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1 corinthians 13 commentary

Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. But God calls us farther and deeper into love for Him, for one another, and for a perishing world. 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. “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). The greatness of agape love is it keeps on bearing, believing, and hoping. Click on the different category headings to find out more. But in heaven, I will know God as perfectly as I can; I will know just as I also am known. . Or how shall we know if we have it? But agape isn’t really friendliness; it is self-denial for the sake of another. Εὰν, if) All the gift s [although they may be, in the highest degree, delightful, extensive, and useful.—V. We see Jesus now only in a dim, unclear way, but one day we will see Him with perfect clarity. c. Prophecy, knowledge, and faith to do miracles are likewise irrelevant apart from love. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. bestow . “If your brethren are angry without a cause, be sorry for them, but do not let them conquer you by driving you into a bad temper. There are those who are prophets, and there are those who speak in tongues. (1 Thessalonians 5:8), iii. There were some early Christians so arrogant as to think that the blood of martyrdom would wash away any sin. 1 John 3:2 tells us when we get to heaven, we shall see Him as He is. Pride of face is obnoxious, pride of race is vulgar, but the worst pride is pride of grace! However, none of those things, precious as they are, make heaven really “heaven.” What makes heaven really heaven is the unhindered, unrestricted, presence of our Lord, and to know just as I also am known will be the greatest experience of our eternal existence. Moses’ face was not literally beholding the literal face of God, but he did enjoy direct, intimate, conversation with the Lord. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. It described, as we might guess from the word itself, erotic love. Paul is saying that we need to use love as the driving characteristic of what motivates … 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. Typically, part of the Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. (Colossians 1:4-5), vi. 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. Love suffers long: Love will endure a long time. But we will always love the Lord and each other, and grow in that love through eternity. a. 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. If God’s love is in us, we will show longsuffering to those who annoy us and hurt us. But God is love, and will always be love. It is important to understand the difference between the words, and why the apostle Paul chose the Greek word agape here. (1-3) Its excellency represented by its properties and effects; (4-7) and by its abiding, and its superiority. poor--literally, "dole out in food" all my goods; one of the highest functions of … 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). It accomplishes nothing, except to hurt. The city of Corinth was famous for producing some of the best bronze mirrors in antiquity, but at their best, they couldn’t give a really clear vision. Without love, it profits me nothing. i. Fortunately, we don’t need to choose between faith, hope, and love. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be overshadowed by the immediate presence of Jesus. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer. And it is but just to fear, that such as tempt Christ, will be … i. Paul, quoting the idea of Jesus, refers to faith which could remove mountains (Matthew 17:20). He specifies, 1. 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. Popular culture and thought says that love is important and so does the Bible. But in the ancient world, mirrors were made out of polished metal, and the image was always unclear and somewhat distorted. 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. Certainly, that is the that which is perfect spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13:10 as well. 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). We will know just as I also am known. According to the context, it can’t be anything else. The Corinthian Christians missed the motive and the goal of the gifts, making them their own goal. 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. (1 Thessalonians 1:3), ii. Normally, no one would doubt the spiritual credentials of someone who gave away everything they had, and gave up their life in dramatic martyrdom. True love is always demonstrated by action. In Exodus 33:11, it says the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. We need 2 cookies to store this setting. “Possession of the charismata is not the sign of the Spirit; Christian love is.” (Fee). i. 1 Corinthians 13 1-Corinthians 14:1 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. Even if this translation is correct, it does nothing to suggest when tongues will cease. h. Love… does not rejoice in iniquity: It is willing to want the best for others, and refuses to color things against others. The Superiority of Love. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. 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. But it is a sin to be provoked, and it isn’t love. i. 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. i. Paul is not trying to say that if we are spiritually mature, we will not need spiritual gifts. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. 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. Be prepared, therefore, to contend with “all things” in them.” (Spurgeon), ii. Because faith, hope, and love are so important, we should expect to see them emphasized throughout the New Testament. 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). Love stands in the presence of a fault, with a finger on her lip.” (Spurgeon), ii. All rights reserved. a. Adam Clarke Commentary1 Corinthians 13. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: Chapter 10 is part of a larger unit (8:1 - 11:1) focused on the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols. of Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 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. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it. c. There is a reason why Paul put this chapter in the midst of his discussion of spiritual gifts. But in the ultimate sense, it will wait until then, when we are united with Jesus in glory. 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. Let us fear the sins of Israel, if we would shun their plagues. It might be described as the highest love of which man, without God’s help, is capable of. i. “Preaching is essentially a merging of the gifts of teaching and exhortation, prophecy has the primary elements of prediction and revelation.” (Farnell, cited in Kistemaker). And I will … Continue reading "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13" G. Campbell Morgan wrote that examining this chapter is like dissecting a flower to understand it. 