1 Cor.13:8-11 – Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.
This is one of those misunderstood passages that has effected much of the church for many, many years. Paul is describing the motivation of the gifts of the Spirit as being the love of God. He says that one day all of the imperfections of this life will be swallowed up by the perfection of heaven. Love will continue because God is love and is eternal. The gifts will be no longer necessary because all of our imperfections will be put off in heaven. The gifts of the Spirit will continue as long as suffering is present on the earth. God’s love pours into us as we drink of His Spirit and flows out of us in ministry. Here are some thoughts on God’s love from the Passion Notes.
“Faith and hope both spring from love, which makes love the greatest virtue of all. Faith and hope are temporary, but love is eternal. Paul gives us ten characteristics of divine love in this chapter. Love (1) is patient under stress, (2) is kind at all times, (3) is generous, not envious, (4) is humble, not self-promoting, (5) is never rude, (6) does not manipulate by using shame, (7) is not irritable or easily offended, (8) celebrates honesty, (9) does not focus on what is flawed, and (10) is loyal to the end.”
Faith and hope both spring from God’s love. Tasting God’s love gives us an assurance (faith) that the Lord will meet us. This assurance is the hope that keeps us pressing forward in difficult times. Faith, hope, and the gifts of the Spirit will no longer be necessary when we are in God’s kingdom for eternity. These things are necessary in an imperfect world. When perfection comes we will no longer need to speak in tongues, prophesy, or pray for the sick. There will be no more tears or sickness when Jesus comes for His bride.