(From: 1 CORINTHIANS #17 - 12:31b-13:13)
B. 12:31b-13:13 LOVE: IDEAL MOTIVATION FOR SPIRIT MANIFESTATION
a. 12:31b And I show you moreover an excellent way.
Kai Eti kath’ hu-per-boLEN hoDON huMIN DEIKnu-mi.
b. 13:1 TONGUES WITHOUT LOVE ARE EMPTY
E-AN tais GLOSsais ton anTHROpon laLO, kai ton agGElon, aGApen de meEcho,
If with the tongues of :men I speak, and of :angels, but have not love,
GEgo-na chalKOS  eCHON , eKUMba-lon  a-laLAzon .
I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.
c. 13:2 OTHER GIFTS WITHOUT LOVE: LEAVE US AS NOTHING
ka’ ’AN Echopro-pheTEIan , kai eiDOta musTEri-a  PANta kai PAsan ten GNOsin ;
And if prophecy I have, and all the mysteries I know and all knowledge;
ka’ ’AN EchoPAsan ten PIStin , HOsteOreme-thisTAnein,
and if all faith I have, so as to remove mountains,
aGApen de meEcho, ouTHEN ei-mi.
but have not love, I am nothing.
d. 13:3 ALMSGIVING FOR SHOW IS PROFITLESS
ka’ ’AN psoMIso PANta ta huPARchonTA mou,
And if I dole out all my :goods,
ka’ ’AN pa-raDOto SO-MA mou HIna kauCHEso-mai , aGApen de meEcho, ouDEN o-pheLOUmai.
and if I give my :body that I may glory, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
e. 13:4-7 HOW LOVE ACTS
HeaGApema-kro-thuMEI , chresTEUe-tai ;
:Love suffers long, is kind;
heaGApeou zeLOI , ou per-peREUe-tai , ou phu-siOUtai ,
:love envies not, vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
ouk as-che-moNEI , ou zeTEI ta he-auTES,
5 is not unseemly, seeks not its :own,
ou pa-roXUne-tai , ou loGIze-tai to kaKON;
is not provoked, takes not account of :evil;
ou CHAIrei  ePI tea-diKIa , sunCHAIrei de tea-leTHEIa ;
6 rejoices not in :unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
PANta STEgei , PANta pisTEUei , PANta elPIzei , PANta hu-poMEnei .
7 covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things.
f. 13:8 LOVE OUTLASTS OTHER GIFTS
HeaGApeouDEpo-te PIPtei : EIte de pro-pheTEIai, ka-tar-geTHEson-tai ;
:Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away;
EIte GLOSsai, PAUson-tai ; EIte GNOsis, ka-tar-geTHEse-tai .
whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall be done away.
g. 13:9-10 GIFTS ARE IN PART: LOVE IS THE WHOLE
ek MErous gar giNOSko-men, kai ek MErous pro-pheTEUo-men;
For we know in part, and prophesy in part;
HOtan de ELtheto TElei-on , to ek MErous ka-tar-geTHEse-tai.
10 but when the perfect is come, what is in part shall be done away.
h. 13:11 MATURITY: SEES LOVE OUTLASTING GIFTS
HOte Emen NEpi-os , eLAloun hos NEpi-os,
When I was a child, I spoke as a child,
ephROnoun  hos NEpi-os, e-lo-giZOmen  hos NEpi-os:
thought as a child, reasoned as a child:
HOte GEgo-na aNER , kaTERge-ka  ta tou nePIou.
when I became a man, I put away the things of the child.
i. 13:12 RESURRECTION STATE: WILL REVEAL ALL THIS CLEARLY
BLEpo-men gar ARti di’ eSOPtrou  en aiNIGma-ti ;
For now we see by a mirror darkly;
TOte de PROso-pon pros PROso-pon: ARti giNOSkoek MErous;
but then face to face: now I know in part;
TOte de e-pigNOso-mai  kaTHOS kai e-pegNOSthen.
but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
j. 13:13 But now abides faith, hope, love, these :three; and the greater of these is love.
nuNI de MEnei PIStis , elPIS , aGApe, ta TRIa TAUta; MEIzon de TOUton heaGApe.
NOTE: And why would the Holy Spirit lead the apostle Paul to suddenly insert this section between chapters 12 and 14?
I think it is probably because the temptation to pridefully use, misuse and abuse the gifts of the Spirit is such a possibility for new believers and carnal Christians. In a sense, chapter 12 deals with the understanding and theology of the gifts of the Spirit. Chapter 14 talks about the use and misuse of the gifts, especially prophecy and tongues.
This section points out that love, which heads the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, is the greatest safeguard for those tempted to misuse the gifts.
As stated before in 12:12-31a, manifestation of the gifts should normally take place immediately following the new birth – but the development of the fruit of the Spirit – especially love, the very nature and character of God – continues throughout our lifetime. Jesus clearly lays out in Mark 8:34 the high cost of discipleship – “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself , take up his cross, and follow Me.” There is a progression in these three steps, and when arrived at, allow us to claim like Paul in Galatians 2:20,“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet notI, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I liveby the faith of the Son of God, who loves me, and gaveHis life for me!” See again Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” to identify with Him in this way.
In thisstate there is safety when we manifest the gifts of the Spirit. We do so in the same spirit in which Jesus Himself manifested them in His 3 year ministry on earth. It is always safe to live in the 4 Gospels. There we see Jesus manifesting these supernatural gifts to the glory of God His Father – and the well-being of His fellow man.
So yes – there is tremendous wisdom of the Spirit in having Paul place this love chapter between the two “gift” chapters. - J.A.W.