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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 1 Corinthians 13:13


    CHAPTERS: 1 Corinthians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16     
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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    King James Bible - 1 Corinthians 13:13

    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    World English Bible

    But now faith, hope, and love remain--these
    three. The greatest of these is love.

    Douay-Rheims - 1 Corinthians 13:13

    And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these
    three: but the greatest of these is charity.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these
    three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    νυνι
    3570 ADV δε 1161 CONJ μενει 3306 5719 V-PAI-3S πιστις 4102 N-NSF ελπις 1680 N-NSF αγαπη 26 N-NSF τα 3588 T-NPN τρια 5140 A-NPN ταυτα 5023 D-NPN μειζων 3187 A-NSF-C δε 1161 CONJ τουτων 5130 D-GPF η 3588 T-NSF αγαπη 26 N-NSF

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (13) -
    1Co 3:14 1Pe 1:21 1Jo 2:14,24; 3:9

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 13:13

    Mas ahora permanece la fe, la esperanza, y la caridad, estas tres cosas; pero la mayor de ellas es la caridad.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:13

    Verse 13. And now [in this present
    life] abideth faith, hope, charity] These three supply the place of that direct vision which no human embodied spirit can have; these abide or remain for the present state.

    Faith, by which we apprehend spiritual blessings, and walk with God.

    Hope, by which we view and expect eternal blessedness, and pass through things temporal so as not to lose those which are eternal. Charity or love, by which we show forth the virtues of the grace which we receive by faith in living a life of obedience to God, and of good will and usefulness to man.

    But the greatest of these is charity.] Without faith it is impossible to please God; and without it, we can not partake of the grace of our Lord Jesus: without hope we could not endure, as seeing him who is invisible; nor have any adequate notion of the eternal world; nor bear up under the afflictions and difficulties of life: but great and useful and indispensably necessary as these are, yet charity or love is greater: LOVE is the fulfilling of the law; but this is never said of faith or hope.

    IT may be necessary to enter more particularly into a consideration of the conclusion of this very important chapter.

    1. Love is properly the image of God in the soul; for God is LOVE. By faith we receive from our Maker; by hope we expect a future and eternal good; but by love we resemble God; and by it alone are we qualified to enjoy heaven, and be one with him throughout eternity. Faith, says one, is the foundation of the Christian life, and of good works; hope rears the superstructure; but love finishes, completes, and crowns it in a blessed eternity. Faith and hope respect ourselves alone; love takes in both GOD and MAN. Faith helps, and hope sustains us; but love to God and man makes us obedient and useful. This one consideration is sufficient to show that love is greater than either faith or hope.

    2. Some say love is the greatest because it remains throughout eternity, whereas faith and hope proceed only through life; hence we say that there faith is lost in sight, and hope in fruition. But does the apostle say so? Or does any man inspired by God say so? I believe not. Faith and hope will as necessarily enter into eternal glory as love will. The perfections of God are absolute in their nature, infinite in number, and eternal in their duration.

    However high, glorious, or sublime the soul may be in that eternal state, it will ever, in respect to God, be limited in its powers, and must be improved and expanded by the communications of the supreme Being.

    Hence it will have infinite glories in the nature of God to apprehend by faith, to anticipate by hope, and enjoy by love.

    3. From the nature of the Divine perfections there must be infinite glories in them which must be objects of faith to disembodied spirits; because it is impossible that they should be experimentally or possessively known by any creature. Even in the heaven of heavens we shall, in reference to the infinite and eternal excellences of God, walk by faith, and not by sight. We shall credit the existence of infinite and illimitable glories in him, which, from their absolute and infinite nature, must be incommunicable. And as the very nature of the soul shows it to be capable of eternal growth and improvement; so the communications from the Deity, which are to produce this growth, and effect this improvement, must be objects of faith to the pure spirit; and, if objects of faith, consequently objects of hope; for as hope is "the expectation of future good," it is inseparable from the nature of the soul, to know of the existence of any attainable good without making it immediately the object of desire or hope. And is it not this that shall constitute the eternal and progressive happiness of the immortal spirit; viz. knowing, from what it has received, that there is infinitely more to be received; and desiring to be put in possession of every communicable good which it knows to exist? 4. As faith goes forward to view, so hope goes forward to desire; and God continues to communicate, every communication making way for another, by preparing the soul for greater enjoyment, and this enjoyment must produce love. To say that the soul can have neither faith nor hope in a future state is to say that, as soon as it enters heaven, it is as happy as it can possibly be; and this goes to exclude all growth in the eternal state, and all progressive manifestations and communications of God; and consequently to fix a spirit, which is a composition of infinite desires, in a state of eternal sameness, in which it must be greatly changed in its constitution to find endless gratification.

