1 Corinthians 13; One of the Most Beautiful and Most Misunderstood Scriptures


1. “If I speak in the tongues of men of of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. 2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

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4. “Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, 6. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. 7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”




8. “Love never fails, but where there are prophecies, they will cease, where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now, I know in part; then I shall know fully even a I am known.

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13. “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

Thought Questions

1. Who wrote it? Why was 1 Corinthians written? (hint: Look in chapter one.)
2. What does the last verse of 1 Corinthians 12 say? What is this way “more excellent than?” (read the end of 1 Corinthians 12. What is it talking about? Why is Paul trying to sort these gifts out? Look at 1 Corinthians 1.)
3. In the old world, what was the word for language?
4. Who speaks the language of angels? Do you know what hyperbole is?
5. What happens if we have excellent language skills and speak lots of languages, but we say bad things to people in those languages?
6. What happens if we know everything, but treat people badly?
7. What happens if we have a faith that enables us to do anything, but treat people badly?
8. What happens if we give everything we have to the poor, but treat people badly?
9. What happens if we let people burn our bodies, but are bad to people?
10. What kind of personality traits do we possess if we treat people with love? (hint: verses 4-7)
11. What kind of love is this? Greek has several words for love, but English only has one, but we know there are different kinds of love. Is it romantic? Can love be a decision or is it merely an emotion, or is it perhaps both?

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12. If a mother loves a child, does she want the child hurt? If a husband loves a wife, does he want his wife hurt? If a friend loves another friend, do they want to see them hurt?
13. What is going to stop in verse 8? When was this written? (hint: 57 A. D.) What verb tense are they using about something stopping? Has it stopped? When will it stop?
14. What is perfect? Can we be perfect? Is God perfect? Is Christ perfect? Is the word of God perfect? Does it say “that” or “who”?  Is this symbolic or literal?
15. What are childish ways? How do children talk and think? How much do children really understand?
16. Do adults think and talk like children? Why?
17. What could they see poorly, like a reflection, when this was written? What can we see poorly, like a reflection? When was the Bible completed? When will we be mature? What will we see when we are mature? What will we see when the Bible is completed? Is the Bible completed? (hint; read the last verses of the Bible and Galatians 1: 6-10).
18. When we stop worrying about “speaking in tongues, miraculous prophecies, miraculous knowledge,” and who has what gift, what is left?
19. What is the greatest gift?
20. How do you love? ( hint: verses 4-7)
21. Why did Paul feel the need to write this chapter? Was he just writing poetry or did he have a point to make to the people in Corinth? (hint: chapter 1 and chapter 12:25-27).

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