1 Corinthians 13:8-10
Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease…
I. AS AN EVIDENCE OF PARDON (Luke 7:47). The woman who was a sinner loved much because she had much forgiven. To whom little is forgiven the same loveth little.
II. AS AN ELEMENT OF ACCEPTABLE OBEDIENCE (ver. 3). The acts of the unconverted are not considered by God. There is but meagre satisfaction in this passage for the moralist. Without love to Jesus our best deeds do not avail before God (Matthew 25:40). Doing for the brethren is doing for Jesus. An act of kindness or deed of love done for a child, far away from home and in need of sympathy and care, is regarded by the parent as a favour done to him. The mother is better pleased than if the deed of love had been done unto her.
III. AS AN ELEMENT OF ACCEPTABLE SERVICE (Revelation 2:4, 5). The Church at Ephesus had left her first love; therefore the service she rendered was not pleasing to God. She must do her first works, which were seasoned with love, and cease to perform her duties mechanically in order that her efforts might be acceptable to God (vers. 1, 2). Love is also the power-element of service.
IV. AS A SIN RESISTING POWER (John 14:15). Love to Jesus produces righteousness. It enables us to keep the commandments, and is therefore a sin-resisting power (John 14:21).
V. AS AN AGGRESSIVE POWER (2 Corinthians 5:14). The constraining love of Jesus made Paul the aggressive man he was.
VI. AS A SUSTAINING POWER (John 21:17). Peter repented, because he had in him the germ of true love for Jesus, and was sustained. Judas repented from remorse, and ultimately destroyed himself. Love to Jesus sustained , , Latimer, Ridley, the martyrs, and the persecuted in all ages.
VII. IN PRODUCING CONFESSION (John 12:42, 43). When men love position and power and the praise of men more than Christ they will not confess Him. When men love Jesus supremely they are swift to confess Him as Lord and Saviour (Romans 10:10).
VIII. AS A PREPARATION FOR HEAVEN (1 Corinthians 16:22). Without love to Christ no one is meet for heaven, but is devoted to destruction. The wrath of God abideth on him.
Parallel VersesKJV: Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.