1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Hanging Rail Canvas
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Hanging Rail Canvas
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Hanging Rail Canvas

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Hanging Rail Canvas

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We most often see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 displayed (and quoted even by unbelievers as a wise list of what love is to be and do) but how often do we consider 1-3 as the backdrop for our need to consider how we ought to love? 

Truth without love is "nothing" of profit for the giver, according to Paul.

The preceding paragraph, verses 1-3, gives preface to that list of defining characteristics as they relate to gifts and speaking of truth-love must accompany such insight.

Martin Luther comments on this relationship presented in our text:

"Paul's purpose in this chapter is to silence and humble haughty Christians, particularly teachers and preachers. The Gospel gives much knowledge of God and of Christ, and conveys many wonderful gifts, as Paul recounts in Romans 12 and in First Corinthians 12.

He tells us some have the gift of speaking, some of teaching, some of Scripture exposition; others of ruling; and so on. With Christians are great riches of spiritual knowledge, great treasures in the way of spiritual gifts.

Manifest to all is the meaning of God, Christ, conscience, the present and the future life, and similar things. But there are to be found few indeed who make the right use of such gifts and knowledge; who humble themselves to serve others, according to the dictates of love. Each seeks his own honor and advantage, desiring to gain preferment and precedence over others."

"The grace of charity, or love, of which so much is most admirably spoken in this chapter, is absolutely essential to true godliness. So essential is it that, if we have everything beside, but have not charity, it profiteth us nothing. The absence of charity is absolutely fatal to vital godliness; so saith the Holy Ghost in this chapter."

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