1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Faith, Hope, Love
Heavenly Father, open our spiritual eyes to see the truth, open our spiritual ears to hear the truth, open our spiritual minds to understand the truth, and soften our spiritual hearts to obey the truth. Help us engage in Your word not for head knowledge but the transformation of hearts and renewal of minds, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
VV 1-3, 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have
not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 3 And though I bestow all
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Speaking in tongues without love is annoying and noisy. Prophetic gifts, word of knowledge, and faith, without love, is of valueless. Even selfless giving and martyrdom without love will not be profitable in God’s eyes.
VV 4-7, 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not dishonouring to others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil and injustice but in truth, never gives up, always trusts, always hopes, always persevere,
VV 8-10, 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
Love persists. Prophecies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will disappear. We do not have a perfect and complete revelation of prophecy until the Lord’s second coming.
VV 11-13, 11 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. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love is not a spiritual gift but it is the first fruit of the Spirit.
A child speaks, understands, and thinks like a child. A man speaks, understands, and thinks like a man. We do not have perfect vision and knowledge until the Lord’s second coming, but we have faith, hope, and love and the greatest of all is love. Greek has several words for love. The Greek word for love in this passage is “agape”. Agape is the highest form of love, divine, sacrificial love. The other Greek word used in other passages of the bible is phileo, which means brotherly love. But in this passage, Paul was speaking about agape, and not phileo.
Love is not spiritual gift but a fruit of the Spirit. The first and greatest fruit of the Spirit is love, Galatians 5:22-23. Love covers a multitude of sin, 1 Peter 4:8. The greatest of all the commandments is love, horizontal love for other people, and vertical love to God, Matthew 22:23. We are to love one another as Christ love us, John 13:34.
Galatians 5:22-23, NIV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”
1 Peter 4:8, And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Matthew 22:23, Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your teaching on this love chapter. Help us to obey Your commandment to love You with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Help us to love others just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.