“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging symbol.”
Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth to encourage them to return to the healthy Christians lives from which they had strayed.
When Paul had first arrived at Corinth to preach the good news of Jesus, he found a city known for drunkenness, idolatry, fighting and a lack of love for one another. That was no surprise, they didn’t know Jesus.
Paul stayed their 18 months and many Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) came to Christ. The Corinthian church became known for the healthy changes they made, devotion to Christ and love for one another.
In chapter 12 Paul had instructed the Corinthians on the use of spiritual gifts. They were to be used for the benefit of others and not for personal glory. He had also instructed them that every person is valuable in the body of Christ. No one is better than anyone else.
It is not surprising then in chapter 13 that Paul turned to the subject of love. In verse one he wrote that love is more important than all the gifts. It is the glue that binds everything else together. If the Corinthians don’t act in love, it doesn’t matter what gifts they have, they will only sound like a noisy instrument that no one wants to hear.
Now you know the story behind 1 Corinthians 13:1.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It provides the Big Story behind all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.