If I can speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but am destitute of Love, I have but become a loud-sounding trumpet or a clanging cymbal.
If your brother is pained by the food you are eating, your conduct is no longer controlled by love. Take care lest, by the food you eat, you lead to ruin a man for whom Christ died.
Now as to things which have been sacrificed to idols. This is a subject which we already understand--because we all have knowledge of it. Knowledge, however, tends to make people conceited; it is love that builds us up.
To one the utterance of wisdom has been granted through the Spirit; to another the utterance of knowledge in accordance with the will of the same Spirit;
Or were the ear to say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," that would not make it any the less a part of the body.
Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all teachers?
If I possess the gift of prophecy and am versed in all mysteries and all knowledge, and have such absolute faith that I can remove mountains, but am destitute of Love, I am nothing.
Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if there are languages, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be brought to an end.
But, brethren, as things are, if I come to you speaking in 'tongues,' what benefit shall I confer on you, if the utterance is neither in the form of a revelation nor of additional knowledge nor of prophecy nor of teaching?
God knows--was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable things which no human being is permitted to repeat.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any importance; but only faith working through love.
The Spirit, on the other hand, brings a harvest of love, joy, peace; patience towards others, kindness, benevolence;
But the end sought to be secured by exhortation is the love which springs from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith.
Above all continue to love one another fervently, for love throws a veil over a multitude of faults.
For, while they pour out their frivolous and arrogant talk, they use earthly cravings--every kind of immorality--as a bait to entrap men who are just escaping from the influence of those who live in error.
"But he will reply, "'In solemn truth I tell you that in so far as you withheld such services from one of the humblest of these, you withheld them from me.'