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. It is a love that loves without changing. 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." a. “The streets of gold will have small attraction to us, the harps of angels will but slightly enchant us, compared with the King in the midst of the throne. i. Paul is not trying to say that if we are spiritually mature, we will not need spiritual gifts. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. Considering the way the New Testament uses telos in other passages, it certainly seems to speak about the coming of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:8, 15:24, James 5:11, Revelation 20:5, 20:7, 21:6, and 22:13). d. Love… hopes all things: Love has confidence in the future, not pessimism. Moses had not – and could not – see the actual face of God the Father in His glory. Inthat letter, I told you to have nothing to do with men with bad character’ (1Corinthians 5:9). It isn’t an issue of love versus the gifts. Click to enable/disable Google reCaptcha. 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. 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. Love does not parade itself: Love in action can work anonymously. The more excellent way Paul has spoken of is the way of love. John MacArthur claims, “tongues ceased in the apostolic age and that when they stopped, they stopped for good.” But this passage doesn’t tell us “tongues will stop by themselves,” and it tells us tongues will cease only when that which is perfect has come. (1-3) Its excellency represented by its properties and effects; (4-7) and by its abiding, and its superiority. ii. Envy murdered Abel (Genesis 4:3-8). It should all come back to faith, hope, and love. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Explanation and Commentary of 1 Corinthians 13:12. i. a. ii. Today, Christians all over the world know who he was and honor him. It is a grace, lasting as eternity. i. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it. I f 1 Corinthians 13 is our measure of love, America has never loved Black people, and the church is complicit. Bragging is an outward manifestation of pride. i. THE HYMN OF LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:1-13) 13 I may speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but if I have not love, I am become no better than echoing brass or a clanging cymbal. God has given spiritual gifts to the Church. Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking. 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. It doesn’t give up. Again, the meaning is the same, and the difference is really minor. God does not have hope the way we have hope, because He knows all things and is in complete control. Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. i. From its longer continuance. Most of us do the same. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love. The word has little to do with emotion; it has much to do with self-denial for the sake of another. Moses’ face was not literally beholding the literal face of God, but he did enjoy direct, intimate, conversation with the Lord. When hurt, it does not say, “It will be this way forever, and even get worse.” It hopes for the best, and it hopes in God. ii. There were problems among the Christians, too: party-spirit leading to disputes (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 3:4; 1 Corinthians 11:18); brother went to law with brother (1 Corinthians 6:1-8); disorder in the meetings (1 Corinthians 11:20-34; 1 Corinthians 14:33) and finally they even denied the fundamental Christian truth of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12; 1 Corinthians 15:35). It is important to understand the difference between the words, and why the apostle Paul chose the Greek word agape here. We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Our website uses cookies to store user preferences. “But when will that perfection come? To be a follower of Christ is to take a stand on the values of faith, hope and love, with love prevailing above all else. Yet, even with that kind of faith we are nothing without love. i. (Galatians 5:5-6), iv. He came from a humble place; he was a shoe repairman when God called him to reach the world. You can also change some of your preferences. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. 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. a. Bestow all my goods to feed the poor: This is what Jesus told the rich young ruler to do (Matthew 19:16-30), and he refused. 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. i. ii. It speaks of a brotherly friendship and affection. Sometimes the people who seem to work the hardest at love are the ones the furthest from it. . Who can listen to a preacher drone on and on, and say they only prophesy in part? Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 (Read 1 Corinthians 13:8-13) Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves. “You must have fervent charity towards the saints, but you will find very much about the best of them which will try your patience; for, like yourself, they are imperfect, and they will not always turn their best side towards you, but sometimes sadly exhibit their infirmities. Does it sound totally ridiculous or just a “little” far-fetched? 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 … But in the ultimate sense, it will wait until then, when we are united with Jesus in glory. When the sun rises, we turn off the lesser lights. 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. 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. Salem Media Group. It speaks of someone who has a “big head.” Love doesn’t get its head swelled; it focuses on the needs of others. According to the context, it can’t be anything else. Click to enable/disable _ga - Google Analytics Cookie. c. Love is kind: When we have and show God’s love, it will be seen in simple acts of kindness. b. Sacrifice is important, but without love it is useless, it profits me nothing. The ancient preacher John Chrysostom said this is the word used of the man who is wronged, and who easily has the power to avenge himself, but will not do it out of mercy and patience. 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 is considered one of the most frequently-cited chapters. 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If you tear it apart too much, you lose the beauty. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. 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? For in our present state, we are mere infants in knowledge, in comparison of what we shall be hereafter. Envy enslaved Joseph (Genesis 37:11, 28). When we are in heaven, faith and hope will have fulfilled their purpose. Carey, I hear you once were a shoemaker!” Carey replied, “No, your lordship, not a shoemaker, only a cobbler!” Today, the name of William Carey is remembered, but nobody remembers who that snobbish lord was. He specifies, 1. Envy put Jesus on the cross: For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy (Matthew 27:18). There are busybodies abroad who never spy out a fault in a brother but they must hurry off to their next neighbour with the savoury news, and then they run up and down the street as though they had been elected common criers. It refers to family love, the kind of love there is between a parent and child, or between family members in general. Stand fast in love; endure not some things, but all things, for Christ’s sake; so you shall prove yourself to be a Christian indeed.” (Spurgeon). 