1 Corinthians 13 (ESV):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Are faith and hope part of the spiritual gifts that will cease when the perfect comes?

  • I really cannot see anything in the text that would suggest they will cease. Could you clarify? I see speaking in tongues, knowledge and prophesy ceasing, since they are in "part" (v. 9) and will disappear when the perfect comes (v. 10). Faith, hope and love are explicitly said to abide. Perhaps you could point me to the point that raises your question. Jan 21, 2022 at 15:40
  • @DanielRidings - see hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/54085/38524
    – user38524
    Jan 21, 2022 at 15:43
  • Thanks. Sticking to this text as it is, I'll wait for better minds than mine to respond. Jan 21, 2022 at 15:50
  • Well, what sort of faith are you talking about? You can have different faiths in different things. Are we talking about faith in what Jesus did by shedding his blood on the cross, or faith that he was resurrected? No, we won't need faith for any of that, because we will have been resurrected to eternal life already. You don't need to have faith that Jesus is the way to eternal life when you've already received said eternal life.
    – Rajesh
    Jan 21, 2022 at 21:26
  • @Rajesh - I just mean whatever Paul meant by "faith" and "hope". Feel free to use his definitions.
    – user38524
    Jan 21, 2022 at 21:28

3 Answers 3


Faith and hope are not gifts of the Spirit, but fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). They do not cease but remain/abide/stay (μένει) along with love. Love is an attribute of God and will remains as it is, the greatest. Hope/waiting/expectation (ἐλπίς) will be met, no longer waiting. Faith (⸉πίστις) will be realized (Heb. 11:1).

Abideth (μενει [menei]). Singular, agreeing in number with πιστις [pistis] (faith), first in list. The greatest of these (μειζων τουτων [meizōn toutōn]). Predicative adjective and so no article. The form of μειζων [meizōn] is comparative, but it is used as superlative, for the superlative form μεγιστος [megistos] had become rare in the Koiné (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 667ff.). See this idiom in Matt. 11:11; 18:1; 23:11. The other gifts pass away, but these abide forever. Love is necessary for both faith and hope. Does not love keep on growing? It is quite worth while to call attention to Henry Drummond’s famous sermon The Greatest Thing in the World and to Dr. J.D. Jones’s able book The Greatest of These. Greatest, Dr. Jones holds, because love is an attribute of God. -- Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (1 Co 13:13). Broadman Press.


Note the distinction Paul makes between the "spiritual gifts" in 1 Cor 12:31 and the "much better" way involving the fruit of the Spirit. (Compare Gal 5:22, 23).

However, let there be no doubt that, "love come from God" (1 John 4:7). However, this is fundamentally different from the spiritual gifts for a very simple reason:

God is love (1 John 4:8, 16)

Let me make this clearer:

  • Spiritual gifts are for the upbuilding the church (Eph 4:12, 1 Cor 14:12) and thus will not be required in the next life (1 Cor 13:10)
  • Fruit of the Spirit will always be required both in this life and the next.

When God created mankind, he was made "in the image of God" (Gen 1:26, 27) and one of the principal ways this image is reflected is by the characteristic of love, faith, hope, joy peace, etc.


In the case of faith is listed both as a spiritual gift and part of the fruit of the Spirit. Thus it is needed for the upbuilding of the church and in the next life as well. We are explicitly told:

Faith, hope and love, ... but these three remain ... (1 Cor 13:13)

  • Verse 13 says: and now there doth remain faith, hope, love -- these three; and the greatest of these [is] love. (YLT). It's talking about "now" (the very moment Paul spoke those words, his present moment at that time). How do you conclude then that faith and hope remain after the perfect would come (not now)?
    – user38524
    Jan 21, 2022 at 20:50
  • Here are two articles that explain how faith will not be necessary in heaven: carmelitesistersocd.com/2013/faith-in-heaven, whatchristianswanttoknow.com/do-christians-in-heaven-need-faith
    – user38524
    Jan 21, 2022 at 20:51
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator - I do not believe one can press the adverb as applying to the present alone - it suggests here it applies now as beginning now but continuing. It is now and remains.
    – Dottard
    Jan 21, 2022 at 21:13
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator - further, whatever one says about one of these must be said about the others. I do NOT believe we will be devoid of love in heaven. Therefore, faith hope and love will continue or remain.
    – Dottard
    Jan 21, 2022 at 21:17

This is a pseudo question as one will get it clear when reading 1 Cor 12-14 as a whole.

In these three chapters, Paul was particularly deal with "What are spiritual gifts". In his introduction, 1 Cor 12:1, he wrote;

12:1 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. (NIV)

What caused him concern about this? It was likely due to a letter from Chloe's household, that informed Paul there were disputes among the church (1 Cor 1:11). Their disputes posted a threat to the division of the church, and one of the dispute was the Corinthians were boosting their spiritual gifts, that might boost their status in the church.

1 Corinthians was the first letter Paul wrote to the church of Corinthians, and he remained calm in the wording, though he noticed their intention and the wrong approach to express their spiritual gifts. Paul had a difficulty here to prove one's spiritual gift was a pseudo act. So he did not directly challenge those who claimed to have the gift, instead, he taught them how to distinguish a true gift, thru LOVE, as he wrote

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (NIV)

Now, with this background understanding, let's review the subject of 1 Cor 13:8-10

13:8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

13:10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. (NIV)

Prophecies, tongues and knowledge were the spiritual gifts the Corinthians claimed. Paul was telling them these were not fullness and would cease when the perfect comes

13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

Let's not be misleading by the previous verses. The phrase "And now" did not mean the time when the perfect comes. "And now" was now, the time the Corinthians reading Paul's letter. Paul was actually encouraging the Corinthians to pursuit faith, hope and love that each one should always possess, instead of the spiritual gifts that will cease.

So if a true Christian lived his life on earth with faith, hope and love, would they cease when the perfect comes?

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