Saturday, May 5, 2012

1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Paul’s Expression of Love

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t zealous, love doesn’t brag, it isn’t conceited, 5 it doesn’t act indecently, it doesn’t seek the things of itself, it isn’t provoked, it doesn’t keep count of wrongs, 6 it doesn’t rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices together with truth.  7 It covers all things, it has faith in all things, it hopes in all things, it endures all things.
Paul expresses what love is and what love is not in verbs.  It is the limitations of the English language that puts Paul’s Greek verbs as adjectives for “patience” and “kindness”.  In Greek, this whole passage is expressed in verbs, which is action!  How one expresses love is in one’s actions.  On the other hand, how one doesn’t express love is also in one’s actions.  It is not enough just to say “I love”.  We must express it in our actions to each other.
This passage builds on a common theme throughout Pauline letters.  That theme is to put other peoples’ interests above our own interests.  We are to follow Paul’s example of Jesus in Philippians 2:1-11.

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