    5. To sum up the reasoning on this subject I think it necessary to observe, 1. That the term faith is here to be taken in the general sense of the word, for that belief which a soul has of the infinite sufficiency and goodness of God, in consequence of the discoveries he has made of himself and his designs, either by revelation, or immediately by his Spirit. Now we know that God has revealed himself not only in reference to this world, but in reference to eternity; and much of our faith is employed in things pertaining to the eternal world, and the enjoyments in that state. That hope is to be taken in its common acceptation, the expectation of future good; which expectation is necessarily founded on faith, as faith is founded on knowledge. God gives a revelation which concerns both worlds, containing exceeding great and precious promises relative to both. We believe what he has said on his own veracity; and we hope to enjoy the promised blessings in both worlds, because he is faithful who has promised. As the promises stand in reference to both worlds, so also must the faith and hope to which these promises stand as objects. The enjoyments in the eternal world are all spiritual, and must proceed immediately from God himself. 5. God, in the plenitude of his excellences, is as incomprehensible to a glorified spirit, as he is to a spirit resident in flesh and blood. 6. Every created, intellectual nature is capable of eternal improvement. 7. If seeing God as he is be essential to the eternal happiness of beatified spirits, then the discoveries which he makes of himself must be gradual; forasmuch as it is impossible that an infinite, eternal nature can be manifested to a created and limited nature in any other way. 8. As the perfections of God are infinite, they are capable of being eternally manifested, and, after all manifestations, there must be an infinitude of perfections still to be brought to view. 9. As every soul that has any just notion of God must know that he is possessed of all possible perfections, so these perfections, being objects of knowledge, must be objects of faith. 10. Every holy spirit feels itself possessed of unlimited desires for the enjoyment of spiritual good, and faith in the infinite goodness of God necessarily implies that he will satisfy every desire he has excited. 11. The power to gratify, in the Divine Being, and the capacity to be gratified, in the immortal spirit, will necessarily excite continual desires, which desires, on the evidence of faith, will as necessarily produce hope, which is the expectation of future good. 12. All possible perfections in God are the objects of faith; and the communication of all possible blessedness, the object of hope. 13. Faith goes forward to apprehend, and hope to anticipate, as God continues to discover his unbounded glories and perfections. 14. Thus discovered and desired, their influences become communicated, love possesses them, and is excited and increased by the communication. 15. With respect to those which are communicated, faith and hope cease, and go forward to new apprehensions and anticipations, while love continues to retain and enjoy the whole. 16. Thus an eternal interest is kept up, and infinite blessings, in endless succession, apprehended, anticipated and enjoyed.

    6. My opinion that faith and hope, as well as love, will continue in a future state, will no doubt appear singular to many who have generally considered the two former as necessarily terminating in this lower world; but this arises from an improper notion of the beatified state, and from inattention to the state and capacity of the soul. If it have the same faculties there which it has here, howsoever improved they may be, it must acquire its happiness from the supreme Being in the way of communication, and this communication must necessarily be gradual for the reasons already alleged; and if gradual, then there must be (if in that state we have any knowledge at all of the Divine nature) faith that such things exist, and may be communicated; desire to possess them because they are good; and hope that these good things shall be communicated.

