Page 21 - November 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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This paper on 1 Corinthians 13 is the last   hope are human, but love is divine. You
        written work by our esteemed brother Mr.   cannot describe God in terms of faith and
        Walter Gustafson, who went to be with the   hope. God, being all knowing and all pow-
        Lord in 2020. It is a privilege to publish his   erful, does not believe or trust. (The Lord
        final series of articles.             Jesus had to become a man in order to
                                              experience trust and dependence on God.)
        The Permanence of Love                God, possessing all things, does not hope.
          Paul has shown in verses 1-3 that gifts   But you can describe God in terms of love
        without love are valueless. In verses 4-7,   for God is love (1Jn 4:8,16). Faith and hope
        love, even without gift, is sufficient and   are things to have, but love is something to
        valuable. In verses 8-13, we learn that   be. “Beloved, let us love one another: for
        believers’ gifts are transient, but faith,   love is of God; and every one that loveth
        hope and love abide. And the greatest of   is born of God, and knoweth God” (v7).
        these is love. Some gifts are greater than   “If we love one another, God dwelleth in
        others, but love is greater than the great-  us, and his love is perfected in us” (v12).
        est gift. Why?                        “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love
          Love is an end in itself. Faith and hope   dwelleth in God, and God in him” (v16).
        are means of attainment, but love is at-  What a privilege we have of manifesting
        tained. Faith and hope belong to the race,   divine action.
        but love is the prize. We cannot rest in faith   “Follow after love” (1Co 14:1). Consid-
        or hope without their being diminished,   ering chapter 13 we realize that we have all
        because our eyes would be on the means   come short. But we can be thankful for the
        instead of the end. But we can rest in love,   measure that we know the preciousness
        because God Himself does (Zep 3:17).  of love, the practice of love and the per-
          Love is sacrificial. We do not and cannot   manence of love. Realizing human failure,
        exercise faith and hope for others, but only   the apostle writes, “Follow after love.”
        for ourselves. No doubt, by faith and hope   The word “follow” denotes a passionate
        we exercise an influence beyond ourselves   devotion and a determined effort that pos-
        individually, but they are chiefly for our-  sibly not many of us have. We have not yet
        selves. Our faith and hope bring us gain,   attained unto the love-mastered life, but
        but love is for others. We cannot bestow   we may and we must follow after love; for
        on others our faith and hope, but we can   in following love, we follow God, and in
        bestow our love.                      following God, we must follow love.
          Love is of divine essence. Faith and   ¹Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV.

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