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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

I Love Jesus and 1 Corinthians 13! Part 3

I am starting on my third part of my discussion of 1 Corinthians chapter 13. In two previous blogs, I looked at verses 1-3 and then 4-7; today, we’ll look at verses 8-12, and then we’ll focus on verse 13 on February 13.

Here are verses 8-12 from 1 Corinthians 13: “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 completeness comes, what is in part 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 the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

In part 2, we looked at the verses that spelled out what love is, what love is not, what love does, and what love does not do. This section of verses gives an absolute about love; it says, “Love never fails.” NEVER–it never fails, not once. That’s amazing! Now that’s the easiest part of verses 8-12 as it’s straightforward and simple. What about the rest of the verses?

Verses 8-13 talk about change; they talk about how things are or how things were, and how they WILL be. Let’s look at it in a table format:

How things are/were

How things will be

There are prophecies

Prophecies will cease

There are tongues

Tongues will be stilled

There is knowledge

Knowledge will pass away

Know and prophesy in part

What is in part disappears (when completeness comes)

Talked, thought, reasoned as a child

Became a man (put childish ways behind)

See reflection as in a mirror

Will see face to face

Know in part

Know fully

Now, I am not a Bible scholar, so I’m not going to try to pretend that I know exactly what Paul was referring to here. There are different views about what Paul was referring to, specifically what he means when he talks about “when completeness comes.” I do know that all of these things that he mentions on the left side of the table he says will end or will change. Some of these changes seem like they aren’t positive changes. However, there do seem to be some positive changes, like childish ways are left behind, poor reflections will become more clear, and knowing in part will become knowing fully. Might all of this happen when Christ returns? 

All of this being said, there is only ONE thing mentioned in verses 8-12 that will never fail, and that is LOVE. If LOVE never fails, that means that it will always win; it will always overcome; it will always come out on top! That’s a promise I can understand! 

The verses here remind me of the verse that we use as our foundational verse for Unfinished Women, and that is Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” God is working on me, and He isn’t giving up on me. He is changing me, and He knows I won’t be complete until Jesus returns. Now, what I need to do is to strive to LOVE my God and LOVE others until Jesus returns; those are God’s two greatest commandments. When I look at 1 Corinthians 13, it is showing me what that LOVE looks like. 

Thank you, friends, for reading, 



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