|Messages By Ovid Need|
Love 8 - 1 Corinthians 13:6
We only covered about 1/2 of the message last Sunday out of the first two verses of this book, and we will cover the rest if we do a series in it.
Today, I would like to return to Ch. 13 where we have been in a series for some time. I would like to finish these then do an important series on Satan of 3 or 4 messages.
Here in Chapter 13, Paul defines Christian love. He uses about 15 different things to define love, and as we are seeing, these 15 points cover just about every aspect of Christianity that we can think of.
We are in v. 6,
X. Rejoiceth not in iniquity..
As we mentioned last time, we expect the unsaved to rejoice when a Christian goes wrong, but this is not addressed to the unsaved.
We saw that First, the Child of God doesn't gloat over other's wickedness or when the results of sin catches up with them. It does not rejoice in any manner when someone falls into sin or if they have disgraced and ruined themselves and their family. Rather Christian love is saddened over such a thing.
This includes our enemies or those we might have a problem with. We use the term "Personality clash" to justify this failure to get along with others. When I see someone stumble and fall that I may have had a clash with, down deep I want to rejoice. That is not Christian love.
Now, to move on to the second point under, Rejoiceth not in iniquity..
Christian love doesn't use others as an excuse for our own personal weakness. I can not count the times that others have pointed to a third party to justify their lack of character.
Actually, they do not want to do something that they should or they do want to do something that they shouldn't, so they find a professed Christian who may or may not be doing that. They find someone or something to justify their actions.
Probably one of the saddest things, as well as most prevalent along this line which I have seen in the years that I have been involved in and around the ministry, (25 or so), is this. Many use the preacher or his children as their example. They look hard and long (they don't have to look hard at the Need's to find something), hoping to find them doing something inconsistent with the preaching of the word of God.
They rejoice when they find it, because this justifies in their mind their activity which they wanted to do or not to do, which is contrary to what is preached. Then when the preacher tries to confront them with the word of God in a matter, they flee to the inconsistencies which they feel they have found.
What do we as parents hear if we have more than one child. "We'll, you did or did not make them do this" as they point to the brother or sister. What did they do? they sat up that brother or sister as their standard.
It is sad indeed when people become the standard of right and wrong for a church. This shows that those who flee to that standard are immature babies in Christ, if they are in Him at all. Any standard other than Christ is idolatry.
This kind if immaturity is exactly what Paul is dealing with here. These people rejoiced in iniquity because, in their mind, it justified their worldliness. He tells these carnal Christians to grow up and quit using the actions of others to excuse their love for the things of the world.
XI. rejoiceth in the truth.. Glad when truth prevails. This word stands opposite of the word iniquity just before it and means virtue and goodness. We have three points here.
A. No matter how much of a clash we may have with that person, when they do good for the kingdom of God's sake, we are to rejoice.
This is just the opposite of our sinful nature. Our natural instinct of envy and jealousy, is to rejoice when they fail, and be grieved when they do good for the kingdom's sake. Christian love overcomes this tendency by the power of the grace of God and rejoices no matter how much our 'personalities might clash.'
B. Not only should we rejoice when God's truth prevails through those we may have a problem with, we should aid them if we have the opportunity.
The world will not be won by the Baptist. In fact, most Baptist I know who preach hard against any other denomination, are sitting back waiting for the rapture while the world goes to the devil.
Our common unity is faith in the finished work of Christ, faith in His inspired word, and dedication to His sovereignty over all things. If that person of another denomination prospers for the Lord, we should rejoice. No matter who they are, even a close friend, if they are against the Lord and His word, we should rejoice when they fail. The principles of God's word is our standard of rejoicing.
I have a good pastor friend who I would love to have come down and meet you folks, and maybe even speak, but I think he is a 'Full Gospel' man. I don't know how you all would take him, but I have more confidence in him than I do in most Baptist pastors that I know. I do know that you could not help but like him.
When I start narrowing it down to just those that I believe are doctrinally pure, all I have left is myself. And I make lousy company.
