Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Some of the most prevalent problems within the Corinthian church was their lack of love and their consistent worldliness. Often times the congregation was unwilling in heart and mind to separate themselves from the secular culture in which they lived. As a result this created recurring problems among the church body. Those problems included a general lack of love which displayed itself as selfishness, greed and lack of moral character along with immoral behavior. In addition, many members of the church caught up in worldly lust were unrepentant in their behavior which began to call into question the genuineness of their salvation. Paul in this section of scripture is explaining to the church body that the love we have as a result of our salvation, is a condition of the heart that carries with it actions or changes in our behavior, brought about by the Holy Spirit’s work within us.
These changes in behavior are a natural outpouring of the love found within the reformed heart of the believer. Once saved, our salvation brings with it the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who begins a work in us. Changing our attitude and behavior as we draw closer to Christ Jesus. A heart filled with love for the Lord and compassion for others, realizes we are all sinners, saved by grace. Except for the grace of God and the work of Jesus on the Cross we would all be hopelessly lost and doomed to an eternity spent in the torment of Hell. However, because of the love Jesus showed us, we are instead free and filled with the hope of the glory which awaits us. A glory and joy we will experience first hand, when we go to spend eternity in the presence of Christ our Lord. Therefore, considering the great gift of salvation given freely to us, should we not display the characteristics of love in our lives, showing love to others, which stems from a heart changed by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in us?