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The Way of Charity

INTRODUCTION: This is the “Charity Chapter” in the Bible. The “Love Chapter” should correctly be 1 John 4. The word, charity, is used nine (9) times in 1 Corinthians 13. Charity is a kind of love (as is brotherly love), but all love is not charity.

Charity specifically refers to the love that we have toward other men. Paul stresses that we are to walk "charitably" toward our weaker brothers (Romans 14:13-15). He praised the Thessalonians because "the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth" (2 Thessalonians 1:3). In 1 Peter 4:8-9, Peter told the believers, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging."

John encouraged the saints, "Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church..." (3 John 1:5-6). In all of these passages, charity describes the love of the saints for others. Most of the time, it refers to other believers: toward each other, among yourselves, to the brethren. In one case (3 John 1:5-6), it includes strangers. But in them all, God is referring to the special love that believers should have for others.

  1. THE EXCELLENCY OF CHARITY (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
    1. Better Than Signs of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:1)
    2. Better Than Scriptural Scholarship (1 Corinthians 13:2a)
    3. Better Than Spiritual Strength (1 Corinthians 13:2b)
    4. Better Than Supreme Sacrifice (1 Corinthians 13:3)
  2. THE EXERCISE OF CHARITY (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
    1. Concerning Others (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
      1. Suffers long
      2. Is kind
      3. Envies not
      4. Vaunts not itself; to vaunt is to boast or brag
      5. Is not puffed up
      6. Does not behave unseemly
      7. Seeks not her own
      8. Is not easily provoked
      9. Thinks no evil
    2. Concerning God (1 Corinthians 13:6)
      1. Rejoices not in iniquity
      2. Rejoices in the truth
    3. Concerning Self (1 Corinthians 13:7)
      1. Bears all things
      2. Believes all things
      3. Hopes all things
      4. Endures all things
  3. THE ETERNITY OF CHARITY (1 Corinthians 13:8-13)
    1. The Imperfection of the Gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-9)
    2. The Principle of Perfection (1 Corinthians 13:10)
    3. The Process of Perfection (1 Corinthians 13:11)
    4. The Epitome of Perfection (1 Corinthians 13:12)
    5. The Virtues Which Abide (1 Corinthians 13:13)


1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.