Love is the Greatest Virtue

READ : 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13 is well worth memorizing. It upgrades love to the top of the list of Christian virtues. In the Corinthian Church some were bragging about their spiritual gifts. Love is more important than all the spiritual gifts which might be exercised in the church body.

Love is immortal. It is a grace which will continue to be manifested through all eternity. It will continue after all spiritual gifts have passed away. In time or in eternity love will never cease to be. It is imperishable. “Love never fails” (v. 8).

Love will not only outlast the gifts of time, but it surpasses the graces which will continue through eternity. It is supreme among the things that abide. Of the three major Christian graces, love will always be the chief. “And now, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” (v. 13). All three virtues will abide and remain, but love is supreme.

The supremacy of love lies in the fact that love is a part of God’s essential being. “God is love.” This great chapter was not just written for beauty, or to rebuke us because of loveless lives, but to arouse us to instant and continued action. The final thought is: “follow the way of love” (14:1).

Discussion: Is love a top virtue in your Christian practice?


Lord, fill our hearts with Your love. Amen.

About the Author

Dr. John H. Muller was born in the parsonage of Fourth Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Hope College and received degrees from Western Seminary, Winona Lake School of Theology, and Fuller Seminary. The Mullers served Reformed churches in Pultneyville and Clymer, NY; Redlands, CA; Chicago, IL; Orlando and Miami, FL; Bellflower and Los Angeles, CA. He was a Marine chaplain in California and Korea. They served the Presbyterian Church of Australia from 1984-1990. They have served interim pastorates in Rochester and Montrose, NY and Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Muller has written for Words of Hope, authored five books, many articles and book reviews for the Church Herald, and is a monthly contributor to the Pioneer.