1 Corinthians 13
 & Video Below

 

The Most Wasted Life
1) If I could speak the language of every human and angel but do not have love, I would only be a noise!  2) If I prophesy knowing all mysteries and all knowledge, if I have all faith to remove all mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing!  3) If I give everything I have to feed others, if I sacrifice my body to be burned as a martyr, but do not have love, it profits me nothing!


Real Love
4) Love suffers long from others and is still kind.  Love will not be jealous or envy others. Love will not boast, brag, look arrogant or superior.  5) It will not be rude, unmannerly, disrespectful or indecent in any way.  It won't think about having its way or what it wants.  It's not touchy or gets irritated or upset.  It doesn't keep thinking something negative about someone else.  6) It has no joy with anyone or anything that is bad or unjust, but does rejoice in everything that is true and good.  7) It will suffer to cover for others.  It believes the best of others.  It always expects the best in others.  It faithfully defends others. 


Temporary Sign Gifts
8) Love will never cease.  But this revelatory prophecy and knowledge will end and tongues (foreign unlearned languages) will cease.  9) Our prophesying and knowledge is now only partial.  10) But when the perfectA comes [the completed New Testament], this partial [prophesying, knowledge and tongues] will be useless and therefore cease.

AThe word "perfect" does not refer to Jesus or His coming, as some mistakenly think.  The word "perfect" is used 20 times in the New Testament and no time is the Greek word "perfect" ("teleios") ever used as a title for Jesus or His coming.  This Greek word literally means "complete", "full" or "mature".  In this verse the "perfect" can only refer to the "completed" or "full" revelation of the New Testament.  At the time Paul wrote this, their knowledge was only “partial"; the vast majority of the New Testament Scripture had not been “completed".  However, the Old Testament was "complete" or "perfect".  And the apostle James confirms the use of this word “perfect” in reference to the Old Testament Law that was “perfect” (i.e. “completed”) – "One who looks intently at the perfect [completed] Law" (James 1:25).  This is the same way Paul was using this Greek word - when the "perfect" (completed New Testament) comes, this partial revelation of knowledge, prophecy and tongues (temporary sign gifts) would be useless and therefore cease.  In fact this happened with all the “attesting sign gifts” in later years as the final books of the New Testament were being completed (Phil. 2:25-30; 1Tim. 1:5; 2Tim. 4:20).


An Infant & Mirror Analogy
11) It's like an infant, sounding like an infant, thinking like an infant and understanding like an infant.  But when he becomes a mature manB, he's done with the infant things [partial knowledge, prophecy and tongues].  12) At present it's like looking at a mirror in dim light but in time we will see clearly, like looking in a clear mirror face to face.  At this time my knowledge is partial but in time I will know** accurately the way I am accurately knownC.

BUsing the analogy of an infant becoming a "mature man" is the very amplification of the word "perfect", which Paul just used in verse 10.  The analogy is exactly what the situation was then with having only a portion of the NT knowledge, but coming to full mature completion.  Paul then uses the analogy of a "mirror".  This was also symbolic of the NT Word.  James said, "For if you listen to the Word… it is like looking at your face in a mirror" (James 1:23).  Paul's entire context in this whole section is not Jesus' coming, but the perfect full NT Word coming!  That was and is revolutionary!  To see and understand all the Word is like seeing the face of Jesus who "was the Word… and the Word became flesh" (John 1:1, 14).

CThis same Greek word "epiginosko", is used in Romans 1:32, "knowing the ordinance of God", where it refers to knowing God's Word, as it does here in this verse.


Love Is The Greatest
13) For now these three will remain:  faith, hope and love.  But love is the greatest.D

DAfter the temporary sign gifts (revelatory prophecy and knowledge and tongues) cease, "faith, hope and love" will remain with us as they do to this day.  But love is the greatest of these three because after Christ returns even "faith and hope" will cease, no longer needed.  But love is the greatest because it will never cease for us with Jesus.  Love will remain with us for eternity.

 

Copyright © 2013, New Life Bible, Greenwood Fellowship, Greenwood Village, Co., 80111

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to: I Corinthians 14 / Paraphrase & Video