|Messages By Ovid Need|
Love 6 - 1 Corinthians 13:5
I realize that I repeat myself quit a bit, but there are some reasons why.
First, most of my messages are series. I do not see how anyone can consistently take a verse or two and make it stand on its own and still teach the whole counsel of God. Therefore, to continue in a series, the preceding points must be mentioned.
Second, once we cover something, very seldom do we come back and recover it. We may go over a passage again, such as we are doing in the Book of Proverbs, but it will not be the same. In other words, once I cover something, I usually do not go back over it. There is far too much to teach from the word of God to recover a few favorite passages.
Third, most of what we cover is contrary to what I have been taught. Maybe I shouldn't, but I take it for granted that most of you have been in the same fix that I have. Therefore, we review a lot.
I go to preachers meetings and the preachers get up and preach the same old tired messages. During this time of the situation in the Gulf, the messages are on prophecy, and they are same old worn out messages from Scofield's notes.
You listen to the TV or radio preachers and you get warmed over Gothard notes. Although some of Gothard is clearly unScriptural, much of his material is good. But there is far more in the Bible than how to feel good about yourself, about your neighbour and about the devil.
Now, as we said about this chapter 13, with each one of these points, Paul is dealing with a problem that was prevalent in this church. This shows us that genuine Christian love will solve all the ills of an individual or a church.
I. The first point was LONG SUFFERING, able to hold our tongue and temper.
II. The second point is kindness and mild one toward another. This is especially required toward the household of faith.
III. envieth not. As we mentioned, this is the feeling of displeasure produced by seeing or hearing of the success or prosperity of others.
IV. VAUNTETH NOT ITSELF. It does not brag or boast.
V. is not puffed up. This means to blow, to pant; then to inflate with pride, vanity. In today's vernacular, - self-esteem. This is an inner attitude, not expressed outwardly.
VI. Doth not behave itself unseemly.
1. Proper relationship between the sexes.
2. Good manners at all times.
3. Respects the opinions of others.
4. Avoids profane language.
5. Shows due respect for superiors.
6. Proper regard for those under and around us.
7. Doth not behave itself unseemly also is against breaking down the God-ordained distinction in all areas of life. The world hates these differences which the Lord has made. We must honour them.
Doth not behave itself unseemly. The Lord established the differences between people, and each is to be treated accordingly. Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Christian love will protect the God-ordained differences, and treat each person as the word of God requires in their different statuses of life.
VII. Seeketh not her own.
This is probably the best description of Christianity in the Scripture. Love is not selfish.
A. Love does not seek its own happiness exclusively or mainly.
Love does not seek its own happiness at the expense or injury of others. Love is not a seeker of social status.
This does not imply that the person is to ignore his own welfare and the welfare of his family. Every person is to work out their own salvation, and his own well-being in terms of the Scriptures.
But if a person has as his primary goal their own happiness, it proves that he is selfish, he has denied the faith.
True love will prompt us to seek the welfare of others with self-denial, personal sacrifice and work. Christian love will work for the well-being of the community, humanity and others at the sacrifice of our own time and even money. Christian love lives to do good for others.
B. Christian love prohibits self-love and the seeking of praise and honor from others.
C. Acts 10:38
The followers of Christ will also go about doing good as they have the opportunity.
1 John 3:17.
The Apostle is speaking primarily, but not exclusively of worldly goods. This encompasses all areas of life that one might have need in. This gives us some points.
1. No person is a Christian who lives for himself or his family alone. If his main goal is to promote his own happiness and salvation, the love of God dwells not in him.
2. The love of God does not dwell in the one who will not deny himself, his comfort, time, wealth or ease, to advance the welfare of mankind and the kingdom of God. I know of people who will try to discourage others from giving of their time and talent to the work of God.
Peter attempted to persuade Christ not to go on and give Himself for the sake of the Church and suffer and die. Christ rebuked Peter and told him that this idea was from the Deceiver himself, v. 24. Peter had attempted to get the Lord to watch out for Himself, to not give Himself for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
The answer that Peter got was that we are to deny our own selves daily for the sake of the Kingdom of God, and take up our cross and follow Him.
The account in Luke 9:23 leaves out Peter's statement. In both places, the Lord made following Him conditional upon self-denial for the sake of the Kingdom of God and its advancement.
3. The next step is this: It is this principle which has prevented the conversion of the world. Those who profess Christ will not deny their own self and what they want to do so that they might reach their friends, neighbors, family, community and even the world, for Christ.
The love for money and prosperity has destroyed Christianity.
If Christians would only live what we profess -- love -- the world would have been reached for Christ long ago.
Christian love will give to finance the spread the gospel.
It will give of that so called 'personal time' to try to reach the unsaved, and serve in God's kingdom.
It will give time in prayer to implore the Lord to move in the hearts of men.
It will give of our talents to serve Him. We are living in a sad day when professed Christians will only dedicate their talents to the Lord if they get paid for it. This speaks of a love for money more than a love for God.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the selfishness of the human heart were laid aside and love would take over? The world would be reached quickly for the Lord. The only hope for this sin-sick world is for Christians to put works behind their words of love.
VIII. is not easily provoked.
Provoke means to sharpen as you would sharpen a knife or a sword. Here it means to sharpen the mind, or temper, or excite, or rouse to anger.
Notice the number of times this hasty, uncontrolled spirit is dealt with by Paul here in these few verses. Suffereth long, is kind and doeth not behave itself unseemly would also fit in here. We would think that a major problem with sinful nature is the uncontrolled spirit of anger and rage.
A. The use of this term would mean here that Christian love is not prone to violence or exasperation. It is not Christian character to be hasty, excited, passionate, or impatient. He looks soberly at things and restrains his temper, and keeps his feelings under subjection.