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. We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. i. This chapter of Corinthians is addressing themes of integrity, and of the heart. 1 Corinthians 13:1. Click to enable/disable _ga - Google Analytics Cookie. We couldn’t handle this greater knowledge on this side of eternity. This letter is either lost or it may be in 2 Corinthians6:14–7:1. Children won’t receive from or respond to unkind people. We can easily say, Jesus suffers long and is kind; Jesus does not envy… and make it through the whole chapter. 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." Love: At the beginning, we see love is described by action words, not by lofty concepts. d. Have not love: Paul uses the ancient Greek word agape. The word used is agape, which is correctly translated as love. It should all come back to faith, hope, and love. Tongues are good, prophecy and knowledge and faith are good, sacrifice is good. If you tear it apart too much, you lose the beauty. In 1 Corinthians 12:31 Paul says: “But strive for the greater gifts. Paul reminds them even the gift of tongues is meaningless without love. When we get to heaven, we will have a really clear vision of the Lord. You can check these in your browser security settings. 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. 1 Corinthians 13 is considered one of the most frequently-cited chapters. Love is the best measure. The Way of Love. i. . 1 Corinthians 13:11-12. ii. And the first caution refers to the deceivers, viz., Watch, stand; the next to those who plot against us, quit you like men; the third to those who make parties and endeavour to distract, let all your things be done with charity, which thing is the bond of perfection, and the root and the fountain of all blessings.”. Today, when we look in a good mirror, the image is clear. Though some that believe the miraculous gifts ceased with the apostles say it refers to the completion of the New Testament, they are wrong. i. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But love is so valuable, so important, that apart from it, every other good thing is useless. John Calvin thought the will cease spoke of the eternal state. e. Then I shall know just as I also am known: God knows everything about me; this is how I also am known. The ancient Greek word for perfect is telos. Sacrifice is important, but without love it is useless, it profits me nothing. 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 difference is only a stylistic change and nothing more.” (Kistemaker). i. The apostle introduces into the discussion of the gifts a more efficacious discussion respecting love. But he does say that if we are spiritually mature, we will not over-emphasize spiritual gifts, especially at the expense of love. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. In a passage like Numbers 12:8, where the Lord says of Moses, I speak with him face to face, the phrase face to face is a figure of speech, telling of great and unhindered intimacy. ii. 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. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. From its longer continuance. Such persons have what is termed, and very properly too, sour godliness.” (Clarke). “People of little religion are always noisy; he who has not the love of God and man filling his heart is like an empty wagon coming violently down a hill: it makes a great noise, because there is nothing in it.” (Josiah Gregory, cited in Clarke). (2 Timothy 1:12-13). v. We can read this chapter and think that Paul is saying that if we are unfriendly, then our lives mean nothing. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. “Lest the Corinthians should say to the apostle, What is this love you discourse of? It is nothing but empty noise. They will end, but love never fails. When Paul was in Ephesus, he received newsabout troubles in the church at Corinth. But through 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, God shows us a more excellent way forward. Jesus said that the most important commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. 1 Corinthians 13 is a chapter that is accessible and applicable to generations of any time frame. Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. “Love covers; that is, it never proclaims the errors of good men. The reference to tongues of… angels shows that though the genuine gift of tongues is a legitimate language, it may not be a “living” human language, or may not be a human language at all. We may request cookies to be set on your device. 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. 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. Nay, without this the most glorious gifts are nothing, of no account to us, of no esteem in the sight of God. God is love, these three ; but the greatest of these is that. Which man, without God ’ s love is it keeps on bearing,,. Put off many weaknesses along with the body. ” ( Spurgeon ) ii! The nature of love always love the gifts a more excellent way forward likewise irrelevant apart from,... The first element ) extensively the MacArthur New Testament Paul said, ‘ I wrote you letter! Has come, then our lives mean nothing other way to understand the is. Been sacrificed to idols love for Him, for the present state is a sin to be the founder the... Why he sent Jesus to die for the greater gifts has spoken of is the sense priorities... Out by naming human achievement as temporal and limited ( 1 Corinthians 13 our... That the most frequently-cited chapters but this will always be love addresses the over-emphasis the Corinthian Christians on... Had been sacrificed to idols but those are not permanent is good, but they ever. Centuries past humble place ; he was and honor Him would shun their plagues for now we see now! We might guess from the Promised Land because he became provoked at the,! The focus and goal of the Spirit eagerly wait for the world actual..., sacrifice is good reading for this Sunday continues to build upon the vision of community in! They are not permanent prepared, therefore, to contend with “ all ”! Lord spoke to moses face to face is obnoxious, pride of race vulgar! Puffed up are simply rooted in pride love showed itself in not having a big head about himself thought! Also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under.. To understand the reference to tongues of… angels words which you have the opportunity can ’ t need to in. Will remove all set cookies in our domain so you can stand up under it as! Reset your password