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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 13

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-3

Works Without Love - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 explains that if our works are not motivated by love, then that work will not abide as a work of love; and we understand from other passages (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) that we will receive no eternal reward for such self-centered behaviour. If our works are not motivated from a heart of love, the work will be burned up when it is judged. If we give out of compulsion or guilt, it is not an act of genuine love.

Illustration - Huldah Buntain quoted Mother Teresa as having said to her just before she died, “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the actions you do.” [162] Everything we do must be done as an act of love, otherwise, it is done out of selfishness.

[162] Huldah Buntain ( Calcutta Mercy Ministries, Calcutta, India,), interviewed by Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California, 2008), television program.

1 Corinthians 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 cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13:1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels”- Comments 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 13:1 refers to the gift of tongues. Tongues can be given in both an angelic language, or in a language spoken by man.

“the tongues of men” - God can give us a foreign language to speak without prior learning and thus have those who know the language fall under conviction of sin. This happened in the book of Acts:

Acts 2:7-8, “And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”

“and of angels” - God can also give man the tongues of angels so that demons do not know what we pray. Illustration: When a mentor of mine was first born again, he was sitting in his house praying in tongues. As he was praying in unknown tongues, he had a vision of a demon, who was standing in front of him, stomping his feet and shaking his fists in frustration because he could not understand what was being prayed in tongues.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 13:2 “and understand all mysteries” Comments - This is a reference to the gift of the word of wisdom. Note 1 Corinthians 14:2, “howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries .” This refers to the operation of the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”

1 Corinthians 13:2 “and all knowledge” - Comments - This is a reference to the gift of the word of knowledge.

1 Corinthians 13:2 “and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains” Comments - In 1 Corinthians 13:2 Paul makes a reference to the gift of faith. Jesus made several references to the great potential of faith in Mark 11:23 and Luke 17:6. He also operated with this gift when He spoke to the storm and it ceased, and when He cursed the fig tree; for Jesus used this statement in Mark’s Gospel to explain how the fig tree had withered.

Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

Luke 17:6, “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

1 Corinthians 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 nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3 “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor” - Comments - This is a reference to the gift of giving. Webster says the word “bestow” means, “ To give or confer; to impart.”

1 Corinthians 13:3 “though I give my body to be burned” - Comments - This is a reference to martyrdom, which is the ultimate act of giving.

Verses 1-13

Paul Speaks Concerning Spiritual Gifts In 1 Corinthians 12:1 to 1 Corinthians 14:40 Paul teaches the church at Corinth about the operations of the gifts of the Spirit. Although chapters 12-14 deal at length with the operation of the gifts of Spirit, other churches founded by Paul operated in these gifts as well. We note in Acts 20:23 that “the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city,” which means that the gifts of utterance were operating in every church that Paul was visiting.

Also, it is important to note that Paul deals with unity in the body of Christ in the first eleven chapters before he teaches on the operation and manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in chapters 12-14. One reason is that the love walk that Paul emphasizes in chapter 13 must be in a person’s life in order to maintain the work of the Holy Spirit. When we stop walking in love, the Holy Spirit eventually stops manifesting in and through our lives.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Spiritual Gifts Explained 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

2. The Motive of the Operation of the Gifts 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

3. The Gifts of Utterance 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

The Gifts of the Spirit and the Love Walk - After Paul deals with idolatry and false gods who cannot speak or hear in chapters 8-11, he now turns to the true and living God in chapters 12-14. Here, we see the contrast between the foolishness of idolatry compared to serving the living God, who speaks to His people and manifests Himself in marvelous ways.

Chapter 12 discusses the gifts of the Spirit and how they operate with unity in the body of Christ. Chapter 14 discusses the manifestation of the three gifts of utterance, prophecy, tongues and the interpretation of tongues, and how they should operate in a church service. Paul spends much more time on these three gifts of utterance because they are the most easily abused. Finally, Paul balances this teaching with a passage explaining the importance of walking in love as the motive in exercising the gifts in chapter 13. If the gifts are not used in love, then they are of no value to the body of Christ.

