What does it mean that love never fails?


1 Corinthians 13:8

ESV - 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Data Sarah Winn

Also, a good point is that God IS love.
You can substitute the word, God for where the Bible says love.

I John 4:8b says that God is love.

Love is a noun - person, place or thing.
Love is also a verb - an action word. Something that you choose to do.

July 31 2015 Report

Me at sawdust fest 2b Craig Mcelheny

I very much like your statement that you can substitute the word, God, where the Bible says love; but with one caveat. In the Greek there are other kinds of love, i.e. phileo, which is brotherly love, and eros, which is romantic love. I think most of us understand that it is only agape love that can be interchanged with the word God, and in fact they are synonymous. More to the point: Agape love defines God’s character, as can be seen in the definition of agape love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). And immediately after this definition, we have our reference text: (Agape) love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

You also mention that love is a verb – an action. Actions are dependent upon the person. Even God can choose to express love to some and not to others, as we see in Heb. 10:30-31, the Lord is not pleased with those who turn their back on salvation (Heb. 10:29). So, the text in question cannot be referring to an expression of love. It has to be something deeper, and I believe it is reflected in Romans 8:38-39.

The ESV clouds the issue slightly in that it states “…separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The NKJV and the NASB bring to the fore, the point I want to focus on – that God’s agape love is in our Lord and Savior. They read, “…separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s agape love is also in us (John 17:26). And it is related to God’s glory that was given to our Lord AND to us (John 17:22).

September 19 2015 Report

Data Sarah Winn

Thank you for clarifying and expounding on the comment.

September 20 2015 Report

Me at sawdust fest 2b Craig Mcelheny


I didn’t have room to finish my thoughts in the previous comment. I would like share them with you now.

God’s glory is given to believers in order that they may be made perfect some day (John 17:23). God’s glory is His nature (Heb. 1:3). What is God’s nature? It is His character – agape love!!

So, the crux of the matter is that God’s agape love, once it has been perfected in those of us who are believers, i.e. at the resurrection, it will never end because it, in fact, will be our nature too, as we live for eternity. Once we believe, we are indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit, partakers of the heavenly gift (Heb. 6:4 God’s agape love) and on our way to becoming the “exact imprint” of the Father’s nature, just as Jesus is the exact imprint of that nature (Heb. 1:3). It will be the completion of the transformation into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18, and Philippians 3:20-21).

Isaiah 1:18

September 20 2015 Report

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