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The necessity and advantage of the grace of love.
Its excellency represented by its properties and effects;
and by its abiding, and its superiority.
Verses 1 – 3
The excellent way had in view in the close of the former chapter, is not what is meant by charity in our common use of the word, almsgiving, but love in its fullest meaning; true love to God and man. Without this, the most glorious gifts are of no account to us, of no esteem in the sight of God. A clear head and a deep understanding, are of no value without a benevolent and charitable heart. There may be an open and lavish hand, where there is not a liberal and charitable heart. Doing good to others will do none to us, if it be not done from love to God, and good-will to men. If we give away all we have, while we withhold the heart from God, it will not profit. Nor even the most painful sufferings. How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish!
上一章末尾介绍的极好的方法，并不是我们通常所说的慈善的意思，而是完全意义上的爱，对神对人的真爱。没有爱，最好的恩赐对我们没有价值，对神是不敬重的。没有一颗仁慈宽恕的心，聪明的头脑和深入的理解，都是没有价值的。没有一颗仁慈宽恕的心，即使慷慨周济穷人，如果不是因为对神和对人的爱，对我们也是无益的。如果我们放弃了所有，同时拒绝爱神，那么也是无益的。或者甚至是最痛苦的经历。How are those deluded who look for acceptance and reward for their good works, which are as scanty and defective as they are corrupt and selfish! 那些被蒙蔽的希望通过他们的善行来获得称赞和回报，他们自私败坏
Verses 4 – 7
Some of the effects of charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It ever prefers the welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its blessed Author laid the chief stress! Let us ask whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into becoming behaviour to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and prayer.
Verses 8 – 13
Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves. From its longer continuance. It is a grace, lasting as eternity. The present state is a state of childhood, the future that of manhood. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused notions of things, have children when compared with grown men! Thus shall we think of our most valued gifts of this world, when we come to heaven. All things are dark and confused now, compared with what they will be hereafter. They can only be seen as by the reflection in a mirror, or in the description of a riddle; but hereafter our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error. It is the light of heaven only, that will remove all clouds and darkness that hide the face of God from us. To sum up the excellences of charity, it is preferred not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope. Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assents thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on future happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowed up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believe and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect. There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, 1Jo 4:8, 16. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face, there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected.
Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthians prided themselves. From its longer continuance. 这恩惠持续到永远。我们目前处于孩童几段，未来才是成年。这就是地上和天上的区别。与成年人相比，儿童观点狭隘，对事情的观念是模糊混乱的。因此当我们来到天堂，让我们想想我们在这个世界上拥有的最有宝贵的恩赐。现在所有的事情都是模糊而混乱的。我们现在看到的就像是通过像镜子反射的映像一般，或者像谜语的描述一般；但是来世我们的知识将是自由的，不再阴暗晦涩，没有错误。是天堂的光，驱散了所有隐藏神的面的云和黑暗。总结爱的优越性，它不仅是恩赐，还有其他的恩惠，信心和盼望。靠着基督，信心让我们确信神的启示，赞美神。我们对未来的幸福充满盼望，并等待着；然而在天堂，信心和盼望会被我们看到的景象所吞没。当我们看到并享受那种喜乐的时候，并不需要相信和盼望。但是，那里让爱更加完美。在那里，我们对神的爱是完美的。我们对他人的爱是完美的。幸福的国度！胜过地上最好的！神是爱，约壹4:8,16。在那里，我们可以和神面对面，充满爱，只有完美。