Verses 4-7

The Characteristics of Love 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 give us a list of actions that testify to the love walk. Paul has just explained in the previous verses (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) how operating in the gifts of the spirit are not a true sign of the walking in love, neither is the giving of our goods nor the sacrifice of our lives the true evidence of love. When a person exhibits patience, kindness, contentment, humility, gentleness, seeking the well-being of others, temperance, peace, purity, joy, longsuffering, faith and hope, as well as consistency and all of these virtues, then one can truly know that a person is motivated by love. The expanded description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 can be summarized as “labours of love,” a phrase used in 1 Thessalonians 1:3. That is, it takes effort to walk in love.

1 Thessalonians 1:3, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love , and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1 Corinthians 13:4 “Charity suffereth long” - Word Study on “suffereth long” Strong says the Greek word ( μακροθυμέω ) (G3114) comes from two words: μακρός (long) and θυμός (anger, or rage), and it means to be long-spirited, forbearing, patience.” This is when you hold back a heated anger inside.

Illustration - Illustration of God’s patience with us:

Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

Romans 9:22, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:”

2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Illustration - God’s long suffering over wicked men in the days of Noah

1 Peter 3:20, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

Illustration - Jesus Christ was longsuffering with Paul before his conversion:

1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

Jesus endured much reviling and persecution in His ministry. His was not fighting back as they spit in His face and slapped Him and as He hung on the Cross. This is a good example of longsuffering and love.

1 Corinthians 13:4 “and is kind” Comments - The opposite of “kind” is “malicious, full of guile, hypocrisy, envy and evil speaking.”

1 Peter 2:1-3, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

Psalms 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

God is kind to evil people:

Luke 6:35, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

God’s kindness brings us to repentance:

Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

It is the fruit of the Spirit:

Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

God’s kindness and mercy appeared in Jesus Christ:

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

God’s kindness and grace was shown by God in Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 2:7, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 13:4 “charity envieth not” - Illustrations:

1. Joseph’s ten brothers sold him for slavery out of envy:

Genesis 37:11, “And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.”

Acts 7:9, “And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,”

2. The mob at Thessalonica were moved with envy against Paul and his friends:

Acts 17:5, “But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.”

1 Corinthians 13:4 charity vaunteth not itself” Comments Love does not brag or to act like a windbag.

1 Corinthians 13:4 “is not puffed up” Comments Love is not high minded.”

1. Knowledge puffs up:

1 Corinthians 8:1, “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”

2. To think oneself more righteous than another instead of mourning for sin:

1 Corinthians 5:2, “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

3. Being puffed up comes by a fleshly mind:

Colossians 2:18, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”

1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:5 “seeketh not her own” Illustrations:

The Judgment of the Nations in Matthew 25:31-46.

Matthew 26:39, “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Philippians 2:20, “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.”

Scripture References Compare:

Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”

Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.”

1 Corinthians 13:5 “is not easily provoked” Love is not easily angered. The noun form of this verb is used in Acts 15:39.

Acts 15:39, “And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;”

God is not easily provoked, or angered:

Psalms 103:8, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Psalms 145:8, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

We are to imitate God in this area also:

Proverbs 14:29, “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”

James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”

There is a righteous anger. Sometimes, one must pursue righteous justice. At other times, the anger should be forgotten and overlooked.

Psalms 7:11, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”

Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Jesus overturned the table of the moneychangers in His anger:

Matthew 21:12, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,”

1 Corinthians 13:5 “thinketh no evil” Scripture Reference - Note:

Zechariah 8:7, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;”

1 Corinthians 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:6 Scripture Reference - Note similar verse:

Romans 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good .”

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

1 Corinthians 13:7 “beareth all things” Word Study on “beareth” Strong says the Greek word “beareth” ( στέγω ) (G4722) literally means, “to roof over,” and figuratively, “to cover with silence, (endure patiently).” BDAG it means, “(1) cares, passes over in silence, keeps confidential. Of love that throws a cloak of silence over what is displeasing in another person. (2) To bear, stand, endure.”

Comments We could paraphrase this phrase to mean, “put a cloak of silence over what is displeasing in another.”

Scripture References - Note:

Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”

Romans 15:1, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”

1 Corinthians 9:12, “If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.”

Verses 8-13

Love’s Eternal Pre-eminence In 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Paul explains how the love walk has been always been preeminent in the life of a righteous person. Love was what undergirded the lifestyle of a man who walked righteous before God long before and long after the gifts of the Spirit will be in operation in our lives.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 13:8 “Charity never faileth” Comments - We can interpret the phrase “Charity never fails” a number of ways.

