Fresh Ground Theology

The church at Corinth had a problem: they were divisive, and petty. They fought over issues like: who is the best preacher, what are we free to do as Christians, or how to perform one’s spiritual gift. That last issue, Paul spends three chapters (12-14) detailing the use and function of the gifts within the church. In the middle of that section, falls 1 Corinthians 13, the so-called Love Chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to show that love is supreme over the exercise of the spiritual gifts.

Spiritual Gifts Without Love Are Useless: Verses 1-3

Paul begins the chapter with several statements of hyperbole. He begins each statement with an “if” clause, which he uses to set up his argument which is a form of modus tollens.[1] He inserts into the equation the most extreme forms of gifts and results. He repeats the word πας…

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