Paul writes to a church of God in Corinth to address and correct three main issues: immorality, divisions among the members of the church and to respond to a letter written to him earlier by a delegation of believers. Due to the many divisions in the newly established Church Paul felt the need to speak about love in 1st Corinthians 13 as discussed:
In this chapter Paul writes about love: the definition of love, its importance, value, permanency and its nature (willimington,2004).
Paul defines love as patient, kind, endless, suffers long, rejoices in the truth, bears all things, endures and hopes all things. Paul goes ahead to say that love is not jealous or boastful. It is not resentful and irritable neither is it rude nor does it rejoice at wrong but in the right.
The importance of love
In this chapter Paul regards the importance of love in three dimensions: in view of speaking in tongues, gifts of prophecy and personal sacrifice.
- In regard to Speaking in tongues- speaking in tongues was a gift highly regarded by both Gentiles and Jews in the early Church. However, Paul equates a person who speaks in tongues but lacks love to a noisy gong.
- In regard to Gifts of prophecy and faith- love surpasses the gift of prophecy and that of faith. In this regard a person with love is greater than the one with these gifts.
- In regard to personal sacrifice Paul terms personal sacrifice as nothing without love.
- The permanency of love
Paul closes this chapter with the permanency of love. He says that love has a permanent nature because unlike prophesies, knowledge and tongues will cease but love never ends.
Chattanooga, Tenn. The Preacher's outline & sermon Bible: New Testament, King James Version.. Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide, 2010. Print.