Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Corinthians Chapter 13
Metaphysically Interpreting I Corinthians 13:1-13
13:1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 13:2And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 13:3And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. 13:4Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 13:5doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; 13:6rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; 13:7beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
13:8Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. 13:9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 13:10but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.13:11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. 13:12For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known. 13:13But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
June 22, 1919: I Cor. 13:1-13
Paul was writing to the Corinthians, who had been gentiles, but who were now Christians. He had been describing the gifts of the Spirit, and admonished, “desire earnestly the greater gift.” Then he goes on with the incomparable poem on love.
What is the “gift of prophecy”? Metaphysically considered the gift of prophecy is the ability to foretell the outcome of mental causes.
Explain the “tongues of men and angels.” The “tongues of men” represent the expressions of intellectual knowledge; the tongues of “angels” represent the expressions of spiritual truths.
Why is so much emphasis placed upon the gift of “love” in connection with speaking the Word? Love is included in the Word of God. Man must speak with a consciousness of Divine Love, if he would exercise his God given power to build, to bless, to heal.
How may we know the quality of our love, whether it be mortal or spiritual? We may know the quality of our love by measuring it by the Jesus Christ standard. If our thought is for things of the world, limited to a certain number of persons, our love is personal and mortal. When divine compassion and consideration for all creation, and the good of all fills the mind and heart, love is spiritual.
Is personal, limited love for people and things to be denied or suppressed? We develop perfect love by broadening our consciousness of love, to include all creation. As Truth is discerned, the character of our love changes; “when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.”
Is the realization of love dependent upon conditions, circumstances, or personality? No. Love is a spiritual quality and, as we come into consciousness of the Truth of being, we feel the warmth of Divine Love in the soul, and it naturally and spontaneously expresses as good will, unselfishness and compassion toward all.
Are extremes of denial and sacrifice necessary to the full, free exercise of God-like love? No. Love has a harmonizing, constructive power; when balanced by the development of other spiritual faculties, there is no necessity for denial and sacrifice of things needful.
October 16, 1921: I Cor. 13:1-13
In man's consciousness, what is the work of love? Love unifies man's consciousness with that of Spirit; love also harmonizes and unifies man's consciousness with that of his fellow men.
Do our words have any power, unless they have love in them? No. They are as “sounding brass, or as a clanging cymbal.” Spiritual power works in love. In order to give forth the message of the Lord effectually, the unselfish love of God must be cultivated.
What are some of the Christian graces that spring from a heart of love? Some of the Christian graces are: Forgiveness, which blots out the offense; mercy, which lessens the severity of one's just deserts; blessings, which call forth the radiating power of Spirit .
Define: Love “seeketh not its own.” Love is the fulfillment of the law. Therefore, it possesses every good in itself. It is not necessary to seek after that which we already possess in unlimited quantities.
Explain: “For now we see through a mirror darkly; but then face to face.” To see through a glass darkly, means to see through the obstructed vision of the mortal; but to see “face to face,” means to see with spiritual vision, which is unobstructed, perfect.
Why is love the greatest thing in the world? Love is the greatest thing in the world, because it is a Divine Principle, eternal and unfailing, which in the consciousness of man, sees and creates only the good, the beautiful, and the perfect, in everybody and in everything.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1925: I Cor. 13:1-13
What is love? Love is the universal unifying principle in man and in the universe.
Is there more than one kind of love? God is love. There is but one kind of God; consequently there is but one kind of love.
Why is love so diversified in appearance? In its original essence love is indivisible, unchangeable. In manifestation love appears to the consciousness of the manifester according to his concept of it. To some love is confined to the personality; to others, love includes the whole human family. The latter is the Christ expression of love.
What concept of love does Paul give in the lesson today? Paul analyzes love as it is in the spiritual plane of consciousness. He carries it out of the range of personal selfishness into universal altruism; he describes the love of God unhampered by human limitation.
Is it possible for man to express love as it is conceived by Paul in the 13th chapter of Corinthians? All things are possible to those who believe. By denying the personality and casting out every thought that separates us from the love of God, we shall become so submerged in universal love that it will express through us and make us perfect, as the Father in heaven is perfect. “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
How shall we attain the high concept of love so minutely described by Paul? We attain a consciousness of love in the same way that we attain the consciousness of life, wisdom, power and the other attributes of mind; that is, by appropriating them spiritually and mentally from their source in Divine Mind.
