1 Corinthians 13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Great Love Chapter

1 Corinthians 13

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Love is more important than having spiritual gifts.
  2. Love is more important than doing Christian service.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s put away our childish things.


  1. How does this chapter fit into the subject of spiritual gifts?
  2. How was the Corinthian church like a dysfunctional body?
  3. Discuss the various views of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, specifically addressing the meaning of verse 10.
  4. What is agape love?


  1. Love is essential for the proper use of spiritual gifts
  2. There was jealousy of one another’s gift, pride and self-display, the wrong emphasis on certain spiritual gifts, and a despising of the less dramatic gifts.
  3. a. The more traditional view says this refers to the eternal state. At that time there will be no more need for spiritual gifts, and they will cease. Love will continue, because love is eternal. b. In the other view, the need for the special gifts Paul mentions, prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, would cease when the New Testament was complete. These gifts would not be needed then because the full revelation of God in Scripture would be complete.
  4. This Greek word for love means “a determined denial of self in the interest of others.” Agape love is more of an act of the will than of the emotions. It is the kind of love that God has shown us (1 John 4:10). Agape love is the kind of love that we are to show others.


  1. Discuss: Love is more important than having a spiritual gift.
  2. Agape love is defined by what it does and doesn’t do. Read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 slowly and examine your heart in reference to your relationship with your spouse, your family, and your fellow believers.


  1. Where are you in your growth as a Christian? Put away the childish things and be a mature believer who shows agape love.

Key Verses

  • “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 x
  • “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20

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