Charity Never Fails - Bible Study on Divine Love
1 Corinthians 13 - A Bible Study "Divine Love (Agape) Never Fails!"
This lens is a short devotional Bible study of part of Paul's message on love found in 1st Corinthians 13. This Bible passage speaks of the unfailing love of God, when everything around us appears incomplete. I prepared this short message for delivery to my home church on Valentine's Sunday this year. I am also including many other resources for those who wish to continue a study on Divine Charity. I hope you enjoy this brief study!
1 Corinthians 13 from the E.S.V. Bible
(1) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
(2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
(3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(4) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
(5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
(6) it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
(7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(8) Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
(9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
(10) but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
(11) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
(12) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
(13) So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Charity Never Faileth - Divine Love Never Fails
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophesies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (1 Corinthians 13:8-9 KJV Bible)
"Charity never faileth," The love of God toward us and the resulting love we have toward him and toward others never fails. It always passes the test and completes its purpose.
These verses tell us that "prophesies shall fail, tongues shall cease, and knowledge shall vanish away." Paul is not saying that prophesies, tongues, and knowledge are not good or important; other scriptures stress their importance to God and to us. He does tell us that they can fail, that at times they don't make the grade. Why? Verse 9 tells us that "we know in part and we prophesy in part." Prophesies, tongues or languages, and knowledge are not whole or complete if they are not covered by God's love. Let's look at these three for just a moment and see where they fail to measure up.
Prophesy, the telling of God's Word, - the good news of Jesus Christ is essential for anyone to hear and receive salvation. But sometimes it fails because it falls on deaf ears. Love must first pave the way. Recently, I heard a pastor tell that several years ago, before he was saved, he and a neighbor had become enemies. When this pastor accepted the Lord, he began to pray for his friend, and to try to tell him about Jesus. The neighbor replied, "Don't preach to me. I don't like you and I never will. I don't care if you did get religion." The pastor said that he continued to pray for his neighbor, and that he asked his wife whenever she baked a cake or a pie to bake an extra one which he would take to the neighbor and tell him, "Jesus loves you and I do too." The neighbor would reply, "Leave me alone. I don't like you and I never will." This went on for some time. But one day, the pastor heard a knock at his door and it was his neighbor saying, "Tell me about Jesus. Tell me how to be saved." That man is now a pastor. Love had paved the way and made prophesy perfect or complete.
Language sometimes fails us. There are times when there are just no words for what we wish to express. Most of us have been at the coffin of a loved one and friends have come by with words of comfort. Sometimes we hear them and sometimes they are just sounds. But I don't think any of us can forget the times when these friends have no words, when they just put their arms around us and maybe cry with us; when they just love us. At those times the language of love speaks louder than any words ever could.
Knowledge explodes today. There is no way that we can know everything there is to know or even everything in one subject. The more I learn the more I realize how much more there is to learn. Think about the times that you have faced a problem and you could find no way out. You didn't know what to do or which way to turn. Then you feel God's presence and you rest assured in His love, knowing that that God loves you and wants only the best for you. You still may not know the way out, but you know that God's love will see you through.
Prophesy is in part, language is in part, and knowledge is in part, but LOVE is complete because God is Love. And GOD NEVER FAILS!
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