, see the angels around the throne of God worshipping Him day and night. Alan Redpath said one could get a spiritual suntan from the warmth of this chapter. It is a grace, lasting as eternity. Love stands in the presence of a fault, with a finger on her lip.” (Spurgeon), ii. Proud member Paul is saying that we need to use love as the driving characteristic of what motivates … But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. He specifies, 1. “Preaching is essentially a merging of the gifts of teaching and exhortation, prophecy has the primary elements of prediction and revelation.” (Farnell, cited in Kistemaker). They are imperfect gifts for an imperfect time. All things: We might have hoped Paul would have chosen any phrase but this! But through 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, God shows us a more excellent way forward. Instead, love rejoices in the truth. Agape is the fourth word for love. i. Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. Read commentary on this popular Bible verse and understand the real meaning behind God's Word using John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. It doesn’t give up. Some believe the burning referred to here is not execution, but branding as a criminal or as a slave for the sake of the gospel. Even if it is done willingly (Poole notes “and not be dragged to the stake, but freely give up myself to that cruel kind of death”), without love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:11, ESV: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refuseing them will have impact how our site functions. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. Because faith, hope, and love are so important, we should expect to see them emphasized throughout the New Testament. Though not finished with the subject of spiritual gifts, Paul pauses in his discourse to show that the central theme of Christian life is not gifts but love. ©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission. c. Love… believes all things: We never believe a lie, but we never believe evil unless the facts demand it. Click to enable/disable _gid - Google Analytics Cookie. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. i. Fortunately, we don’t need to choose between faith, hope, and love. i. c. That which is perfect: Paul says when that which is perfect has come, then the gifts will be “discontinued.” But what is that which is perfect? We shall see Jesus.” (Spurgeon). Instead, we pursue faith, hope, and love. If it doesn’t, we need to receive God’s sense of priorities, and put our focus where it belongs. i. Paul is not trying to say that if we are spiritually mature, we will not need spiritual gifts. b. We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. c. Face to face: Paul uses this term to describe complete, unhindered fellowship with God. The more excellent way Paul has spoken of is the way of love. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. a. Paul spills an enormous amount of ink describing these achievements and stations as necessary and … Envy enslaved Joseph (Genesis 37:11, 28). The apostle introduces into the discussion of the gifts a more efficacious discussion respecting love. A man with that kind of faith can move great mountains, but he will set them down right in the path of somebody else – or right on somebody else – if he doesn’t have love. Be prepared, therefore, to contend with “all things” in them.” (Spurgeon), ii. But up there we shall have our minds and our systems strengthened to receive more, without the damage that would come to us here from overleaping the boundaries of order, supremely appointed and divinely regulated.” (Spurgeon). We see Jesus now only in a dim, unclear way, but one day we will see Him with perfect clarity. i. Also, Philippians 2:4 carries the same thought: Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. iii. Today, when we look in a good mirror, the image is clear. Normally, no one would doubt the spiritual credentials of someone who gave away everything they had, and gave up their life in dramatic martyrdom. 1 Corinthians 13 1-Corinthians 14:1 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. It is one that addresses the core characteristics of what it means to be a Christian, and these things will never change no matter the generation. We can easily say, Jesus suffers long and is kind; Jesus does not envy… and make it through the whole chapter. e. Love… does not seek its own: Paul communicates the same idea in Romans 12:10: in honor giving preference to one another. The reference to tongues of… angels shows that though the genuine gift of tongues is a legitimate language, it may not be a “living” human language, or may not be a human language at all. I know some persons who habitually believe everything that is bad, but they are not the children of love… I wish the chatterers would take a turn at exaggerating other people’s virtues, and go from house to house trumping up pretty stories of their acquaintances.” (Spurgeon). Without love, it profits me nothing. Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:6-14 (Read 1 Corinthians 10:6-14) Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, therefore should be checked in their first rise. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. In his tribute to love, Paul starts out by naming human achievement as temporal and limited (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 8-12). It speaks of a brotherly friendship and affection. Virtually all commentators agree that which is perfect is fulfilled when we are in the eternal presence of the Perfect One, when we are with the Lord forever, either through the return of Christ or graduation to the eternal. William Carey is thought by many to be the founder of the modern missionary movement. Envy murdered Abel (Genesis 4:3-8). 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