These small group study notes contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, lessons to learn, and applications. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. I hope you can find some helpful information inside. Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more studies on this and other books of the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13 Inductive Bible Study Notes, Cross References, Outline, and Discussion Questions


I.                   The supremacy of love (1-3)

a)        Superior to tongues (1)

b)       Superior to prophecy and knowledge (2)

c)       Superior to giving and sacrifice (3)

II.                The practice of love (4-7)

a)        Patient (4a)

b)       Kind (4b)

c)       Not jealous (4c)

d)       Not brag (4d)

e)        Not arrogant (4e)

f)        Not unedifying (5a)

g)       Not selfish (5b)

h)       Not easily angered (5c)

i)         Not resentful (5d)

j)         Doesn’t take delight in evil (6a)

k)       Rejoices in the truth (6b)

l)         Bears all things (7a)

m)      Believes all things (7b)

n)       Hopes all things (7c)

o)       Endures all things (7d)

III.              The endurance of love (8-13)

a)        Love never fails (8)

b)       Tongues and knowledge will cease (8-12)

c)       Faith, hope, and love will endure forever (13)

Discussion Questions:

What problem do you think led Paul to discuss love?

What were many of the Corinthians’ problems?

Would loving each other have solved them?

What are the tongues of men?

How about the tongues of angels?

Define the meaning of “love”?

What word is the one used for “love” in this entire passage? (Agape)

Did Paul or any others know all mysteries and all knowledge?

Then why would he say that here?

How good is it to have prophecy or all knowledge or all faith without love?

How good is it to give everything you have for God and then your life if you don’t have love?

What idea are you beginning to get about the importance of love for believers?

What does unbecoming mean?

What does it mean to be provoked?

To take into account a wrong suffered?

Bears all things?

Believes all things?

Hopes all things?

Are you patient?

Are you kind? Etc.

When will love fade away?

What does this tell you about the importance of love?

Will tongues fade away?

When? Why?

Will knowledge fade away? (Note, this doesn’t refer to knowing something and mean that all consciousness will cease. It refers to a special gift of knowledge.)

When? Why?

What are the childish things Paul is referring to?

Verse 12 says that we will “then” see face to face. When is “then”?

Agape Love – Self-giving, self-sacrificing, making a conscious decision to care for others and their needs above your own and then following through. Not dependent on feeling or reciprocality.


On love:

Matthew 5:44-45

John 13:1-34-35

John 15:9-10,17

1 John 4:7-9, 19

Revelation 22:4 – In the eternal state we will see God face to face.

Number of appearances in the Bible – Love 551, Faith 270, Joy 218, Pray 121, Hope 166, Humble 40

Teaching Notes:

Discuss the problems in the Corinthian church that led to Paul writing this.

Discuss the importance of love in the Christian life and some modern misconceptions of what love is. (Emotion, lust, loving like one love’s chocolate cake or fish, in other word’s selfish)

Discuss the lasting benefit of loving others.

Discuss the paramount importance of having love in all areas of our life.

Discuss how we can personally improve in loving others and ways we may have fallen in the past.

Discuss the base of love. It comes from our relationship with God. 1 John 4:19. This is also how we improve loving others. It is by having a deeper love relationship with the Lord.

Discuss the endurance of love as opposed to the gifts of knowledge and prophecy (which will be done away with in the perfect eternal state since knowledge will be perfect at that time) and as opposed to the gift of tongues (a different Greek form is used indicating it will cease by itself, which occurred sometime as the apostolic age drew to a close).

Series on 1 Corinthians Chapter by Chapter

1 Corinthians 1:1-17 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 1 Corinthians 2 1 Corinthians 3 1 Corinthians 4 1 Corinthians 5
1 Corinthians 6 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 1 Corinthians 7:17-40 1 Corinthians 8 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
1 Corinthians 10:14-33 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 1 Corinthians 13
1 Corinthians 14 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 1 Corinthians 16

If you found these study notes helpful feel free to check out my library of inductive Bible study notes, topical Bible studies, and character studies chapter by chapter.


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