- 1 Cor. 13:1) "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
- 1 Cor. 13:2) "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
- 1 Cor. 13:3) "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
(Verse 1) signifies that no matter how faithful our witness appears or how gracious our words may sound, if we have self-gratifying purposes without a motive out of pure love - the words we speak are merely as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
(Verse 2) - If we have the gift of prophecy so we know the beginning to the end and understand every mystery God has kept from us these many years, and understand everything in the Bible from cover to cover, and faith to move every mountain we encounter, everything is meaningless if we do not have love.
(Verse 3) - If we give to charity or to the poor $50, $1000, $10,000, or every ounce of our possessions; it profits us nothing if not given out of love.
The Bible declares that men will become more wicked and vile in these last days, and the love of many will wax cold. However, a Christian is not of the world and Jesus is the lesson we learn in these three verses. He set the example for us to follow. Everything He did was out of love and fully forgiving what we have done in our lives, by dying in our place and paying our penalty. If we are to bear any fruit by carrying out the Great Commission as He commanded, love must be our foremost concern. Without love, even for our enemies, we are become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. As noted in the very last verse in 1 Corinthians 13 - "Now abideth these: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love." 1 Peter 4:8 reports that "Love covers a multitude of sins." Make it first and foremost in your witness endeavors and, may God bless your efforts.