1 Corinthians 13:1. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I n the middle of the Apostle Paul’s exposition on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14 is the often quoted chapter on love: 1 Corinthians 13. You can check these in your browser security settings. They are imperfect gifts for an imperfect time. There are those who are prophets, and there are those who speak in tongues. Who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. iii. iii. i. Fortunately, we don’t need to choose between faith, hope, and love. The ‘previous’ letter. G. Campbell Morgan wrote that examining this chapter is like dissecting a flower to understand it. Agape is the fourth word for love. But we need to put this chapter in the Corinthian context. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. When I was a child, &c. — The difference between our present and future conceptions of spiritual things may be illustrated by the knowledge of a child compared to that of a man. The necessity and advantage of the grace of love. h. Love… does not rejoice in iniquity: It is willing to want the best for others, and refuses to color things against others. e. Love… endures all things: Most of us can bear all things, and believe all things, and hope all things, but only for a while! Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels: The Corinthians were enamored with spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal, v. 1. (2 Timothy 1:12-13). In Exodus 33, face to face is a figurative expression, meaning free and open fellowship. If it doesn’t, we need to receive God’s sense of priorities, and put our focus where it belongs. Love never fails. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. We long to be with the great men and women of God who have passed before us in centuries past. They will end, but love never fails. Let us fear the sins of Israel, if we would shun their plagues. We may request cookies to be set on your device. A church should never be forced to choose between love and gifts of the Holy Spirit. As well, some ancient Greek manuscripts have if I give up my body that I may glory instead of though I give my body to be burned. The Apostle Paul spent 18 months there on his Second Missionary Journey and established a … In Exodus 33:11, it says the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. The Way of Love. He is simply writing well, saying the same thing in three different ways. b. Pride of face is obnoxious, pride of race is vulgar, but the worst pride is pride of grace! But in the ancient world, mirrors were made out of polished metal, and the image was always unclear and somewhat distorted. 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. These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features. One writer tells of a tribe in Polynesia where it was customary for each man to keep some reminders of his hatred for others. c. Each thing described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 is a good thing. We won’t need to hope in the coming of Jesus once He comes. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: Corinth was an important and wealthy city on the isthmus (narrow strip of land) separating Northern and Southern Greece. Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 The reading for this Sunday continues to build upon the vision of community developed in the previous two Sundays. The Superiority of Love. 2 And if I have () prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, () so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. It begins, indeed, at death, because then we put off many weaknesses along with the body.” (Calvin). "Paul"s central section [ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7] uses anaphora (repetition of the first element) extensively. Chapter 13. 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. c. Face to face: Paul uses this term to describe complete, unhindered fellowship with God. f. Love… is not provoked: We all find it easy to be provoked or to become irritated with those who are just plain annoying. It does not have to have the limelight or the attention to do a good job, or to be satisfied with the result. 13 If I speak in the tongues [] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. Their analysis sounds scholarly, but is disregarded by virtually all scholars of ancient Greek. William Carey is thought by many to be the founder of the modern missionary movement. “It means the actual absorption of our being in one great passion.” (Redpath) Strictly speaking, agape can’t be defined as “God’s love,” because men are said to agape sin and the world (John 3:19 and 1 John 2:15). 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. (1 Thessalonians 5:8), iii. 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. All things: We might have hoped Paul would have chosen any phrase but this! The ancient Greeks had four different words we could translate love. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. 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. In Corinth, much of the meat available for human consumption had been sacrificed to idols. b. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three: The three great pursuits of the Christian life are not “miracles, power, and gifts”; they are faith, hope, and love. “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. Εὰν, if) All the gift s [although they may be, in the highest degree, delightful, extensive, and useful.—V. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain. (8-13) Verses 1-3 The excellent way had in view in the close of the former chapter, is not what is meant by charity in our common use of the word, almsgiving, but love in its fullest meaning; true love to God and man. We can all bear some things, we can all believe some things, we can all hope some things, and we can all endure some things. 2. Click to enable/disable _gid - Google Analytics Cookie. Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refuseing them will have impact how our site functions. g.] ought to be estimated, exercised, and elevated, according to love and its standard. Paul spills an enormous amount of ink describing these achievements and stations as necessary and … ii. i. First Corinthians 13:1–3 makes the point that without love the gifts are worthless. . We see Jesus now only in a dim, unclear way, but one day we will see Him with perfect clarity. Even those who do not like Paul, for whatever reason, still love this chapter because love is good. i. Once again it will thus be helpful to read my comments for the Second Sunday of Epiphany with their introduction to the Corinthian themes that underlie the argument here. What an amazing thing it would be to have faith that could work the impossible! 