Love Never Ends
When people get married what is the first passage that gets read? 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 should come to your mind. Here is what Paul writes:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” (ESV).
It’s obvious why this passage would be read at weddings. It is a beautiful section of Scripture speaking about what love is and what love isn’t. Paul doesn’t stop there even though most readers do. Verses 8-13 say this:
“8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
The first three word sentence in this section is what I would like to focus on more fully in this post. “Love never ends” is a simple but mind-blowing truth in Scripture. Paul contrasts love with prophecy, spiritual gifts and knowledge. In verse 9 -10 we see the contrast clearly when Paul says, “9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”
The knowledge that we, as humans, have is only partial. Nobody can possibly know everything in the realm of knowledge because our brains are not big enough. Prophecy won’t be fully known on this side of glory because when prophecy was given typically it never came to pass until hundreds of years down the line. Paul then says “when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”
Knowledge will be complete when believers are glorified. Prophecy will be completely fulfilled when Jesus returns for his people. And spiritual gifts will not be needed because believers will be fully sanctified in the presence of the King of Glory.
And so, because we are limited in the knowledge that we have it is like looking at ourselves in a “mirror dimly”. This is where faith and hope come in. Faith is believing in the things unseen attested to by God himself. Hope is anticipating the promises of God given to his people. These things will one day be fully realized and that is why love is the greatest among faith and hope as Paul writes in verse 13:
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
One day faith will not be needed because we will see the unseen face to face. One day hope will not be needed because we, as believers, will see the fulfillment of every promise God has spoken. But love is different. Love will continue because when love is fulfilled and fully realized that three word sentence Paul writes in verse 8 takes on a deeper meaning.
“Love never ends.”
Posted on November 1, 2011, in Christianity, Theology and tagged 1 Corinthians 13, Christianity, Faith, God, hope, Jesus, love, Paul, Prophecy, Spiritual gift, truth. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.