What Is the General Premise of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13?


Quick Answer

The 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians describes the necessity and superiority of Godly love when compared to the use and importance of spiritual gifts. The primary focus of the chapter is the eternal and ubiquitous value of love versus the temporary nature of the spiritual gifts.

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What Is the General Premise of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13?
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Full Answer

Proper context is required to understand 1st Corinthians chapter 13 fully. The content of the chapter is actually part of a larger discourse that starts in chapter 12 verse one and extends to the end of chapter 14. The overall message is on the function and role of spiritual gifts within the church, contrasted by the greater value of love.

In chapter 13, the writer teaches that not only is love greater than the most sought after spiritual gifts or acts of self-sacrifice, but that without love they are without value. In verse four through seven, the writer extols the characteristics of Godly love and gives examples of love's behavior. The later half of chapter 13 teaches that the spiritual gifts are but dim reflections of the perfection of the Kingdom of God and that the need for knowledge, languages, and prophecy will one day come to an end. In its final verse, the chapter teaches that three virtues will remain valuable after Jesus returns: hope, faith, and love; but of these love is the greatest.

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