V1-2: Following on from chapter 12, Paul tells the Corinthians that if they have all the spiritual gifts previously discussed but lack love, they have nothing.
V3: This verse shows that just because someone makes a donation to charity or does something good for someone, that doesn’t mean the good deed is done out of a pure motive.
In these next couple verses, I’ll just hit some characteristics of love on which I needed clarification, and thus, someone else probably does, too.
V4: Love is patient with people.
V5: Love is not rude, love isn’t selfish and doesn’t devise evil things against someone.
V6: Despite the ways this verse is translated, I think what it really means is that if you love someone, you won’t rejoice when they commit sin, but will rejoice as they come closer to receiving Christ, and after that as they grow in Him.
V7: Love bears and endures troubles from the world in general for the Gospel, the way Paul and the other apostles did. This verse is not teaching that we should continue relationships with dangerous or abusive people.
Love also has hope and faith (faith being the substance of things hoped for) that God’s promises for us and the world will be realized.
V8: This verse is not teaching secession. When we’re in Heaven, we won’t need prophecy because all the prophecies will have been fulfilled, we won’t need tongues because we’ll be able to communicate perfectly with God and each other, and whatever we thought we knew about God that was actually false will have been proven so.
V9-12: Paul is making the analogy that we are like children, knowing and understanding God only a little bit here on Earth. However, when we get to Heaven, we will have a fuller knowledge and understanding, as if we have matured into adults.
V13: In Heaven, we won’t need faith or hope because all the things we’ve had faith in and hoped for will have come to pass. However, love will be needed and will be present throughout all eternity.