By now, you have probably figured out why my blogs are not coming as quickly this week. We had a plan for me not to miss a beat with my blog. However, installation and repairmen don’t always understand how much they influence the lives of those people they are called to install things for or repair things for. Therefore, we don’t have the internet in our house as we planned, and we are looking for alternative sources of internet this week. They tell us we will have internet next week. I hope that it actually happens this time. They have messed up my daughter’s university because she studies online, and they got her so far behind she is dropping a class. However, she will continue trying to get her degree, and I will continue blogging.
We have talked about the grammar of almost the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. We only have the last verse left. The Apostle Paul was one smart, wise man because he wrote this chapter trying to deal with people who didn’t know how to get along with one another. If we ever have trouble getting along with someone, we really need to keep this chapter in mind. He tells them that love is a better way, and that love is kind, has patience, isn’t selfish, etc. The people 1 Corinthians were arguing about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. The Apostle Paul tries to tell them to grow up and stop looking for miraculous spiritual gifts. He uses such beautiful poetic language that many people miss the meaning. He tells them there will be no more miraculous knowledge, languages, or prophecies. He brings them to the end of the chapter telling them the spiritual gifts that they have, and we have access to also if we want. This is where we are, at the very last verse of the chapter, verse 13 of 1 Corinthians 13.
Verse 13: Y ahora permanence la fe, la esperanza y el amor, estos tres: pero el mayor de ellos es el amor.
Y ahora permanecen – “And now they stay.” “Y,” you should know by now is “and.” “Ahora” means “now.” “Now” means these are the spiritual gifts the people in 1 Corinthians and that we also have because he said about the miraculous languages, miraculous knowledge, and the miraculous prophecies” “acabaran” (the will stop). It is the change taking place, and now it has taken place. “Permanecen” comes from “permanecer” which means “to stay.” “Permanecen” is third person plural simple present tense. This means that “they” or “ellos” is embedded into “permanecen.” It also means that this happens everyday.
la fe, la esperanza, y el amor, estos tres – “faith, hope, and love, these three.” All three of these have either “la” or “el” in front of them. “La” or “el” both mean “the.” “La” is feminine, and “el” is masculine. Any time we use “the” (or “la” or “el”) it can mean there is only one, or that it is a particular one . Could it mean that the translator is referring back to chapter 12 again and calling these three: “faith, hope, and love” miraculous too? He means these are gifts of the Holy Spirit. If we look at Galatians 5:22 & 23, faith and love are both fruits of the Holy Spirit. That means that if we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, people can see these things in our lives. The gifts of the Holy Spirit the Apostle Paul is referring to here are “faith, hope, and love.” If we read Acts 2:38, we learn how to get this gift which is the Holy Spirit. It says, “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sings, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”” When we change who we are through repentance, when we go the other direction, and try to be good instead of not caring or trying to be bad, then we will learn how to love God and one another, to have hope in God and hope in one another, and to have faith in God and in others. We have to have the bad things we have done, the sins, taken away and become someone new. That is why our sins are washed in baptism. When we repent, we begin trying to do the right thing, and it causes us to treat people much better than we treated them in the past.
We actually wonder why these people in 1 Corinthians, if they were already Christians because they were part of the church of Corinth which is who this letter is addressed to, why they were fighting and didn’t already have faith, hope, and love. If we look in 1 John the first chapter, it tells us that repentance seems to be an ongoing process. “If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” “Si andamos en luz, como ‘el esta’ en luz, temenos comunion unos con otros, y la sangre de Jesuscristo su hijo nos limpia de todos pecados.” It is a conditional clause with “if” in English and “si” in Spanish. These people in 1 Corinthians were messing up. They were not “walking in the light” (andando en la el luz). The Apostle Paul was helping them get back on track. He was teaching them that loving one another is much more important than any miracles they thought they could do, and that God was actually only supplying faith, hope, and love. If we mess up, God forgives us, and we can get back on track after we have initially repented and been baptized. We can meet the conditions of that “if” or “si,” and so can these people in 1 Corinthains.
pero el mayor de ellos es el amor – “but the best of them is love.” “Pero” is always “but.” “El mayor” means “the best.” Just like in English, we need that “the,” Spanish also need “el.” “The” or “el” says there is only one. “De” means “of.” It could mean “from,” but not here. “Ellos” means “them” referring to “el fe, la esperanza, y el amor” (faith, hope, and love.) “Es” is third person singular present tense of the verb “ser,” (to be) the Spanish state of being verb that identifies things. “Es” is similar to “is,” but it doesn’t have quite as large of a meaning as our “is,” so remember not to use it every time you want to say “is.” Only use “es” if you want to identify something or describe its qualities like giving it an adjective. If you want to talk about location or how someone is, use “estar.” When you use “es,” if what is after “es” is a noun, it is called a predicate nominative. At times, which is after it can be an adjective, but in this case it is a predicate nominative. This means “el mayor de ellos” = amor (“the best of them= love).
Putting it all together: “And now they stay, faith, hope, and love, these three: but the best of these is love.”
Now, we are finally at the end of the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I wonder if it was what everyone thought it was. It has a lot more than “love” in it even though it is called the love chapter. We learned how important love is, how to love, about what God thinks about people who look for miracles, and which spiritual gift is the most important: love. We also talked about a lot of Spanish grammar. Since we like to talk about language on my blog, in my next blog using Spanish grammar, I will begin in 1 Corinthians 14 because there is a lot about speaking in foreign languages there.