The unity must be to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the common commitment to the Great Commission to win the world for Christ and to conquer all for His kingdom. I know some tremendous men within this group, men that I would be honored to have speak here and I am honored to be identified with. This alone is the answer for carrying out the great commission.
We have pastors of all stripes on our mailing list. The ones who we receive the most encouragement from are not the Baptist. I am a Baptist by conviction, but if our hope rests in the Baptist, we are in trouble.
C. The third point under rejoiceth in the truth.. is rejoicing when the truth of God prevails and His enemies fall. This is a lengthy point, probably should be a couple of messages in itself. But it is needed to shed light on a very misunderstood subject.
This would appear to be a contradiction with what was in point X. Rejoiceth not in iniquity.., but it isn't.
Let's look at some examples of this rejoicing which will explain this truth.
The first example is the song of Moses and the people of Israel. We will only read enough of this song to get the idea of the praise. Ex. 15:1, 9, 19. Moses' song of praise is followed by Miriam's song: V. 20, 21.
The second example is found in Judges 5:1-31. Again, we will not read it all, but notice the praise to the Lord for the fall of His enemies, v. 2, 3.
This seems to contradict the preceding statement of 1 Cor. 13, where we are told not to rejoice in iniquity, or when someone falls. So how are the two put together? I wondered about this, and as I read the two songs of rejoicing, I found something in common in both of them.
Notice Ex. 15:9. The goal of Pharaoh was to overtake God's people and divide the spoil. His goal was to divide the spoil and satisfy his lust.
Compare this with Judges 5 and Deborah's song. Because of their sin, the Lord had sold His people into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan. Sisera was the captain of his army, 4:1, 2. The Lord's people turned back to Him and He delivered them. Then in 5:30, we are given the account of what Sisera had planed to do. He had planed to divide the spoil and satisfy his lust.
These two kings, Pharaoh and Jaban, were intent on destroying the people of God. They were intent on removing the faith from the earth. They were determined to subvert and undermine the faith.
Judges 5:31 we are told to rejoice when the enemies of God perish.
Love for God is a love for good. Love for good is a hatred of evil, and rejoices when evil designs and desires against God fail.
Psalms 37, David rejoiced at the destruction of the wicked, those who were against God. In face, the Lord Himself is pictured as laughing at the distress of the wicked in Ps. 37:13; Ps. 59:8 and in many other places.
I rejoice when I see the wicked who are against God fall, and His kingdom prevail.
The rejoice not which precedes this, and this rejoice here are both in relationship to the truth, not to an individual or personality. We love TRUTH; we rejoice in truth; our standard is the truth of God and nothing less. The person or group of people who are against the truth and are working to subvert it, are to be prayed against and rejoiced over when they fall.
Mt. 6:10 When we pray as our Lord instructed, Thy Kingdom come, we are praying for the destruction of everything and every one who is against His kingdom.
It is wicked to rejoice in any way when some one is overtaken in sin. It is a call for rejoicing when the enemies of God, the ones who are actively working against the truth of God's law-word, fall into their own trap. And they will.
Again, no matter how much we might conflict with any person, when they act and prosper according to the truth of the word of God, we are to rejoice.
On the other hand, here we see that no matter how much we are attracted to a person or how winning their personality might be, if they are actively working against the truth of the word of God, we are to work for their fall, pray for their fall and rejoice when the truth of God's word prevails.
Our rejoicing is according to the truth. Our love is given according to the truth.
It would be the greatest thing to ever happen in the history of Christianity if every false teacher were exposed to the light of God's word and if they fell flat to destruction.
And really, there is no hope for Christianity until this very thing takes place, because judgment must start in the house of God. We are told that the Lord laughs at their coming calamity, so we can assume that He also laughs at its arrival.
I found it interesting when I looked up this word, laugh. (We sometimes say that something which we find amusing would even cause the Lord in heaven to laugh. Here are four things which are cause for laughter.)
1. PSA 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Here we are told that as the Lord watches the efforts of man against Him to replace His law with their law, He laughs.
