Loves musical crescendo!

Love (as described in I Corinthians 13:4-8a) reaches a musical staccato in a crescendo

Love, “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (NIV). 

In music, a staccato involves very short choppy sounds made by striking notes quickly. Crescendo involves increase in volume and intensity. Both seem to be involved in bringing loves description to a kind of grand finale. 

It’s a grammatical (musical) way of saying that love is all-encompassing, safe, reliable, and enduring. A loved one is safe and valued to the end.

I Corinthians 13:7-8 presents a kind of crisp and pointed grand finale. Read it again. Love, “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (NIV). 

Is it any wonder that because of God’s love for us “in all these things (trials, hardships, suffering and death) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”? “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

Look closely

The original language uses one repeated object (all things) with four different verbs…. bears, believes, hopes, endures. 

Verse 7

  • πάντα στέγει, – all things bears
  • πάντα πιστεύει,- all things believes
  • πάντα ἐλπίζει, – all things hopes
  • πάντα ὑπομένει. – all things endures

Verse 8a

  • ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει – love never fails

“Paul does not mean that love always believes the best about everything and everyone, but that love never ceases to have faith; it never loses hope. This is why it can endure. The life that is so touched by the never-ceasing love of God in Christ is in turn enabled by the Spirit to love others in the same way. It trusts God in behalf of the one loved, hopes to the end that God will show mercy in that person’s behalf” (Gordon Fee, NICNT, p. 640).

  • “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (NIV).
  • “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…. love will last forever!” (NLT).
  • “There is nothing love cannot face” (NEB).

“Love has a tenacity in the present, buoyed by its absolute confidence in the future, that enables it to live in every kind of circumstance and continually to pour itself out in behalf of others” (Gordan Fee).

  • Love is tenacious and faithful. Love is brave and noble; it never fails. Love is “the most excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). 
  • “These three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13). 
  • “Over all virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

The description of love before verse 7 closed with, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 

“Such a person refuses to take delight in evil, either in its more global forms — war, the suppression of the poor — or on those close to home — the fall of a brother or a sister, a child’s misdeed. Love absolutely rejects the most pernicious form of rejoicing over evil, gossiping about the misdeeds of others; it is not gladdened when someone else falls. Love stands on the side of the gospel and looks for mercy and justice for all, including those with whom one disagrees” (Gordan Fee, NICNT, p. 639). 

Pursue a worthy aim. “Do everything in love” (I Corinthians 16:14).

 (See – “A Life Transformed by Love“)

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Communication, Community, God's Love, Love, Love Wins, Radical love and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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