Love Never Ends (1 Corinthians 13:8-13)

Just as “God is love” (1 John 4:8) so love is eternal; it never ends (1 Cor. 13:8a). Love never ends because “God is love,” and God never ends. Therefore, all love is from God. All true love must be from God, because all true love never ends, because God is eternal. Love that dies is never love, because God never dies and “God is love.” Inasmuch as we are God’s and Christ is ours, the Holy Spirit in us, our love will not end. Moreover, in eternity past before creation, love must have been present. This is one of the greatest testaments to the trinity. “God is love” necessitates the preeminence of a divine and eternal Christ. Whom would He love ‘before all things’ (Colossians 1:15-20)? So just as love will never end, it has never begun, because “God is love” and He never had a beginning.

As love is determined by the subject, so then love must be eternally given. This is possible in us because Christ is to live in our hearts – “for it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:22). As Christ is God, “God is love,” and love is eternal, so then our love never ends because Christ is in us.

As love is determined by the object, so then an object must eternally receive love. The object of love must also receive in order for our love to be complete. Now, an object of love can put an end to love. If my beloved dies, therein terminates my love for her. My love, in that sense, flees with the object’s leaving. Therefore, how can my love never end? What if all the objects flee my affections? I can still offer my love, but there is a greater object still ever-present. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, strength, and soul” (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27); this is the greatest commandment. Yes, in the immutability and eternality of God, the subjective enactment of love never ends. In regards to ‘my’ love, the primary object of my love never ends or flees; thus my love will never end. As His child, I have been granted eternal life, and that eternal life is with the object of my primary love, God Himself. All love is from God, and so it never ends; all my love is to God, therefore my love never lacks an object to complete itself. It then springs forth fountains to my love for others, and thus ‘my’ love will never end inasmuch as there is a ‘mine’ to express it.

The enactor of my love is Christ, and the object of my love is God. This endless cycle is eternal – God moving in us to love Himself. The gifts such as prophesying and tongues will pass away (1 Cor. 13:8b). Why? It is because they are partial, representative of our limitations and separation from God’s perfect presence. We only prophesy and speak in tongues because we have not yet been glorified in fullness. “They do not fast while the bridegroom is with them” (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19). Love, however, is an eternal practice. Love is a partaking in the union of God – not like prophecy, fasting, or tongues. The perfection will do away with these partial giftings, because they will already be fulfilled. Love and lovers will be in perfect presence.

Now faith, hope, and love abide (1 Cor. 13:13). Faith is a completion of an uncertainty, with hope being that uncertainty. Better said, faith is the certainty of the uncertainty of hope. Both of these will be abolished in the perfect presence of God. There will be no distant longing, because “hope that is seen is not hope” (Rom. 8:24). ‘Face to face’ (1 Cor. 13:12) we will see our savior, and so we shall no longer hope. Without the need for hope, there is no need for faith, because “faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). Yet love; love will not end, but only thrive on the day of glory. This is why love is the greatest of the three, because it will never end (1 Cor. 13:8).

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