Enough Day 15 Promised Land Restored: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) Why did Paul include this explanation of love in his letter to the Corinthian church? (verses 1-3)

2) What type of love is Paul describing in verses 4-7?

3) What does Paul mean in saying that only faith, hope, and love will remain? (verse 13)

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have

love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, 5 is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all

things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish

things. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. 13 Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—but the greatest of these is love.

Original Intent

1) Why did Paul include this explanation of love in his letter to the Corinthian church? (verses 1-3)
Chapter 13 is a follow-up to Paul’s discussion of spiritual gifts in chapter 12 and church unity in chapter 11. God designed His church, made up of all those who trust Jesus as their Savior, to be given various spiritual gifts with which to build up and strengthen His Kingdom. Some in the church at Corinth were assigning greater importance to those gifts which could be seen and used publicly like healing or preaching, while undervaluing gifts more hidden like faith or wisdom. Paul used our physical bodies as an analogy of how God designed the church to function together. Each part of our physical body provides a unique service in order to keep us healthy. This is the same in the church, the body of Christ. Each member is one part of the body, given a gift from the Father, specifically assigned in order to bring glory to Him and to serve the church, as those gifts come together in unity. In the first three verses of chapter 13, Paul mentions those more noticeable gifts, adding that without love, they are useless. The gifts were given by the Father to build up the body, not for personal gain, therefore all gifts are to be lived out with love.

2) What type of love is Paul describing in verses 4-7?
This is no ordinary love Paul writes of in his letter; he is describing unconditional love, known in the Greek language as agape. Agape love is demonstrated by faithfulness, kind-hearted benevolence, and committed willful delight. Scripture uses agape to describe the type of love the Father has for us because He simply chooses to be delighted over us. Agape is not based on anything we have done or could potentially do, but on everything He has already done for us. Agape love sent Jesus to willingly die on the cross to pay for our every sin past, present, and future. This is the love He stirs within us to have for each other, but we cannot manufacture it apart from a relationship with Him. Ephesians 5:2 admonishes us to “walk in love” by following the same way He loved us, which cost Him His life. We are to give without expecting reciprocation, willfully choosing faithful benevolent love without ceasing.

3) What does Paul mean in saying that only faith, hope, and love will remain? (verse 13)
In addition to spiritual gifts are the gifts of virtue. Faith, hope and love are such virtues. Paul is elevating these virtues even above the gifts. The Corinthians had lost sight of the most important things, elevating some of their talents for personal gain. It is of major importance that we remember the reason we are given the gifts and the way in God designed us to use them. Spiritual gifts are given to encourage the body of Christ and to make much of Jesus! Faith, hope, and love are given to each believer through the Holy Spirit and supersede the other gifts, as they are the keys to the Christian life. These foundational pillars will remain after there is no more use for prophecy, tongues, or healing and love is the one virtue that lasts for eternity, as God brings to fruition all He promised to those who know Him. Revelation 21:3-6 reminds us He is making all things new. One day, we will know the fullness of His love and how it supports everything else!

Everyday Application

1) Why did Paul include this explanation of love in his letter to the Corinthian church? (verses 1-3)
It is human nature to compare ourselves and our spiritual gifts to others’ talents. We evaluate what we have been given and determine its value based on what someone else is doing for the Kingdom. If their platform seems bigger or more noticeable than ours, we can feel like the gifts we have been given are less. Additionally, it’s easy to consider our more visible gifts superior, when, in fact, God assigns no sliding-scale value to His gifts. Just like our physical bodies, the Church functions as Christ’s Body, each part carefully assigned to do the job it was created to do. “Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.” (Romans 12:4-5) The Church is made up of many different individuals with unique ways to bring the Gospel to the world who so desperately needs Him. We represent our Maker best when we embrace the way He created us and display His gifts with bold love to those around us! (Ephesians 2:10)

2) What type of love is Paul describing in verses 4-7?
Paul describes the most perfect love in this passage because this love originates with the God of love. Agape love gives without promise of receiving. Instead, agape gives regardless of whether or not the recipient is deserving. How does this truth change your perception of God? How does it shift your view of others in your life, especially those who are more difficult to love? While this passage was written in response to using our spiritual gifts and unity in the church, it is valuable when applied to our personal relationships as well. In fact, striving to love in this way should be a priority for all who follow Jesus. In John 13:34, Jesus commands His disciples, and us, to love others as He has loved us! It may not always be easy, but we can trust that as we seek to be more like Him, God’s Spirit will give us the strength to love others as Christ loves us!

3) What does Paul mean in saying that only faith, hope, and love will remain? (verse 13)
Faith, hope, and love are three essentials of the Christian faith. We have faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised. We have sure and confident hope in those promises, waiting with expectation for Him to bring them to fruition. And love. Love is what makes every aspect of the Christian life possible both in our relationship with God and others! We can only love out of the overflow we receive from the Father. Faith, hope, and love must exist before we can embrace our spiritual gifts. Without these virtues, we can’t exercise our spiritual gifts, so we must always be seeking the Father, who gives us what we need to serve Him. We serve others out of the abundant love He provides, for only then can we truly serve in a way that pleases Him as we strengthen the Church and point others to Jesus!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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