|1 Corinthians 13 |
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and do not have love, I have become like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, and do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and do not have love, it profits me nothing.1
5 Does not behave itself unseemly, is not self-seeking, is not angry,2 keeps no record of wrongs; [love is not self-seeking, does not insist on its own way, nor seek its own pleasure, nor is love possessive; but instead defers to others as long as what they prefer is not immoral, dangerous, or of major consequence.],
6 Does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth;
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are tongues, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall vanish away.3
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then what is only partial shall be abolished. [that which is perfect, is the appearance of Jesus Christ, resurrected in a man; the man becoming a totally new creature, walking in the newness of life — the life of God, in his light, through his eyes.]
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I understood like a child, I thought like a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. [At first, we can only catch a tiny glimpse of Christ, but when he comes, we will know him face to face in ever increasing glory; then I will know him, even as he knows me.]
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
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1 though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and do not have love, it profits me nothing. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision benefits anything except faith, which is energized and demonstrated by works [thus operating] through love. Gal 5:6.
Does this mean that anything you do until you hear God order you to do something is wasted, counts for nothing? Almost! This was John the Baptist's simple message of beginning repentance:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life.
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14
A Warning from the word of the Lord within! "You must distribute liberally." To advance spiritually, you must open up your heart to those without food and clothing — the necessities of life.
This does not mean you give to those who choose to do no work and beg instead. Let those who will (choose to) not work, not eat. 2 The 3:10
Your first works of love for God are to wait on Him and obey His commands that you hear Him speak to you; these first works are works of repentance: repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20.
After you are purified and under complete control of God's direction and prompting, you are guided to works of faith energized by love; works which show the love of God to man and which bring glory to Jesus and the Father. God's grace and salvation are provided to create a people dedicated to good works:
That you might walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing in all things, being fruitful in every good work. Col 1:10
Again Paul said, "The purpose of grace.. to purify a peculiar people zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14
Paul states God's purpose in salvation: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Eph 2:10
Now the God of peace... Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ. Heb 13:20-21
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mat 5:16.
2 Does not behave itself unseemly, is not self-seeking, is not angry, .. This verse is universally mistranslated to read: "is not easily angered;" yet there is not a single mention of "easily" in the original Greek. It is mistranslated because the translators are all unregenerated men, schooled in the doctrines of Babylon, which doesn't even realize or teach that anger is wrong; all anger is wrong. From the Word of the Lord within: "Do not be misled; anger must be eliminated to enter the kingdom." See the Footnote to Mat 5:21-22 for more detail.]
3 Paul's definition of love is one of the most beautiful passages in the entire Bible, as well as one of the most instructive. Without diminishing Paul's wonderful words, I add one small other definition of love that comes from Eastern religion: "love is giving with no expectation of return."
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