1 Corinthians Chapter 13
1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burnt, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud,
5 doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil;
6 doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, and love remain-these three. The greatest of these is love.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 13 Guide
The apostle dealt with love, its values (verses 1 Corinthians 13:1-3), its virtues (verses 1 Corinthians 13:4-7), and its victory (verses 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The values of love are discovered in the fact that, apart from it, all the best things are worthless.
Its virtues are shown with force and beauty. Every sentence is simple and sublime, and the whole contains a perfect analysis of love.
Passing from this description of the virtues of love, the apostle now showed how it is supreme because of its victory. The first element is its duration -"Love never faileth." The thought in the word translated "faileth" is falling off, like the leaves of a flower. Love never loses its life principle. To emphasize the truth of his affirmation, the apostle now put love into comparison with excellent things, things indeed to be desired as gifts; and showed how, while they are transient, love is permanent. He added the final word in demonstration of the proof when he compared love no longer with the things that pass, but with the things that abide, and yet declared it to be the greatest - "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
It is the greatest because it is the reason and strength of the others. If it were possible to lose it, faith would fail, and hope would die. It is the greatest, moreover, because it is the real heart of the spirit's union with God and the light of its understanding of Him.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.