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1 Corinthians 13 - True Love

Love certainly is the most excellent way, but make sure you understand what true love is.

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1 Corinthians 13 Summary

Certainly this passage is beautiful even when it's read on its own, as it often is at weddings and similar occasions. Remember, though, how important context is in helping us truly understand what God is saying in His Word.

Page back through your Bible and just look over the main topics of the first twelve chapters of this book. Most of them are about resolving conflict of some sort. The last verse of chapter 12 really sets the tone for today's passage: and yet I will show you the most excellent way.

In other words, all of the previous advice is really good and helpful, but love is the glue that holds it all together.

Dig Deeper

Be careful with this passage.

Many Christians are currently losing their way because they read that love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things (v7), and so they conclude that ungodly lifestyles ought to be considered acceptable in the name of love.

But it's never loving to give people a false sense of hope and security. Certainly this isn't what Paul means.

You've likely read somewhere before of all the different words the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament) has for 'love.' A brief review will help:

  • xenía - friendship, hospitality

  • storgē - the love between parents & children

  • philía - affectionate regard, friendship

  • érōs - sexual passion

  • agápē - The word Paul uses in this chapter. It most often refers to the love God has for His children: an unconditional, never failing love.

Although the Bible uses all of these words at one time or another, which are mostly translated as 'love' in our English Bibles, agápē is the only type of love we are commanded to emulate.

If you had to boil this beautiful chapter down to a few words, it would simply read, "Be like God."

The best way to demonstrate agápē love in your life is to patiently call all people to leave their sin and come back to the unconditional grace, mercy and peace of Jesus Christ.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is agápē (pure love - 1 John 4:8, 16)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for strength to follow this most excellent way (12:31b)




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