Cor. Chapter 13:1-13
verses for this week: 1
Pet 4:6 For for this
cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they
might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to
God in the spirit.
week in Chapter 12, Paul used the different parts of the human
anatomy to explain how that each member of the church has special
purpose, and how that each of us should seek out those special
spiritual gifts and use them for the honor of God.
This week, our lesson centers on the importance of showing
love as a Christian.
The Supreme Importance of Love
1 Cor 13:1
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and
have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling
Christ, in His personal
ministry, taught the great importance of love.
Of all the attributes that we should forth in our daily walk,
none are greater than the need of love.
God so expects us to show forth this love, that He warns us
to show forth love for even our enemies and those that despitefully
12:28 And one of the
scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and
perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the
first commandment of all?
12:29 And Jesus
answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel;
The Lord our God is one Lord:
12:30 And thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first
12:31 And the second is
like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There
is none other commandment greater than these.
12:32 And the scribe
said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is
one God; and there is none other but he:
12:33 And to love him
with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the
soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as
himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
12:34 And when Jesus
saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far
from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any
15:12 This is my
commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
15:13 Greater love hath
no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
15:14 Ye are my
friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
6:27 But I say unto you
which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
6:28 Bless them that
curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
6:29 And unto him that
smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that
taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
6:30 Give to every man
that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them
6:31 And as ye would
that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
If we have any hope of
reaching the lost as a church, we must be able to overcome our
failures and dislikes of the lost, and show forth love that is pure
and sincere. Unless we can show those who are without the Lord as Savior
that we truly care for them, it will be very difficult to reach them
with the Gospel. The
one overwhelming thing that Jesus was known for was His love for
each and every person who came in contact with Him.
He was criticized for sitting with the publicans and sinners,
but they saw there need more for a Savior many times than did the
self-righteous spiritual leaders of the day.
The greatest commandment we have in the bible is to love God
first. And the second
is to love our neighbor as our self.
22:37 Jesus said unto
him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
22:38 This is the first
and great commandment.
22:39 And the second is
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
22:40 On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 Cor 13:2
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, and have not charity, I am nothing.
If we don’t have love in our
hearts, we can have great traits like eloquent speaking, but in
God’s sight we are nothing.
Verse one mentioned how that if we have the ability to speak
in tongues and don’t have love (which is called charity all
through this chapter), we are really nothing at all.
Tongues in the bible are always speaking of other languages.
Paul mentions in the next chapter that he could speak in
other languages more than all of those at Corinth.
Cor 14:18 I thank my
God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
Cor 14:19 Yet in the
church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by
my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an
In verse 2, Paul teaches that
if a person had the gift of prophecy, and thought he
understood the deep things of God, and possessed even a thorough
knowledge of the Word of God, and still had not love, he was
nothing. I’m afraid
we have many in churches today that listen well and understand well,
but they never put the learning to use.
We are not to be hearers only, but doers of God’s Word.
1 Cor 13:3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though
I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me
Even if we are sacrificial in
our giving to the point that we give away everything to feed the
poor and sacrifice ourselves to the point of death, if it is not
done with love from the heart, Paul tells us we have profited
labor in the flesh and go to great ends to do works in God’s name,
but many never consider whether they are done according to God’s
way. We have to have
more than a good attitude and willingness to give, we must love like
God desires us to love, and do things in accordance with the rules
laid down in scripture. We
have a record over in Daniel where three young men willingly put up
their bodies to be burned in their stand for God.
But these did it not wrongly, but out of a pure love for the
3:16 Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we
are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
3:17 If it be so, our
God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery
furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
3:18 But if not, be it
known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor
worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Those of you who are familiar
with the Old Testament know that not only did these men say they
would die in the furnace for their faith, they were thrown into the
furnace which was so hot it killed the men who threw them in.
But the fourth man (apparently Jesus Christ, the Son of God)
in the fire protected them and they did not get their clothes burned
or even the smell of smoke upon them.
The Characteristics of Love
1 Cor 13:4
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1 Cor 13:5
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not
easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
One of God’s attributes is
His longsuffering towards us.
We should strive our best to be longsuffering one to another. It is easy to expect others to give that extra inch or two,
but when it is up to us, are we willing to sacrifice for the benefit
of our brothers and sisters. Sometimes
it may mean not being the first one to be chosen for some task, or
it may be just controlling our ego and not having to have things
“our way.” It says
here that love suffers long, does not envy, and does not vaunt
itself up. If you
get into a church where there is strife and bickering, you find
people who don’t show love towards one another, but want all
things done there way or they get upset.
We are not to be puffed up nor behave unseemly the Word of
God says. Our thoughts should be on pure and perfect things, not
the evil things of the world about us.
4:8 Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any
virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
4:9 Those things, which
ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do:
and the God of peace shall be with you.
1 Cor 13:6
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1 Cor 13:7
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things,
endureth all things.