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). It is the love of deep friendship and partnership. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face: When we can fully see Jesus (not as in a poorly reflected image), the need for the gifts will have vanished, and so the gifts will pass away. “Lest the Corinthians should say to the apostle, What is this love you discourse of? The apostle introduces into the discussion of the gifts a more efficacious discussion respecting love. This letter is either lost or it may be in 2 Corinthians6:14–7:1. 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. We can easily say, Jesus suffers long and is kind; Jesus does not envy… and make it through the whole chapter. 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. True love is always demonstrated by action. a. B. Jesus said that the most important commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. This chapter of Corinthians is addressing themes of integrity, and of the heart. i. A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. 1 Corinthians. But those are not the best measures of someone’s true spiritual credentials. Paul draws the attention back to love. c. Prophecy, knowledge, and faith to do miracles are likewise irrelevant apart from love. 1-Corinthians 13:2 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Love keeps its distance from envy, and does not resent it when someone else is promoted or blessed. d. Whether there are tongues, they will cease: Many who believe the miraculous gifts ended with the apostles (such as John MacArthur) claim since the verb will cease is not in the passive, but in the middle voice, it could be translated, tongues will stop by themselves. a. d. Have not love: Paul uses the ancient Greek word agape. And we do: i. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father. It is a self-giving love that gives without demanding or expecting repayment. Instead, love rejoices in the truth. We choose to believe the best of others. The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, which is in many ways the thesis statement for the entire book, says that Love is the most essential and eternal of all Gods gifts. Love gives because it loves to give, not out of the sense of praise it can have from showing itself off. When Paul was in Ephesus, he received newsabout troubles in the church at Corinth. It is love that loves even when it is rejected. It doesn’t mean I will be all knowing as God is, but it means I will know Him as perfectly as I can. Typically, part of the But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. Today, when we look in a good mirror, the image is clear. We can measure our spiritual maturity by seeing how it sounds when we put our name in place of the word love. 1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV: "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Tongues are good, prophecy and knowledge and faith are good, sacrifice is good. c. Love… believes all things: We never believe a lie, but we never believe evil unless the facts demand it. c. Each thing described in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 is a good thing. “Love does not ask to have an easy life of it: self-love makes that her aim. Paul reminds them even the gift of tongues is meaningless without love. Instead, we pursue faith, hope, and love. Though some that believe the miraculous gifts ceased with the apostles say it refers to the completion of the New Testament, they are wrong. We will know just as I also am known. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. Among Christians, the worst pride is spiritual pride. Paul is emphasizing the focus and goal of the gifts: love, not the gifts for their own sake. They were so proud about their ability to endure suffering for Jesus, they thought it was the most important thing in the Christian life. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. c. Love… is not puffed up: To be puffed up is to be arrogant and self-focused. Read commentary on this popular Bible verse and understand the real meaning behind God's Word using John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. In 1 Corinthians 12:31 Paul says: “But strive for the greater gifts. He it is who shall rivet our gaze, absorb our thoughts, enchain our affection, and move all our sacred passions to their highest pitch of celestial ardour. iv. Certainly, that is the that which is perfect spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13:10 as well. It is by no means honorable to men or women to set up to be common informers. i. i. Poole has a fascinating comment, suggesting that the tongues of… angels describes how God may speak to us in a non-verbal way: “Angels have no tongues, nor make any articulate audible sounds, by which they understand one another; but yet there is certainly a society or intercourse among angels, which could not be upheld without some way amongst them to communicate their minds and wills to each other. Though the gifts are precious, and given by the Holy Spirit today, they were never meant to be the focus or goal of our Christian lives. But it can be defined as a sacrificial, giving, absorbing kind of love. “Love covers; that is, it never proclaims the errors of good men. 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. Sometimes we make the great mistake of letting go of what is best for something else that is good, but not the best. i. And I will … Continue reading "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13" “Love, as far as she can, believes in her fellows. Please see our Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. Once when Carey was at a dinner party, a snobbish lord tried to insult him by saying very loudly, “Mr. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. The ancient Greek word for perfect is telos. Tongues are good, prophecy and knowledge and faith are good, sacrifice is good. i. i. 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." . i. John Calvin thought the will cease spoke of the eternal state. His love showed itself in not having a big head about himself. But love is so valuable, so important, that apart from it, every other good thing is useless. of There will come a day when the gifts are unnecessary, but that day has not come yet. Do you avenge yourself as soon as you have the opportunity? The word used is agape, which is correctly translated as love. It destroys enemies by turning them into friends. Is envy a small sin? But agape isn’t really friendliness; it is self-denial for the sake of another. In the spiritual sense which Moses had a face to face relationship with God, we can have a free and open relationship with God. 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