1. Charity will never fail to work in power. It will always produce results in our lives when we walk in love.

2. Charity will never fail to exist; or, “Charity never ceases to operate.” Love will be working in our hearts and lives in heaven, even when the charismatic gifts of the Spirit as we know them today have ceased. Love has been active in the lives of all those who have feared God in all dispensations, since before creation, for God is love (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16) and He has been throughout eternity. But the operation of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, have been for certain dispensations in God’s plan of redemption. They will not operate in part as they do today in eternity.

1 John 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love .”

1 John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love ; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

1 Corinthians 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Corinthians 13:9 Word Study on “in part” - Thayer says the Greek phrase ἐκ μέρους means, “imperfectly.”

1 Corinthians 13:9 Comments - 1 Corinthians 13:9 tells us that when we receive the gift of the word of knowledge, or the gift of prophecy (and other charismatic gifts), we only receive a partial revelation. Another way to say this is that we do not receive the full revelation in a matter. One of the reasons for this is because we are still living in our unregenerated, corrupt bodies. As a result, if we received full revelations of things around us, we would become puffed up in pride. The Lord may give part of a revelation to one believer, and part to another, but He knows that an abundance of revelations is difficult for us to walk in without stumbling. We may refer to Paul’s comments in 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 where he explains that he did receive many revelations, but was given a thorn in the flesh to keep him dependent upon God’s daily grace to sustain him. The context of 2 Corinthians reveals this thorn to be the abundance of afflictions, persecutions and hardships that he had to endure in the office of an apostle.

1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

1 Corinthians 13:10 Comments - 1 Corinthians 13:10 tells us when that which is perfect shall come, then that which is in part shall be done away. In other words, our perfection will take place when we receive a redeemed, glorified body. At that time, we will no long operate in the charismatic gifts on partial basis, but will receive full revelations of things. This is because we will be able to handle such revelations in our new, sin-free bodies. This fuller revelation will be stated in 1 Corinthians 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 known.”

1 Corinthians 13:9-10 Comments The Gifts are Partial Revelations - 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 serves to further explain verse 8. Our words of knowledge and our prophecies are from partial revelations of the full scope of eternal events. When the completion or fulfillment of these revelations has arrived, then the partial workings of the gifts will be abolished, with no need for them anymore.

1 Corinthians 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 childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11 Comments 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 served to explain how love is an enduring virtue (1 Corinthians 13:8) that will have priority in our lives even when the gifts of the Spirit come to an end. Paul says that the gifts give us divine revelations in part, but when we enter eternity there will be a fullness of revelation that we will live in. The gifts of the Spirit listed in Romans 12:8-10 will no longer be useful when Jesus Christ returns and restores all creation to perfection. Paul then gives an illustration of this spiritual truth in 1 Corinthians 13:11 by giving us a natural example of a child growing into an adult; for when he is grown he no longer needs or clings to childhood concepts or ways of doing things.

We could paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13:11 by saying, “When I was a child I spoke as a child (and I spoke as a child because) I thought as a child, (and I thought and reasoned as a child because) I saw things from a child’s limited and narrow perspective; that is, I saw things in part. But when I grew up, I saw things more fully. Therefore, I understood fully, and was able to lay aside my narrow, childish way of thinking.” Thus, Paul is using a natural event in our lives to explain a spiritual experience that we should I partake of in our spiritual grown to maturity.

Creflo Dollar says that he asked the Lord when did Paul grow up and become a man. He said that the Lord revealed to him that Paul became a man, or a mature Christian, when he began to walk in love, when he put aside childish, immature or fleshly manners. [163]

[163] Creflo Dollar, Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Illustration - I remember coming home from college and feeling that I was a different person, more exposed to the world and not as childish. I found my old box of collectibles and toys that I had gathered from childhood and threw some of it away and gave away the rest. This stuff no longer meant anything to me because I no longer had the mind of a child; so, there came a time when I put them away.

1 Corinthians 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 known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly” - Comments Rick Joyner applies 1 Corinthians 13:12 to the gift of prophecy. He explains that God has given mankind the gift of prophecy throughout history in a way that we do not get a clear, detailed picture of future events. God could have told us of the future events in much detail, complete with people's names, dates and places. Instead, He gives us prophecy in part, darkly, so that we will have to always look to Him for direction. Rick Joyner says, “The Lord intends for prophecy to be this way so that all His people will have to know His voice and seek Him for personal direction.” [164]

[164] Rick Joyner, The Harvest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1993), 15-6.