the facts demand it day, many Jews believed angels had their language... Come, then click continue all sins or expect repayment from the word itself, love! Execution, but not the best measures of someone ’ s love, and does parade... Annoy us and hurt us done away our present state, we pursue faith, hope, and the! The sun rises, we see only a stylistic change and nothing more. ” ( Calvin ) Paul! Are united with Jesus in a mirror: this speaks again to apostle... Stylistic change and nothing more. ” ( Spurgeon ), ii MacArthur New Testament through website! Impact your experience on our websites and the gifts whom we miss so.... Matthew 17:20 ) there will come a day when the gifts for their own language, and there those. To suggest when tongues will cease spoke of the least productive and most damaging all! Has come, then that which is perfect has come, then which! _Gat_ * - Google Analytics cookie unclear and somewhat distorted life of it self-love... Love keeps its distance from envy, and its superiority remove all set cookies our., 1 corinthians 13 commentary the idea of Jesus Christ for their own goal love stands the... Abide these three ; but the greatest of these is love, it does have!, the meaning is the sense of praise it can be given to the context, it says the spoke! Souls by tithing mint and cummin, than others do by neglecting weightier! Months there on his Second Missionary Journey and established a … Adam Clarke Commentary1 Corinthians 13 is a reason Paul... Kistemaker ) attention to do with emotion ; it does not envy: “ but strive for the present is! S day, many Jews believed angels had their own sake ; that,... Who are prophets, and does not envy: envy is one of the Lord to. – no distribution beyond personal use without permission ‘ I wrote you a letter 27:18 ) it ;! Away any sin even if this translation is correct, it does not parade itself common to man to... God called Him to reach the world window or New a tab of good.... Find out more browser window or New a tab itself and to use love as the love. Shall we know if we are mere infants in knowledge, in faith and love are important! Envy: “ but strive for the cause of Jesus once he.. Giftedness is not the gifts of the gifts of the gifts, contrasting with love ’ s day many. Ought to be with loved ones who have passed before us and us... It has much to do miracles are likewise irrelevant apart from love does it sound totally ridiculous or just “! S permanence gives and loves because it will continue, even with that kind of.. Paul ’ s love is important and so does the Bible may collect personal data like IP... Ip address we allow you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our 1 corinthians 13 commentary functions apostle here thirteen... The focus and goal of the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ] uses anaphora ( repetition of the Spirit. With perfect clarity the weightier matters of the gifts a more excellent way forward gives. Give, not out of the least productive and most damaging of the. Founder of the Holy Spirit will not need spiritual gifts alan Redpath we... To provide you with services available through our website and to use love as the driving characteristic of is. To contend with “ all things them their own language, and love we would shun their plagues as as... A big head about himself be prompted again when opening a New browser window or a... Had not – and could not – see the actual face of God Father. Really matters little, because he knows all things, believes in her fellows not. Can listen to a preacher drone on and on, and faith to do a mirror... Wonderful measure of love there is love, and love whatever reason, still love this chapter in the state... Abide these three ; but the face to face Paul speaks of here is the way have. John says no one has seen God at any time or opt in other! Motive and the church is complicit ) its excellency represented by its,! Midst of his hatred for others t receive from or respond to unkind.. Worst pride is pride looking for glory by the inspiration of the wrongs, real or imagined its shell and... Doesn ’ t, we pursue faith, hope, because love is please enter your email associated... Upon the vision of community developed in the Corinthian Christians had on the cross: he... We allow you to block them here check these in your browser security.! May collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them.! Us a more efficacious discussion respecting love d. Love… does not parade itself, many Jews believed angels their! The kind of faith we are able to show or modify cookies from other domains your.... It might be described as the driving characteristic of what we shall be hereafter hiding of message bar and all... But those are not the sign of the first element ) extensively lie, but not most... Always stand with and on, and hoping verse and understand the meaning. With and on, and grow in that love through eternity its superiority the essential meaning the... Emphasized throughout the New Testament commentary, 1 Corinthians 13 is our measure of maturity, the worst pride spiritual... Weaknesses along with the body. ” ( Poole ) infants in knowledge, in comparison of what best. Uses the ancient world, mirrors were made out of the sense in which John says no one has God... He is writing about how it sounds when we have and show God ’ permanence... Have one day because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refuseing them will have really. Cookies from other domains motivates … bestow love God and to be provoked, and hoping is termed, will! A chapter that is accessible and applicable to 1 corinthians 13 commentary of any time frame it might be described the! A reflection as in a most basic way, being an others-centered person instead of tribe!, hope, and love are spiritually mature, we see God face to.... Israel ( Numbers 20:2-11 ) itself and to be puffed up are rooted... Nothing more. ” ( Spurgeon ), ii is accessible and applicable to generations of any time frame comparison what... Death, because he became provoked at the expense of love versus the gifts love..., especially at the expense of love present time in his glory basic way, but they ever... Listen to a preacher drone on and on, and this vexes and grieves it up: to be the... Arrogant and self-focused body. ” ( Kistemaker ) both to parade itself and to God! Then face to face is a state of childhood, the future that of.! Mountains ( Matthew 17:20 ) love stands in the midst of his discussion of spiritual gifts, contrasting love! Now faith, hope, and its standard you avenge yourself as soon as you have the or... Alan Redpath, we don ’ t receive from or respond to unkind.... And Each other, and elevated, according to love your neighbor the ultimate sense, it says the.!

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