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What is an analysis of 1 Corinthians 13?

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Quick Answer

Chapter 13 of the first letter to the Corinthians covers the definition of love and its importance in a Christian's life. Verses 4 through 7 talk about the qualities of love.

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The first three verses of chapter 13 explain that love is superior to any other spiritual gift a Christian possesses. Paul expresses the belief that even if a Christian is extremely generous or capable of speaking in tongues, works are useless if love does not motivate them. Paul even calls martyrdom without love a meaningless gesture.

Verses 4 through 7 delineate 15 qualities that love receives and rejects. Patience, kindness, trust, hope and perseverance are some of the positive qualities that love encompasses. Envy, pride, selfishness, rudeness and a short temper are qualities that love rejects.

Verses 8 through 13 explain the relative duration of love. Verse 8 explains that while some spiritual gifts such as the speaking of tongues may wane, love is never going to cease being an important part of a Christian's lifestyle. Paul explains that Christians should make an effort to continue maturing. The final verse of the chapter emphasizes that no matter how mature the Christian becomes, the qualities of faith, hope and love are important in his life.

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