Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 13

Without love, knowledge and faith achieve nothing

1 Corinthians 13:2

The first Christians sometimes confused impressive words with wisdom and knowledge, and that worried Paul. He often warned about false teachers who would use impressive arguments to teach wrong things (Acts 20:29-30).

Those teachers did not really understand the Bible (1 Timothy 1:7). On the other hand, Paul really did have great knowledge of the Bible. However, he refused to use that knowledge to impress people. Instead, he taught people simply about Jesus and his death (2:1-5). The false teachers pretended to have great knowledge, and Paul really did have great knowledge. But even someone who had all knowledge needed to teach with an attitude of love towards his students. Otherwise, his great words would not help anyone in their relationship with God.

The first Christians also loved to see Godís powerful acts among them. Jesus himself had said that faith could move mountains (Mark 11:23). In the Bible, faith means active belief and trust in God. So, someone with all faith would believe and trust God completely. Such faith could do great things but, without love, it would achieve nothing worthwhile. The person with great faith must act in love. That is, by his faith he must show Godís love to the world. God does not give people faith so that they can use it for selfish reasons.

People like to follow teachers whose words and actions are impressive. Church leaders like that can always persuade many people to join their churches. However, it is much more important for a church leader to show love, both towards God and towards other people. Love is essential for every Christian, but especially for leaders.

Next part: Without love, the most generous gifts achieve nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.