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    CHARITY OR LOVE

    The more excellent way is not to have a church without the gifts of the Spirit; it is a more excellent way than simply to “covet” gifts. That “more excellent way” is fully set forth in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, in the apostle’s discourse on charity-fervent love to God, and to our fellow-men. Instead of simply coveting some particular gift for ourselves, it is better to seek entire consecration to the Lord-to have His love in our hearts-to “follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1. However, this discourse on charity does not dispense with the gifts of the Spirit. We read: “Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. By this it is understood that the gift of prophecy may be manifest, as it may please the Lord, until the perfect state shall come. In that state, when the Lord is seen face to face, prophecy will no more be needed. “Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.SGL 16.2

    After dwelling upon the superior excellence of charity, the apostle says, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy,” Again, “Forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” And “wherefore, brethren covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:1, 12, 39-40. Hence we see our anxiety and desire should be the upbuilding of the church through the manifestation of the gifts. Especially does he show that it is desirable that the gift of prophecy shall be manifest.SGL 17.1

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