Paul describes this as love. Love will not give way to sudden bursts of passions. It will not give in to that feeling of anger toward that other driver on the highway.
(To be real honest with you, I do not see why there are not more killings around big cities than what we hear of. Every time I go around a place like Chicago and get in the traffic, I have an almost uncontrollable urge to kill at least one other driver who did me wrong on the highway. It runs through my mind what it would be like to have a pistol in my hand and maybe shoot out a tire or two. I am glad that you all are more spiritual than I.)
Love will not be angry without a cause. I know, you might say that the person gave you reason to be angry! But is it a Bible reason? Why is it that we can get angry at some thing that won't amount to a hill of beans, like a driver on the highway, when we will not get emotional enough to move a muscle against evil in high places? Godly anger will move to correct wrong, scripturally.
Ephesians 4:26 (LU) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
There are some things implied here.
(1.) There may be anger without sin.
(2.) There is always a special danger of sin in any anger.
(3.) There is godly cause for anger at times. Let me hasten to add that those times are usually not the times in which we are angry.
(4.) There is special danger in anger for a place for the devil to work.
Anger is too common of a passion for us to need to describe, other than say that it is an excitement or agitation of mind, maybe even a desire to do violence. It is brought on by the perception that some one has injured us in some way or another, and is usually accompanied with a desire for revenge. This presents desire for revenge is not necessary for the passion of anger to be present, and this desire may be no more than a desire to express displeasure in some way. It may be no more than words, but it may include actions.
Example: We hit our foot against a stone and it hurts. Anger wants to turn around and kick the stone.
Another example: if something does not go as we feel it should, there is a desire to hit something. It is becoming more and more common to go into houses where there is a hole in the wall or door, put there by a person in a fit of anger. Or a person with bruises, placed there in a fit of anger.
"Well, it's better to hit something than someone." No, one will lead to the other.
(Young people, you watch who you get emotionally involved with. If they display uncontrolled anger before marriage, unless God intervenes, they will after marriage, and it may be toward you or your children.)
Yet on the other hand, if someone is seeking our harm, we are to react in an excitement of mind for our own protection.
We see from Ephesians 4:27, that the desire of excitement to anger gives place to the devil.
There are several things which will show us if our anger is sin.
(1.) When it comes about without sufficient cause of danger, and we do not need it for our own protection, it is sin.
(2.) When it goes beyond protection and seeks to injure another, going past protecting ourselves from their evil actions.
(3.) When it brings with it a desire for revenge and seeks to get total satisfaction for our supposed injury. This would include the secret desire that a person gets what we think is coming to them for what we feel they have done wrong to us.
Romans 12:17-18 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
We must be aroused to action for self-preservation, to save ourselves, family, church, community or nation from danger, but the emotion which explodes into uncontrolled violence and seeks to get revenge, such as kicking a rock which caused us to stumble, is sin.
(4.) When we go to bed with this on our mind, when we keep reflecting back on the supposed injury.
Eph. 4:26 let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Don't sleep on it. Someone has said, "When the sun sets on a man's anger, he may be sure it is wrong." Not only is it sin, it is extremely dangerous to our health. It will develop into high blood pressure, ulcers, colitis, and internal miseries of all kinds.
Illustration: I heard a speaker tell of a friend of his who went to a Centenarian meeting. The friend offered to take the speaker with him, but it sounded like donesville warmed over, so he turned down the invitation. When the friend returned, the speaker ask him if he learned anything at the meeting. The friend said yes. He had spoken to a great many of the people there, searching for a common-denominator for their long life.
The common point which he found was that none of them were worriers.
They did not go to bed upset at someone or something.
They did not let things get under their skin.
They did not let the wrongs which others did to them get to them.
They did not carry the past hurts and evils forward with them into the present.
They forgave others whether the others ask for forgiveness or not. Now, this did not mean that fellowship was restored, but the forgiveness was there.
Notice what Paul says in Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:10, 11 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Paul here warns us of the devices of Satan. The context warns against unforgiveness. These two passages, Eph 4:27 and 2 Cor 2:11 identifies both anger and unforgiveness, as devices of the Devil which permits him to destroy our bodies. Therefore, holding anger and unforgiveness in the heart toward another, permits the Devil to destroy us.
In 1 Corinthians 5 we are told of the couple who were to be turned over to the Devil for the destruction of the flesh because of their sins.
1 Timothy 1:20 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
Here we are told of two who are turned over to Satan for destruction of the flesh.
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Here we are told that the regenerating power of the Spirit of God delivers us from the power of Satan. BUT this is only as we live according to the command-word of God through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God.
He gives the power to know that we are not to regard evil in our heart toward another, and the power to cast that evil out.
What do we have here?
Anger which excites to uncontrolled fits of action, word or deeds.
Anger which seeks to get even (even if it is to get even with a rock, and also includes looking forward to that person getting what we are sure is coming to them), if this is taken to bed with us, not only is a sin against God, but it permits the Devil to work within us to destroy the flesh.
And we must say as the word of God says in Amos 2:4, 5 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked: But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.
When God's people despise this law of God concerning anger, the fire of God's judgment will burn within and without, and they will be devoured.
We must say with the Lord, (Hosea 13:9) O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
ANGER will deliver us to the devil for the destruction of the body. We have been warned and warned. Why do we continue on and destroy ourselves?
This is a good place to stop for now. I would imagine that you did not realize that there was so much involved in this definition of love.
What shows in the control of our emotion?
The love of Christ or the love of the flesh?
Anger and unforgiveness will deliver us to the Devil for the destruction of the flesh.
We have been warned, so when the flesh is destroyed, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
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