1 Corinthians chapter 13

Our spiritual gifts are amazing and wonderful tools than help us build other people up. However, love is greater than any supernatural gift. [UPDATED]

 


 

LOVE IS GREATER THAN ANY SUPERNATURAL GIFT

 

VERSE 1. If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

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speak with the languages of men. Some people have the ability to speak many human languages. This might be due to their own natural abilities. Or it might be due to the Spiritual Gift of Tongues.

and of angels. Other people with the gift of tongues can speak in angelic languages.

but don’t have love. Those gifts are wonderful. And impressive. However, if the individual is not imbued with love, the individual is merely a loudmouth and a noisemaker.

 

VERSE 2. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

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the gift of prophecy. Some people have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy.

know all mysteries and all knowledge. Some people have the Spiritual Gift of Knowledge.

have all faith, so as to remove mountains. Some people have the Spiritual Gift of Faith.

but don’t have love. These people might seem like great heroes of the faith. However, if they are not imbued with love, they are nothing.

 

VERSE 3. If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

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give away all my goods to feed the poor. Some people have the Spiritual Gift of Contributing.

give my body to be burned. Other people have a Spiritual Gift to be a Martyr.

but don’t have love. These people are role models for us all. But if they are not imbued with love, their deeds are of no profit to themselves.

 

VERSE 4. Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud,

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Real love is so unusual that Paul needs to describe it for us.

love. The Greek word is ἀγάπη (“agapē”). It means benevolence, good will, esteem. It is not the word for sexual passion. Or brotherly love. Or a parent for a child.

In English, we have one word that means all those things. But the Greek language of the New Testament uses different words for them all:

The Greek word ἀγάπη (“agapē“) means benevolence, good will, esteem.

The Greek word ἔρως (“éros“) means love, mostly sexual passion.

The Greek word φιλία (“philia“) means affectionate regard, friendship, brotherly love.

The Greek word στοργή (“storgē“) means empathy of parents for their children.

 

VERSE 5. doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;

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doesn’t seek its own way. Some Christians are domineering. They impose their own way on their beloved. But that is not love. Real love does not impose demands on people.

takes no account of evil. Love means not bringing up previous offenses.

 

VERSE 6. doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

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VERSE 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

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VERSE 8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

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prophecies … will be done away with. In the realm of eternity, there will be no need for the Gift of Prophecy.

languages … will cease. Similarly, in eternity, there will be no need for the Gift of Tongues.

knowledge … will be done away with. Similarly, the Gift of Knowledge will not be needed in the realm of eternity.

 

VERSE 9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part;

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Even the most super-gifted people are incomplete. Nobody has a level of gifting that is even a tiny fraction of the giftedness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

VERSE 10. but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

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Jesus Christ is 100% complete. When we are with him, our own gifting will not be needed.

 

VERSE 11. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

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Some people are very childish about their supernatural gifting. They use it to exalt themselves. Or they use it to belittle others. It is time for that to stop. Our gifts exist so we can build other people up.

 

VERSE 12. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

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Now I know in part.  Eternal life is knowing God the Father and Jesus Christ. Do you know them? Do you have a love-relationship with them? Read more »

 

VERSE 13. But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

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faith, hope, and love remain. These are the Big Three. They are superior to all the supernatural gifts.

The greatest of these is love. Of the Big Three (faith, hope, love), love is Number One.

 


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1 CORINTHIANS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

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