1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV
1If I speak in the tonguesa of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When 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. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This chapter is a continuation of the subject commenced in 1 Corinthians 12. In that chapter Paul had introduced the subject of the various endowments which the Holy Spirit confers on Christians, and had shown that these endowments, however various they were, were conferred in such a manner as best to promote the edification and welfare of the church.
In the close of that chapter 1 Corinthians 12:31, he had said that it was lawful for them to desire the most eminent of the gifts conferred by the Spirit which was more valuable than all others, and that might be obtained by all, and that he proposed to recommend to them.
That was love. The illustration of its nature, excellence, and power, is the design of this chapter. In doing this, he dwells particularly on three points or views of the excellence of love.
I. The excellence of love above the power of speaking the languages of men and of angels; above the power of understanding all mysteries; above all faith, even of the highest kind; and above the virtue of giving all one's goods to feed the poor, or one's body to be burned. All these endowments would be valueless without love, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
II. A statement of the characteristics of love; or its happy influences on the mind and heart, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
III. A comparison of love with the gift of prophecy, and with the power of speaking foreign languages, and with knowledge, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.
In this portion of the chapter, Paul shows that love is superior to them all. It will live in heaven; and will constitute the chief glory of that world of bliss.
I believe this kind of love cannot come from within us, but from the Holy Spirit poured upon our heart by God when we believed our Lord Jesus Christ Who poured His blood on the Calvary.
Lord, let us have this love and love You and Your brothers and sisters. Amen.