1 Corinthians
Chapter 13

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Commentary for 1 Corinthians 13

The necessity and advantage of the grace of love. (1-3) Its excellency represented by its properties and effects; (4-7) and by its abiding, and its superiority. (8-13)1-3 The excellent way had in view in the close of the former chapter, is not what is meant by charity in our common use of the word, almsgiving, but love in its fullest meaning; true love to God and man. Without this, the most glorious gifts are of no account to us, of no esteem in the sight of God. A clear head and a deep understanding, are of no value without a benevolent and charitable heart. There may be an open and lavish hand, where there is not a liberal and charitable heart. Doing good to others will do none to us, if it be not done from love to God, and good-will to men. If we give away all we have, while we withhold the heart from God, it will not profit. Nor even the most painful sufferings. How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish!

4-7 Some of the effects of charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It ever prefers the welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its blessed Author laid the chief stress! Let us ask whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into becoming behaviour to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and prayer.

8-13 Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves. From its longer continuance. It is a grace, lasting as eternity. The present state is a state of childhood, the future that of manhood. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused notions of things, have children when compared with grown men! Thus shall we think of our most valued gifts of this world, when we come to heaven. All things are dark and confused now, compared with what they will be hereafter. They can only be seen as by the reflection in a mirror, or in the description of a riddle; but hereafter our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error. It is the light of heaven only, that will remove all clouds and darkness that hide the face of God from us. To sum up the excellences of charity, it is preferred not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope. Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assents thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on future happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowed up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect. There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, #1Jo 4:8,16|. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Corinthians 13

  • Webster Clarke on 1 Corinthians 13:10
    When a person speak in tongues and another interpret, the interpreter says 'Thus saith the Lord'. So let me ask, Is scripture still being written? is God still speaking? then when will the Word of God be completed? These people who speak in tongues and saith it is from God are in fact adding to what God has said, lyingly so. The Bible was completed by the last book in Revelation. Our Lord has not spoken a Word either in tongues or plain language since.

    This whole business of Tongues, the prophetics, Word of Faith, prosperity gospel, Celebrity Pastors, Mega Churches, 'once saved, always saved' is a trick by Satan to use the Neo-Pentecostals to in fact bring in the Laodicean Church age into existence in which Christ is outside of His own church knocking at the heart of that remnant individual. Rev. 3 "Behold I stand at the door and knock' now look, 'If any man, any individual..... The occurrence of COVID 19 has demonstrated to the world how irrevelant and ineffective the church (Laodicean church has become). It is really a sad and unfortunate DAY when World Governments no longer believe that the church has POWER to protect themselves. They are in fact saying, 'from what we are seeing, we no longer believe that the GOD you say you serve is able to protect you, so we have to legislate your protection... THIS is A HARSH BUT TRUE INDICTMENT ON THE CHURCH in an age when the Pentecostals are boasting of having so much POWER, PROSPERITY, HEALING, MIRACLES..'. '.....but I say unto you, you are poor and wretched and naked and blind-Rev 3-. It is my belief that the Neo-Pentecostal originating at Azuza St. has done more HARM to the Gospel and the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ than the Catholics during the dark ages. The Catholic's destruction was outright visible and UNPRENTENTIOUS, BRUTAL AND CHRISTLESS. But Satan has used the Pentecostals to destroy God's church in a very subtle way. The church of today is about the Pastor, his PH.D and his MEGA CHURCH, NOT THE CROSS.
  • Follow Jesus No Matter What - in Reply on 1 Corinthians 13:10
    Number 1: you are bringing a railing ACCUSATION against the Churches of Jesus Christ; the Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head; of the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Christ and the giver of the Gifts of the SPIRIT (which includes speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues)

    See 1 Corinthians 12 and 13

    Judge not lest YOU be judged. I'm not judging you. God is.

    People need forgiveness because we make lots of mistakes. The Charismatic Movement has been Over for 30 years!!

    It's Jesus's Church, not yours. "Upon this Rock I will build MY CHURCH.

    Accusation accuses and we all know who is responsible for that: Satan. You need some deliverance from that. Ask & Receive.

    If you'll give all that angst to the Lord, he will lead you to a church He wants you to rest in, be renewed, restored to your First Love when you met Jesus. Don't go away because of something that happened decades ago. Be a part of what God is doing now.

    Draw a line in the sand and step over. We need people who truly care about the Bible. There are many people in here who are seeking answers from the Bible. Often when I pray, I ask God to keep his Hand on everybody who ever got saved in a Billy Graham Meeting. I keep looking for that to come around again. Praise God! Let the fire fall.

    Corona virus has made people remember the briefness of life. We've got a soul and it belongs to God. He says it's His. We have to receive His son Jesus to secure eternal Life and the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

    Salvation is a gift from God the Father; but if we don't seize upon that Gift, our hearts harden.

    I did a study recently. It's in the 1-100 history pages in this website. The Bible scriptures actually mention 3 plagues that come upon the whole world From China. It may be due to population and the amount of people that are very poor. I don't know.

    Choose Life with Jesus now. Forget the past. Follow Jesus and be a disciple.
  • Mishael - in Reply on 1 Corinthians 13:10
    Would The Holy Spirit give a rattlesnake?

    1 Corinthians 12
  • Carleton - in Reply on 1 Corinthians 13:10
    It is interesting also, that (as I remember) all of the accounts where speaking in tongues occurred, were with Jewish believers becoming Christians as a witness to each other (at that time) of the power of the risen Christ and his Holy Spirit.

    Today we have that Witness in our lives as Christians, if we, like the early Church of Jewish believers, hold fast to the Faith once delivered.
  • Shaarei on 1 Corinthians 13:12
    All Glory to The King. We are told to seek our Fathers righteousness and His Kingdom. The Word of God says seek and Ye shall find. To see through the glass darkly is to see something blurred. But then face to face in a glass is a mirror. When being shown the error of your own ways, the sin does not show in the Glory of Our Lord, so to see face to face is to see the Spirit of the Lord within. Know Ye not that Ye are the temples of God and that the Spirit of the Lord dwells within. To be know, you have sought and Ye have found. We enter into our Lords Kingdom NOW. It is to be known . You will see and enter Now
  • Albert on 1 Corinthians 13
    Thanks,God bless.
  • Albert on 1 Corinthians 13
    Without the love of God in our hearts, the nine gifts of the Spirit are meaningless. The Greatest Gift to possess is the power of love. Love is eternal. Worldly love is not the love of God. It tolerates sin( worldly love) and breeds hate and division--even among Christians. Love has no color. Love is kind. vaunteth not itself is puffed up thinketh no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity. Real love will not support evil.If I give my body to burned and I do not do it for the love of God --I died for nothing. How many so-called movements have been motivated by anger, resentment, worldly acceptance? Jesus was motivated by love to die for a world that hated him.
  • Chris - in Reply on 1 Corinthians 13
    Great Scripture and comments. Thanks Albert.
  • Austin on 1 Corinthians 13
    Isnt it supposed to be love where charity is
  • certain stories in the bible as some things we are told as children are believed, but as we grow into adulthood many of those beliefs wither and die in the cauldron of critical reasoning


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