1 Corinthians 13:13
And now stays faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Charity has a greatness whether considered as a principle, a motive power, or a perfecting grace of character. And first of all, what is to be understood by charity? It is not that sentimental thing that often goes by its name, that has no appreciation for principles, sees no importance in doctrines, and imagines the world can be saved as well by error as by truth. I have four reasons why charity is the greatest of great things.
1. Its endurance. Prophecies fail when the thing prophesied takes place. Love has a continuous life. If there is anything destined to immortality that thing is love.
2. Hence the next reason for esteeming charity as the greatest of great things, and that is, the nothingness of all things without it. Prophetical insight, the profuse distribution of wealth, and the bravery of martyrdom its If, all — all are hollow where charity is not. So true it is that charity is the greatest of great things. It gives a Divine substance to human graces, and at its bidding that which otherwise were but perishing beauty starts, like Jairus's daughter, from its shroud, and moves to beautify the home and give happiness there as only the true daughter can.
3. But again, charity is the greatest of great things, because it sways the will. Duties that we love not are clogs. He that clings to the world rather than to Christ must look the solemn fact in the face — that he loved the world more than Christ, and that love sways his will. It is not inability — it is not natural or moral infirmity of the will that keeps us from becoming more godly. It is our loves — our affections that are more fed and strengthened by sinful desires than by angels' food.
4. And this suggests the fourth reason why charity is to be esteemed the greatest of great things, and that is, it is the fulfilment of the law. He that wishes to do something as God does all things has only this to do — exercise a pure love — an enduring, an edifying, a will-swaying love. He who performs one act of disinterested benevolence, acts so far on the high plane of the Deity.
Parallel VersesKJV: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.