1 Corinthians 13 - Blomberg

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1 Corinthians 12: 31b-13:13 More important than all the gifts is love (12: 31b). First Corinthians 13 1 to 3 makes the point that our love the gifts are worthless. Verses number 4-7 describe the nature of love, in language design to point out how little the Corinthians are measuring up. Verses 8-13 highlight the temporary nature of all the gifts, contrasting with loads permanents. The entire passage is quasi—poetic in nature with an elaborate structure of symmetry and parallelism. Love abides on into eternity. So too probably do faith and hope if faith is taken as belief in Jesus and faithful service to him, and it hoped refers to the expectant anticipation of the good things God has in the future for us. Paul adds these other two virtual is because the try yard “faith, pro-, and love” is a favourite of his. But love remains the greatest because it is the most foundational and is central to Paul’s understanding of the Christian ethic. If it is more accident than even the greater gifts they live itself cannot be a Spiritual gift. Rather it represents the kind non-Christian virtue the first on the list of the “fruits” of the Spirit which must be present with all the gifts if they are to be used in ways that will please God and have eternal value. The key to understanding chapter 13, then, is to keep it in its context. Whatever inspiration it may have as a self-contained poem or hymn to love, Paul intended it to be used to help solve the Pacific problem of the destructive manner in which the Corinthians were using their Spiritual gifts. So it is perfectly legitimate to substitute the gifts for tongues, prophecy, faith and so on, in verses 1-3 and 8-9. So too there are no doubt other facets of love that could be added to the description of verses-four 7, but these appear because they are precisely the areas in which to Corinthians were most lacking. To say
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