Yesterday at Emmanuel we began a twenty-two week study on I Corinthians 13 which will take us from August 30 to January 30, 2010. I have read expositions of this chapter from John Gill, John Owen, and Jonathan Edwards; but the text itself carries a simplicity and profundity that is impossible to surpass. Below you will find the text of the first eight verses of I Corinthians 13, a blend of the New American Standard and the Contemporary English versions. There are fifteen descriptive phrases for love--as God defines love--with a summary promise-- love never fails. I sometimes wonder how what we as Christians write, what we say, what we think and what we do would change if we allowed love to define our lives. For those who consider this question trivial or meaningless, I am reminded of the words of our Lord, "It is by love that people will know that you are really my disciples" (John 13:36), and of what the Apostle John wrote, "The one who abides in God abides in love" (I John 4:16). I Corinthians 13 begins ...
(1) What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) What if I could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? Without love I would be nothing. (3) What if I gave away all that I owned to feed the poor? What if I surrendered my body to be burned alive as a martry? Without love I would gain nothing.
(4) Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, or proud. (5) Love is not rude, selfish, or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do. (6) Love rejoices over good things, but never in evil. (7) Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
(8) Love never fails.
In His Grace,