    7. I conclude, therefore, from these and a multitude of other reasonings which might be brought to bear on this subject, that faith and hope will exist in the eternal world as well as love; and that there, as well as here, it may endlessly be said, the greatest of these is love. With great propriety therefore does the apostle exhort, Follow after love, it being so essential to our comfort and happiness here, and to our beatification in the eternal world; and how necessary faith and hope are to the same end we have already seen.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three , etc.] Which are the principal graces of the Spirit of God: faith is to be understood, not of a faith of miracles, for that does not abide; nor of an historical one, or mere assent to truth; persons may have this faith, and believe but for a while; but of that faith, which is peculiar to Gods elect; is a fruit and effect of electing grace, and for that reason abides; is the gift of God, and one of those which are without repentance; is the work of God, and the operation of his Spirit, and therefore will be performed with power; it is the grace by which a soul sees Christ, goes unto him, lays hold on him, receives him, relies on him, and lives upon him: hope is also a gift of Gods grace, implanted in regeneration; has God and Christ, and not any worldly thing, or outward performance, for its object, ground, and foundation, to build upon; it is of things unseen, future, difficult, yet possible to be enjoyed; it is supported by the love of God, is encouraged by promises, and is sure, being fixed on Christ and his righteousness; it is that grace by which saints wait for things promised, and rejoice in the believing views of glory and happiness: charity designs love to God, Christ, and the saints, as has been explained, and a large account is given of it in this chapter: these are the three chief and leading graces in Gods people, and they abide and continue with them; they may fail sometimes, as to their lively exercise, but never as to their being and principle; faith may droop and hang its wing, hope may not be lively, and love may wax cold, but neither of them can be lost; Christ prays that faith fail not, hope on him is an anchor sure and steadfast, and nothing can separate from the love of Christ; as not from the love of Christ to his people, so not from theirs to him: these graces abide now, during the present life: he that has true faith in Christ, shall die in it; and he that has a good hope through grace, shall have it in his death; and love will outlive death, and be in its height and glory in the other world: for which reason it is added, but the greatest of these is charity ; and is said to be so, not that it is on every account the greatest; faith in many things exceeds that, as what is ascribed to it in Scripture shows; but because of the peculiar properties and effects of it before mentioned, it including faith and hope, as in ( Corinthians 13:7) and besides many other things, and because, without this, faith and hope are nothing: and besides, its usefulness is more extensive than either of the other two; a mans faith is only for himself; a just man lives by his own faith, and not anothers; one mans faith will be of no service to another, and the same is true of hope; but by love saints serve one another, both in things temporal and spiritual, and chiefly it is said to be the greatest, because most durable; in the other world, faith will be changed for vision, and hope for enjoyment, but love will abide, and be in its full perfection and constant exercise, to all eternity. The Jews say much the same of humility the apostle does here of charity; wisdom, fear, humility, they are alike, lwkm hlwdg hwn[ a , but humility is greater than them all.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 8-13 -
    Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthian prided themselves. From its longer continuance. It is a grace, lastin as eternity. The present state is a state of childhood, the future tha of manhood. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused notions of things, have children when compared with grown men! Thus shall we think of our most valued gift of this world, when we come to heaven. All things are dark and confuse now, compared with what they will be hereafter. They can only be see as by the reflection in a mirror, or in the description of a riddle but hereafter our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error It is the light of heaven only, that will remove all clouds an darkness that hide the face of God from us. To sum up the excellence of charity, it is preferred not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope. Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assent thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on futur happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowe up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believ and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, 1Jo 4:8, 16. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected __________________________________________________________________


    Greek Textus Receptus


    νυνι
    3570 ADV δε 1161 CONJ μενει 3306 5719 V-PAI-3S πιστις 4102 N-NSF ελπις 1680 N-NSF αγαπη 26 N-NSF τα 3588 T-NPN τρια 5140 A-NPN ταυτα 5023 D-NPN μειζων 3187 A-NSF-C δε 1161 CONJ τουτων 5130 D-GPF η 3588 T-NSF αγαπη 26 N-NSF

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    13. And now (nuni de). Rev., but; better than and, bringing out the contrast with the transient
    gifts. Now is logical and not temporal. Thus, as it is.

    Abideth. Not merely in this life. The essential permanence of the three graces is asserted. In their nature they are eternal.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    13:13 {Abideth} (menei). Singular, agreeing in number with pistis (faith), first in list. {The greatest of these} (meizwn toutwn). Predicative adjective and so no article. The form of meizwn is comparative, but it is used as superlative, for the superlative form megistos had become rare in the _Koin_ (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 667ff.). See this idiom in #Mt 11:11; 18:1; 23:11. The other gifts pass away, but these abide forever. Love is necessary for both faith and hope. Does not love keep on growing? It is quite worth while to call attention to Henry Drummond's famous sermon _The Greatest Thing in the World_ and to Dr. J.D. Jones's able book _The Greatest of These_. Greatest, Dr. Jones holds, because love is an attribute of God.


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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