The Love of God - 1 Corinthians 13

The Love of God

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

This wonderful chapter is about love, God's love.  The New Testament was written in Greek, and the Greeks  had a special word to distinguish God's love from other kinds of love.  The word is agape, and that's the word that is used throughout 1 Corinthians 13. 

Here we find the importance of love in the first three verses.  Agape love is more important than spiritual gifts, understanding all mysteries and knowledge, faith, giving, and even martyrdom.  "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  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.  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."

In verses 4-7 we have a description of love.  "Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."  God is love.  Reread these verses and substitute God for love.  In other words, "God suffers long...."  After you have done that read these verses again, but this time substitute your name.  Make it personal, and discover whether or not this is a description of you.

In the remainder of the chapter we become aware of the supremacy of love.  "Love never fails."  God's love will never let you down.  "But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect has come, that which is in part will be done away."  There is an end to these things.  But agape love is different.  The prophet Jeremiah testified, "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying, 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.'"  Jeremiah 31:3.  Agape love is forever.

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."  When we see God, both faith and hope will be realized.  Hope that is seen is no longer hope.  We have been justified by faith, and we rejoice in hope.  Yet love, God's love, is the greatest. 

 

Heavenly Father, You are more wonderful than our words can express.  What an encouragement You are to our hearts!  Grant that we might walk in Your love.  May others see You in us.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

 

Order in the Church! - 1 Corinthians 14

 
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