- Love is a big word. It covers a wide range of meanings in our language. By studying what the Bible says about it, we can come to an understanding of what it means in God’s plan for us.
- The Corinthians loved knowledge, philosophy, and personalities. As a result, they lost the essence of the Way of Christ.
- They suffered from the same syndrome as the first disciples, a competitive love of first place.
- Paul presents love as the cure to this syndrome.
Love in 1 Corinthians 13
- Love in context, 1 Cor 12-14: The chapter comes in the center of a discussion about the proper use of gifts in the congregation.
- As such, love is the centerpiece and the motivation for the use of gifts.
- Love is the solution to selfish ambition.
- Essential love, 1 Cor 13.1-3: Motivation matters. If we don’t do things out of love, then our works bring us no benefit.
- Active love, 1 Cor 13.4-7: Love is not a feeling, but a cluster of attitudes and actions that benefit the beloved one.
- Unending love, 1 Cor 13.8-13: The nature of love is not affected by eternity, as are faith and hope. On the contrary, it comes into its fullest light.
- Miracles—which the Corinthians loved so much—would cease, but not love.
- God is love, 1 Jn 4.8, 16. As such, it partakes of his eternal nature.
- “Pursue love” 1 Cor 14.1, and seek those things that will properly express it and that will edify the family of faith. (Edification is the key word of chapter 14.)
- Since God is love, let him define it, sustain it, express it, preserve it, and nurture it in us.