Shall we be able to feel and know the love of God direct from the Fountainhead? Yes. When we have the same mind in us that was in Christ Jesus, we shall feel and know the love of God in our hearts as he knows and feels it. To attain this universal love consciousness we must begin to see more of the good in man and to deny the evil. “Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you.”
October 25, 1936: I Cor. 13:1-13
Explain the gift of prophecy. When intuition is developed, it enables its possessor to perceive the connection between cause, and effect and to grasp the underlying truth of conditions and knowledge beyond the average person's power to understand. The one whose intuitive powers are developed gains the power of prophecy through observation. “That which hath been (in cause) is that which shall be (in effect).”
Do faith and the gift of prophecy insure a well-rounded character for man? If he lacks the enduring quality of love, man is a failure, even though he may have faith and intuition highly developed. “Love never faileth,” but without it faith and intuition both fail to bring satisfaction or happiness.
Is generosity a sure sign of love? Unless one gives oneself with the gift, love is not involved. Nothing is gained from mere giving. To be acceptable the gift must be made in the spirit of love.
Trace the evolution of the idea of sacrifice in the Hebrew and Christian faiths. Under the Mosaic dispensation, the “blood of bulls and goats” was thought capable of taking away sins. A material gift was considered the thing: “With a freewill-offering will I sacrifice unto thee.” Later a broken spirit was believed to be the acceptable sacrifice. The Christian conception of acceptable sacrifice is that of expressing the divine will through the medium of the body.
What was the sacrifice offered by Jesus? The crossing out of the personal self is the true sacrifice offered by the I AM (Jesus) . “At the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
November 30, 1941: I Cor. 13:1-13
What faculty must always be expressed in or along with all the others, if man is fully to express the Christ spirit? Love must be included in all other expressions, if man is fully to express the Christ Spirit innate in him.
Is love an elemental faculty? If not, of what is it compounded? Many things enter into love. First of all is patience, then kindness, generosity, humility, selflessness, unselfconsciousness, considerateness, poise, balance, guilelessness, sincerity. Love is a “great and thorough good.”
How does love strengthen anyone? He who has learned to express love is patient, unwearied, undiscouraged, kind, and gentle. All this reveals inner strength.
Love “taketh not account of evil.” Does this mean that love leads one to condone evil? Love does not condone or ignore evil, but by recognizing only the good as real and true, it calls forth the good, and leaves what appears to be evil to vanish, as darkness vanishes with the coming of light.
What other faculty is exercised in love on the constructive side only? Joy. Love “rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth.”
Is love in any way greater than wisdom? Love is greater in that it is unfailing, that is, eternal; whereas wisdom, whether in the form of prescience (prophecy), of facility in the expression of one’s thoughts (tongues), or of intellect (knowledge), does not endure.
May 21, 1944: I Cor. 13:1-13
Does divine love find its full expression in words? No. The most impassioned oratory may be utterly lacking in power to express love. Lacking this, it cannot bring lasting conviction.
Do faith, charity, and intuitive power compensate for the absence of love? Without love these faculties are all emasculated. With love they accomplish wonders.
Why can we not accomplish anything worthwhile without love? Because we identify ourselves with what we love. Without this power of identification, we are out of harmony with life and without unity of aim or understanding. In this state our efforts are scattered to no purpose.
What are some of the signs by which we may identify divine love in our heart? By long-suffering, kindness, generosity (“love envieth not”), humility, becoming conduct, selflessness, evenness of temper or disposition, faith in goodness, joy in truth, and by staying power in faith, hope, and endurance.
What is true sacrifice? It is the giving up of the personal self, so that the divine self, the Christ, may become manifest.
Why is love greater than faith or hope? Because its full expression includes faith and hope, as well as love. Faith and hope lead to divine love in the heart, and love in turn helps us attain perfection as the Father is perfect.
July 15, 1951: I Cor. 13:4-7
How [is something] observed? By mastering the law of love and keeping it diligently.
Is this law simple and easily kept? No, for love is compounded of many factors. Only the selfless person masters them all.
What are some of these factors? Long-suffering (“Love suffereth long”); kindness (“and is kind”); freedom from envy (“Love envieth not”); humility (“Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”); modesty (“doth not behave itself unseemly”); self-effacing (“seeketh not its own”); even temper (“is not provoked, taketh not account of evil”); love of truth, forbearance, faith, hope, and steadfastness.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 11-17-2013