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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”


bears all things,

Note the four “all things” in each phrase. The idea is that whatever love touches in these four categories, it has the capacity to deal with “all things” without exception. Although the Holy Spirit through Paul speaks in hyperbole, the point is “all things” in God’s economy.

The word “bear” (stego) can mean (1) cover over, shelter, or (2) bear up. If the former meaning is proper here, then the idea is that love covers the sins of others and does not hang them out for all to see. Love does not gossip or listen to gossip. It does not make any difference whether the accusation is true or not. Love takes an interest in the best interests of others. This is not an issue of shielding the sin but the sinner. If the later term “bear up” is the right translation, then the idea is that love bears abuse without resentment. Obviously, this does not include sexual abuse.

Ga 6:2, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (love).


Love protects the reputation of others.


Sinful human nature loves to down others to lift self. There is a perverse delight in divulging the failures of others. This appetite sells tell-all magazines, but what is worse is that this tendency embeds in the heart of carnal Christians. Love does not bear sins but bears all things. We can test our love for others by how much we cover their failures. Love does not justify their sin but exhorts them to get back on track. God did that for believers at the “mercy seat,” for the shed blood of animals covered sin (but did not remove it; only the cross removed sin).

Love protects the reputation of others. It cares whether people expose them to ridicule or accusation. Love does not gossip but can hold information within.

1 Pe 4:8, And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”