Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 13

Four things that love does, without limits

1 Corinthians 13:7

When Godís love works through us, that love has no limits. To emphasise that fact, Paul repeats the word that means Ďall thingsí 4 times. However, he does not mean the same kind of things each time. We do not hope for the same things that we endure.

Proverbs 10:12 says that love covers all sins (evil deeds). In other words, it is possible to show true love even to someone who has carried out terrible evil deeds. That kind of love does not approve of anything evil (13:6). It does not mean that the guilty person is not responsible for his acts. However, by this kind of love we can introduce a person to Christ. God shows this love: Christ died for people who had done many wrong and evil things (Romans 5:8).

Perfect love brings perfect faith and perfect hope. Faith means to believe and to trust God. This is how a person can please God; by trust in his promises. In the Bible, hope means to be certain that God will carry out those promises (Hebrews 6:18-19). It is the love of God that makes it possible for people to have faith. It is the love of God that gives hope to his people. God first covers their sin so that he can deal with it. Then he gives them faith and hope so that they can serve him properly.

To endure means to stand firm during troubles. The word refers especially to the troubles that Christians suffer because of their enemies. Christians continue to be loyal to God, whatever happens. They may be brave people, but they do not depend on the strength of their own minds. Instead, they receive the strength to endure from the love of God. Because of that, even during the most severe troubles, they show Godís love to the world (Acts 7:60 to 8:4; Acts 11:19-21).

Next part: Why prophecies, tongues and knowledge will not last (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.