Verse 8 points out that Love NEVER fails. Love is the only thing that will last in the end everything that seems important to us, like eloquent speech, different languages, and all of our arts and sciences will disappear. Adam Clarke says, “Love to God and man can never be dispensed with. It is essential to social and religious life; without it, no communion can be kept up with God; nor can any man have a preparation for eternal glory whose heart and soul are not deeply imbued with it. Without it there never was true religion, nor ever can be; and it not only is necessary through life, but will exist throughout eternity.”
Think about what this world would be like without love for others and love for God? We would have a pretty rotten mess. Without love, we would have a state of anarchy. Each person would be doing what was right in their eyes. Without love, we would not be able to communicate with our perfect God. However, God’s love for us makes that possible. His love is like a father’s love for his children. I John 3:1a says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” Without God’s love in our hearts, we will not be able to get to heaven.
There are many passages that say all you have to do is love the Lord and keep his commandments. Matthew 22:36-38 says, “‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. With this love, it will continue through eternity.
Verse 9-11 says, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 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 childish ways behind me.”
Adam Clarke says of verse 9, “We have here but little knowledge even of earthly, and much less of heavenly, things. He that knows most knows little in comparison of what is known by angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. And as we know so very little, how deficient must we be if we have not much love!”
When perfection comes we will be made perfect. In heaven, we will be perfect and have a perfect love. There will be no sorrow or pain there. There will be no anger or wrongdoing.
Of verse 11 Adam Clarke says, “This future state of blessedness is as far beyond the utmost perfection that can be attained in this world, as our adult state of Christianity is above our state of natural infancy, in which we understand only as children understand…But when we became men-adults, having gained much knowledge of men and things, we spoke and reasoned more correctly, having left off all the manners and habits of our childhood.”
Most children have a favourite teddy or blanket that is their constant companion throughout their childhood. I remember I had a couple of stuffed animals and a blanket that were always present where ever I went. One time when I lost my little lamb I cried until I got it back a week later. Now wouldn’t you have thought me odd if I were maybe 22 and lost my stuffed lamb and was crying over it? It is a very odd thought and a ridiculous picture. I have matured since then and that is what we are to do in our Christian lives, we are to mature. We are to grow or broaden, our understanding of the Christian love.
Also here are some examples of what children think love is.
- “Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.” — John, age 9
- “No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.” — Mae, age 9
- “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.” — Mike, 10
- “My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll find somebody who’s kinda tall and handsome.” — Carolyn, age 8
- “It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” — Kenny, age 7
- “A man and a woman promise to go through sickness and illness and diseases together.” — Marlon, age 10
- “Love is foolish…but I still might try it sometime.” — Floyd, age 9
- “Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.” — Dave, age 8
Verse 12 says that while in this life on this earth we can’t fully understand what real love is when we get to heaven we will be able to comprehend it all. The love of Christ dying on the cross for, “such a wretch as I,” is incomprehensible for my mind. Adam Clarke says, “Though I have an immediate revelation from God concerning his great design in the dispensation of the Gospel, yet there are lengths, breadths, depths, and heights of this design, which even that revelation has not discovered; nor can they be known and apprehended in the present imperfect state. Eternity alone can unfold the whole scheme of the Gospel.
Adam Clarke sums this study up best by saying of verse 12, “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.”
John 15:12-14 sums things up by saying, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Ok question time! Think about the story at the beginning beauty and the beast. What did the beast have to do to return to human form? He had to learn to love. The whole story is about love. It’s about how one girl loved the unlovely and it changed his life. He went from being a horrid beast to a handsome prince. Pretty remarkable huh? It makes a great story, but it could never really happen, right? I mean something ugly becoming beautiful. Well, wake up! We just studied how a beautiful, perfect, God loved us, a horrible, ugly, beast, enough to send his only begotten son to die for us on the cross. He had the greatest love.