1 Corinthians 13:12 Comments 1 Corinthians 13:12 applies to the previous verses as it explains how:

1. We now see partially, and not fully, like a reflection or shadow of something. We are only seeing a shadow of things that we will one day see face to face, beholding them with our own eyes.

2. Our knowledge is now partial, but then, as we behold these things, we will have the full understanding. Illustration: The prophecies of Jesus’ second coming, heaven and hell all help us to see more clearly, though not fully.

In our individual lives, we do not always at first see the purpose of God’s direction. But as we walk by faith, we begin to understand why God leads us down a particular path. As we grow up into Christian maturity, we look back as incidences that seemed foolish, and did things that we would certainly never do today. For example, as a young believer, I was working out of town and staying in a hotel. The night clerk asked me to go buy a bottle of whiskey at a nearby liquour store. I wanted to be helpful and went and purchased the bottle. But when I later asked my brother if this was the right thing to do, he shook his head no. There were many times as a young believer that I stumbled and fell in sin, committing things that I certainly would not commit today. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

“For thou knowest not what I do now, but thou shalt know hereafter. (Now we see in a glass darkly, but then, face to face. Now our grasp of the ways of God is incomplete, but as we move on, we come to understand what He has been endeavoring to do in our lives.)” [165]

[165] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 121.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three” Comments - These three virtues were evident in the church at Colossi, as Paul testifies in Colossians 1:4-5.

Colossians 1:4-5, “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;”

They are found in the church at Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 1:3, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith , and labour of love , and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”

In these three words are found the work and offices of the Trinity in relation to the Church (see 1 Peter 1:2).

1 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

We place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by our obedience to Him. As a result, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the love of God is poured forth within us (Romans 5:5) in order to bring about our sanctification. We are then able direct our hope on the divine plan that the Heavenly Father has prepared for each of us through His foreknowledge, no longer setting our affections on the things of this world, but towards heaven.

Romans 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

When studying the use of these three words in 1 Thessalonians, we make an interesting discovery. Faith establishes our heart and undergirds our actions so that they are motivated by love. This refers to the condition of our heart in serving the Lord. Hope causes us to endure, being the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19). This refers to our soulish realm, wherein dwells our will, our emotions, our mind and thoughts, thus, our ability to make a decision that is within the will of God. Labour of love refers to the physical realm of man, how he brings his body into submission to the will of God out of love to toil and serve in the kingdom of God.

Hebrews 6:19, “ Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul , both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”

Thus, the first epistle of Thessalonians discusses the three-fold make-up of man; the spirit, the body and the soul. To confirm such a structure, we can find a summary of this same emphasis in one of the closing verses.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thus, Paul emphasizes the sanctification of the believer, in spirit, soul and body, in his first letter to the Thessalonians.

1 Corinthians 13:13 “but the greatest of these is charity” - Comments - When we get to heaven, the Lord will reward us for our good works. But His standard to measure our good works will be the standard of “love.” If we have accomplished great feats, but not walked in an attitude of love with others in doing those feats, our works will have been in vain. This is what this chapter on love is telling us.

We see examples in these last days of God judging the church by looking at the lives of several great ministers. In the 1980's, several ministers with very large ministries fell into sexual sins. As large as these ministries had grown, the Lord was much more concerned about the heart of these ministers. The Lord allowed these sins to be exposed, bringing the large ministries down to smaller ministries. God was more concerned with the heart of the minister than He was with the size of his ministry. These two ministers repented, and were able to continue on in the ministry with a pure, broken heart that pleased the Lord.

When one of these ministers first, he sent out a cassette tape to his partners with this testimony. When the sexual sin was exposed to the public, he prayed to the Lord and said that he had failed in his great task. The Lord spoke to him and said, “No, you have not failed, I have just had to get the sin out of your life.”

On the other hand, we see men like Oral Roberts, Rex Humbard, and Billy Graham, who have walked in much love throughout their lives. As aged men, they were able to continue in their ministries because they put love as the priority of their ministries.

1 Corinthians 13:13 Comments - Although the gifts will come to an end, faith, hope, and love have operated in mankind since Adam and Eve and will continue to operate throughout all dispensations and into eternity.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 13". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-corinthians-13.html. 2013.
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