What does 1 Corinthians 13:7 mean?
ESV: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
NIV: It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
NASB: it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
CSB: It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
NLT: Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
KJV: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
NKJV: bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is coming to the end of his concise description of what true love looks like. The Greek word used for love, agape, describes God's unconditional love for His children and how He intends for us to love each other. After reading Paul's letter, it cannot be said that these 14 descriptors are true of the Corinthians' treatment of each other.

As Paul has piled on descriptors to show what Christian love does and does not do, it has become clear that love sets itself aside for the good of others. More precisely, those who love as Christ does set themselves aside to meet the needs of other Christians. It turns out, loving as Jesus loves is hard.

Now Paul shows that God's love is, in a sense, inexhaustible. It places no limits on its commitment to other believers.

Love bears all things. Love doesn't say, "this far and no further." Love is not limited by what is reasonable or by what other people would be willing to put up with. This does not mean that someone should allow him- or herself to continually be wounded, physically or otherwise, by other believers or family members. Sometimes love bears pain from a safe and legal distance, but truly godly love doesn't quit when others become annoying or difficult to deal with.

Love believes all things. Does this make love gullible? No, the choice to believe those who may be deceiving us removes the burden to catch others in the act of lying and projects onto them a respect they may or may not deserve. The one who is loved carries the burden to be truthful or to be held accountable to God, rather than to us.

Love hopes all things. Love roots for victory in others, for good to win, for truth to come out. In the Bible, hope is more than just a wish, it is a confidence that God will do as He says. Paul began this letter by saying to the Corinthians that Christ will "sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:8). His confident hope for them was one evidence of his love for them.

Love endures all things. Christians face hard times. Those who choose to love as Jesus does do not stop loving when life becomes difficult. Love for God and others endures through tough days and long nights.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 13:1–13 is one of the most loved and well-known passages in the Bible, but Paul places it after his teaching on the spiritual gifts for a specific reason. Some of the gifts may seem impressive, but if attempted without self-sacrificing love for others, they become meaningless, even destructive. Paul uses 14 verbs to describe what love does and does not do. Love is the foundation for Paul's teaching in the following chapter on prophecy, tongues, and even orderly worship. While this section is often quoted in romantic settings, such as a wedding, the concept in mind is that of agape: a self-sacrificing, godly love.
Chapter Summary:
Paul responds to the Corinthians' over-emphasis on certain spiritual gifts by showing them that all gifts are worthless if not practiced through godly love. Paul provides 14 descriptors of love, all action verbs, all choices made out of a commitment to set self aside and serve others. Choosing to love each other in this way would solve many of the problems Paul has confronted in this letter. The spiritual gifts provide a glimpse of what is knowable, but when the perfect comes, we will know all. Love is the greatest of all the virtues.
Chapter Context:
Paul's teaching on love fits firmly into the context of 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14. These sentences have a somewhat different style than the surrounding words, suggesting Paul might have inserted something he'd written previously into this section. These are not meant to be a diversion, however. Lack of love was at the heart of most of the Corinthians' problems and divisions. As Paul describes it, God's kind of love sets self aside, over and over, endlessly, for the good of others. Spiritual gifts exist for the building up of the church now, but believers will live in love for eternity. Christ-like love is the greatest of all the virtues, and it should be the priority of every Christian.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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