Much of what is addressed as love in current culture is far removed from the love described to the Corinthian church. A love that believes all things, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails is the work of the Spirit to write the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians into our hearts, minds and relationships.
Love in the Local Church
Here we have one of the most familiar chapters in the New Testament. It appears so frequently on wedding bulletins, we may be tempted to believe it was penned for that purpose. It is only when we read it in the context of the surrounding chapters that we can understand and apply it correctly. The apostle was addressing a church that was vibrant but chaotic. As they tried to cover their division and confusion by an over-emphasis on the spectacular gifts, Paul shows them a better way.
This chapter presents a particular challenge to any outwardly successful church because its preoccupations may not be the same as God’s priorities.