Love does not rejoice in
have had so many debates recently over Gay rights, and many churches
are opening doors of service to homosexuals.
How can we say we truly love someone and not tell them the
truth concerning sin? I
don’t believe there is homosexual or lesbian alive that God can
not save and give new purpose and hope.
But salvation is about forsaking sin and turning to God in
is the picture of dying to the old man and rising up to walk in
newness of life in the spiritual man which is born again into us
when we are saved. Until
we are saved and born again, we are spiritually dead without hope in
this world. Verse six
says we are to rejoice not in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth.
The truth is contained here in God’s Word.
We are to continue to show forth love to all men and women,
and love them all not matter how stained with sin they may be.
But we are to rejoice in the truth, bearing all things,
believing all things of God, and show forth hope.
We simply can not survive when we have no hope.
But by the blood of Jesus, we can have hope which allows us
to endure. Oh that we might learn to love like Jesus who loved us while
we were yet His enemy.
5:20 Woe unto them that
call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and
light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
5:21 Woe unto them that
are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Matthew Henry had these
comments on these verses about love and charity.
“Some of the effects of
charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and
that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a
clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed
faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and
effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their
conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an
utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own
praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys
all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect
himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to
the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It ever prefers the
welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and
amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity
appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this
Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its
blessed Author laid the chief stress! Let us ask whether this Divine
love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into
becoming behaviour to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish
objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and
The Abiding Nature of Love
1 Cor 13:8
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they
shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether
there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Many things in this life fail.
But love never fails we are told.
Love is what caused God to send His only begotten son to die
on Calvary for you and me.
3:16 For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not
his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world
through him might be saved.
3:18 He that believeth
on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned
already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God.
3:19 And this is the
condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
3:20 For every one that
doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his
deeds should be reproved.
3:21 But he that doeth
truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that
they are wrought in God.
The love that Jesus had for
the lost is what caused Him to weep over Jerusalem.
23:37 O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which
are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children
together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and
ye would not!
23:38 Behold, your
house is left unto you desolate.
23:39 For I say unto
you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is
he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
When we walk according the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, love will be what proves to others that
we are disciples of Christ.
13:34 A new commandment
I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that
ye also love one another.
13:35 By this shall all
men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 Cor 13:9
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
The closing of the canon of
the New Testament (whether there be prophecies they shall cease)…
no longer can man tell the future.
W can see what God has said about future events through the
Word only. All “new” prophecy has come to an end. The next person coming in an audible voice from God will be
Jesus as He breaks that Eastern sky.
(One day very soon I believe.)
Tongues are another special ability which we believe has
ceased. No one can suddenly understand another language without human
the building of the tower of Babel, it appears that all men in the
world spoke the same language.
11:7 Go to, let us go
down, and there confound their language, that they may not
understand one another's speech.
11:8 So the LORD
scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth:
and they left off to build the city.
11:9 Therefore is the
name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the
language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them
abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The first record of men being
able to speak supernaturally with tongues came on the day of
2:4 And they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance.
There was a miracle of the ear
that day also as each man could understand what was being said in
their own language.
2:7 And they were all
amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all
these which speak Galilaeans?
2:8 And how hear we
every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
There is no longer the ability
to have God-given knowledge without study.
We all must study the Word of God to become able to
effectively use the Bible to both live and preach the gospel.
1:11 But I certify you,
brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
1:12 For I neither
received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation
of Jesus Christ.
1:13 For ye have heard
of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that
beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
1:14 And profited in
the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being
more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
1:15 But when it
pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me
by his grace,
1:16 To reveal his Son
in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I
conferred not with flesh and blood:
1:17 Neither went I up
to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into
Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Paul explained to the church
at Galatia that he was not taught by man, but given a special
revelation from the Lord. We
can not do this anymore with human tutors.
We are commanded to study.
Tim 2:15 Study to show
thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
1 Cor 13:10
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in
part shall be done away.
Paul considered the
“Apostolic” miracles done in the early days of the church to be
something “in part” when compared to the finished product of the
New Testament. Apostolic
miracles ended after a short time in the early days of the church.
The Word of God was completed, and they were no longer
1 Cor 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a
child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away
1 Cor 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to
face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am
Many Christians are still like
children when it comes to the things of God.
If we want to be fruitful and successful in our walk for the
Lord, we must learn to show forth the Love of Christ and to do those
things which God would have us to do.
When we grow in the Lord, we will take on the traits of
Jesus, and become steady and dependable.
Today, we view the things of God as if looking through tinted
windows. But one day,
when we pass from this life to Heaven, we will then see things
clearly when we see our Saviour face to face.
1 Cor 13:13
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these is charity.
These three are all good…
faith hope and charity. But
the most important we are taught is love.
Oh that we might show love and reach others for the Kingdom
Examples of love:
Exhortation to love:
John 13:34 and I John 2:7-8
Expression of love:
John 14:23-34 and John 15:9-10
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