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First Corinthians 13--Love endures all things

Aug 03, 2017

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:7 that love “endures all things.” How does this differ from Paul’s earlier statements that “love is patient” and love “bears all things”?

In our earlier study, I showed that patience points to the idea of faithfulness, that is, how to live a life of faith. Today when people say, “I live by faith,” they often mean that they do not have a full-time job, but are doing some type of ministry work that requires support from others. However, everyone ought to live by faith, that is, by a life of faithfulness.

Being faithful is about a continuous attitude of trust that whatever happens to us, good or bad, nothing escapes God’s notice, and that all things are part of His plan to mature us and instill in us the character of Christ. We do not necessarily need to accept bad things, however, because often God sends (or allows) bad things into our lives so that we have something to overcome.

When Paul says that love “bears all things,” using the word stego, he was showing us another aspect of love. Stego is a covering (as in a roof), so it refers to love’s desire to protect others from needless harm. Love is even willing, when appropriate, to endure injustice.

Finally, Paul says that love “endures all things,” using the Greek word hupomeno. Hupo means “under,” and meno means “to remain, to abide, dwell, to stay.” For example, Jesus told His disciples to “abide in Me” (John 15:4). Like patience, to abide is a time word denoting (in this case) a permanent fixture. To abide in Christ is to make Him your house, having no intention of moving to another location.

To endure all things, then, the word hupomeno means to remain or stand firm under the pressure of circumstances. If we truly love Christ, nothing will move us. We are immovable, because nothing is more important to us than abiding in Him. Likewise, if the love of God is in us, we will endure all things (panta). In other words, no opposition or attack can shake us or move us from our position in Christ as we abide in Him and live a life of faith and trust.

Whatever opposition or difficulty we encounter is viewed not merely as an attack of the devil, but as a divinely appointed opportunity to overcome, to learn, and to be strengthened in our position in Christ. Romans 8:28 becomes a prominent motto in life, for “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.”

This is part 85 of a series titled "Studies in First Corinthians." To view all parts, click the link below.

Studies in First Corinthians

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Category: Teachings
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones