The Greatest

Almost all of us think of 1 Corinthians 13 as the Love Chapter, but we may not know why it is called that or what it’s true significance is.

I read the “Love Chapter” at almost every wedding I conduct. It is beautiful language, and it presents the perfect setting for a wedding.

While it fits what we all need in our marriages (“love is patient, love is kind . . .”), it was written to the church at Corinth for even greater significance. I would encourage you to read the chapter (it’s only thirteen verses) and reflect on its meaning.

The chapter contains three parts. The first section, verses 1-3, gives us the significance of love. Though you might perform many wonderful works, without love you miss the true meaning of a relationship with God.

The second section tells us in beautiful language what love does. The word for love, agape in the Greek language of the New Testament, describes actions that we take when we love one another. The Greek word indicates action instead of mere feelings. When you love, you do.

These verses (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) tell us what you do. Love is patient and kind. Love doesn’t look for wrong. Instead it looks for the right. Love is secure, and it can be counted upon.

The third section shows us where genuine love originates and the ultimate goal of the life of the Christian (1 Corinthians 13:8-12). Love comes from God. We will experience love at its fullest when we are in the presence of God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

In conclusion, Paul tells us of those things which will endure. They are faith, hope, and love. He reminds us of the primacy of love because “the greatest of these is love” (verse 13).

Paul wrote these words to the church at Corinth because of their division and disagreements. The church had received every kind of gift. They should have been experiencing harmony and growth. Instead, they divided up and took sides. The church suffered greatly from immorality, pride, and contentions among believers.

Their major problem was their pride. Because of their abundant gifts, they thought of themselves more highly than they ought.

Paul wrote chapters 12-14 to call them from pride of gifts and to call them to love one another even as God had loved them.

He calls you and me to do the same. When we truly devote ourselves to God and let Him be in charge, we will experience harmony and good works. Those good works will show up in how we treat one another.

This post is the first of a three part series about 1 Corinthians 13 which will be posted over the next week. If you would like to receive each of these, you can sign up in the box below or by going to waylonbailey.com.


 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment

  1. […] notice two passages of Scripture. The first is the famous passage known as “The Love Chapter” found in 1 Corinthians 13. The middle section of this chapter (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) describes what love does and doesn’t […]

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. — Colossians 3:15 (NIV)