The main theme of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 is that agape love should control the way we serve God and others in the Body of Christ. Under this main theme, we looked into the Emptiness of Serving Others Without Love (vv. 1-3). Using your spiritual gifts without love is nothing. We also studied the Fullness of Serving Others with Love. There are both Positive and Negative Characteristics with agape love (vv. 4-7). Now we will study the Lastingness of Serving Others With Love (vv. 8-13). (This is the last part of a study series on Loving While Serving.)
Paul states that love is eternal. “Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8, NKJV). “Fails” (NKJV) or “ends” (ESV) is from pipto, “to fall out of, to fall from or off.” (Barnes) Jesus used the same word, when He said, “the stars of heaven will fall” (Mark 13:25, NKJV). This will happen at the end of the Tribulation Period, when the sun will be darkened. The moon will not give its light.
James also uses pipto when he wrote, “its flower falls [pipto]” (James 1:11, NKJV). He was describing those who depend on riches and material possessions. He said that they are like the flower that falls under the heat of the sun.
Remember what happened to Peter in prison? The Bible says in Acts 12:7, “And his chains fell off [pipto] his hands” (NKJV). In the sectional context of 1 Cor. 13, Paul talks about the ceasing of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge. In this context therefore, “fails” here means, “come to an end” (Concise Greek-English Dictionary, s. v. πιπτω); “to be without effect, to cease to be in existence” (Barnes).
And so agape love never fails. It never ceases. It never comes to an end. This is the lastingness of serving others with love. It is never without effect and results. Your ministry will produce eternal results. Because love lasts forever.
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