And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection.
I. Charity is the greatest of graces in THE WIDTH AND EXTENT OF ITS SPHERE. Other graces have particular things with which they are more intimately concerned; special parts of life on which they throw the light of their charm; special times in which they actively operate. They are like the winds that blow, the rain that falls, the snow that covers, or the lightning that purifies sometimes. But charity is like the Divine sunlight that shines on always, works always, tempers the winds, warms the rains, dissipates the mists, melts the snow; sometimes seen and felt, sometimes unseen, but never ceasing its influence, and recognizing no earth limits to its sphere. Charity covers the whole life and relationships of the Christian, and 1 Corinthians 13. maps out and distinguishes them.
1. The sphere of a brother's opinions.
2. The sphere of a brother's failings.
3. The sphere of a brother's sorrows.
4. The sphere of a brother's sins.
II. Because OF THE DIFFICULTY WITH WHICH IT IS ATTAINED. Difficulty is often the test of value. Gold is valued because of the cost and toil of procuring it. Charity is difficult mainly through the separatings of sin. Sin broke up the fellowship of the human family, and filled the world with opposing interests. Charity is to heal these great wounds, temper the opposing relations, and on its own substantial basis to make the human family one again. And, as charity is God's own nature, we have first to be reconciled to, and come into sympathy with Him.
III. Because IV NEVER FAILETH. The summer flowers which blossom in beauty fade and fail. Charity is no summer flower born of earth, sunshine, and showers. It is a heaven-born plant; its flowers never fail; it is like the tree of life.
(R. Tuck, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.