2. Ps. 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. Ps. 59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision. Here we are told that as the Lord sees the plotting of the wicked against the righteous, He laughs because He sees the result of such plotting. And that result is not pleasant for the one doing the plotting.
3. PRO 1:24-33 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
Here the Lord warned His people over and over of the results of turning from His law-word. They ignored the many warnings and took others with them. Then the destruction comes. Rather than the Lord feeling sorry for them, He laughs and mocks them. They choose not to obey His law, they choose to flee from His law and sought what they felt was the best for themselves. They refused to seek His counsel, now the resulting death comes upon them and the Lord laughs at them.
4. Ps. 52:5, 6 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
This is strong, yet it is the word of God. Clearly here the righteous laugh at the destruction of the those who refused to make God their strength by obeying His every law-word. Rather they have trusted in the abundance of their riches, and their riches failed.
Now, these are strong and strange passages for the man-centered fallen nature, BUT they are the word of God. No doubt some would say that this isn't a Christian attitude. No, it is the sorrow at the fall of the antiGod crowd is the ungodly attitude. Ps. 2 clearly invites the faithful obedient child of God to join with the Lord in His laughter at the feeble efforts of the wicked and the reaping of what they have sown. Strange indeed.
The natural man would tell us that this is terrible, but we see here in 1 Cor. 13 that true Christian love will rejoice when truth prevails. I rejoice when I see so called Christian leaders who turn out to not be Christian, fall. Why shouldn't I? The cause of Christ is vindicated, truth prevails. And, besides, the Lord clearly tells us that He rejoices at their calamity.
Paul is talking about personal conflicts when he said, rejoiceth not in iniquity, 1 Cor. 13:6. He clears this up in his next statement, rejoiceth in the truth. I can and should rejoice in the triumph of God and His word over evil, because this is rejoicing in the truth.
I may be considered a carnal sinner, but I rejoice when I see or hear of false preachers and teachers of God's word fall, men such as Dobson who are subverting the faith. They have been approached about the false doctrine which they are promoting and they have refused to be instructed.
I rejoice when I see the failure of the state education system. Why? Because they are against God and are intent in overthrowing Him. I do not believe you can show me one place in the Scriptures where I am to pray or work for the success of any one or any system that is intent on overcoming the restraints placed on them by God's word.
I believe I can show you many places where I am to pray and work for their failure, and then rejoice when they fail in their evil attempts against the law of God.
In Philippians 1 (15-18), Paul rejoices that those who stood against him were prospering through the preaching of Christ. Yet for others who sought to pervert the Gospel, Paul prayed for God's curse against them, Galatians 1:8, 9. His love for them was not based on their relationship with him, but was based on their relationship to the word of God. It they loved the Lord and the word of the Lord, Paul loved them. If they hated God and His word, Paul hated them.
Notice what David said, Psalms 139:19-24. (Hate.. TWOT, 2273. It expresses an emotional attitude toward persons and things which are opposed, detested, despised and with which one wishes to have no contact or relationship. It is therefore the opposite of love. Whereas love draws and unites, hate separates and keeps distant. The hated and hating persons are considered foes or enemies and are considered odious, utterly unappealing.")
1. He identifies the wicked, v. 20. They speak against the Lord.
2. V. 21 David identifies such persons as those who hate God. David then says that he hates them.
3. Ps. 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. tells those who love the Lord to hate evil.
4. 2 Chron. 19:2, And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. Jehoshaphat reaped the wrath of the Lord upon himself because he loved them that hated the Lord.
Christianity is a two-edged sword, a love toward those who are faithful to the word of God, and a curse or godly hatred toward those who are subverting the word of God.
I know that this will sound cruel, but I hope and pray for the fall of those who are perverting the gospel of Christ. If there is ever going to be any kind of return to the word of God by society, it must start in the Churches which are against the word of God. JUDGMENT MUST START IN THE HOUSE OF GOD if there is to be any judgment of the world.
When I hear of the fall of those who have professed to love God, yet have been found out to be untrue to the word of God, I rejoice in truth, that the truth of God has prevailed.
Paul stood against and prayed against the ones who sought to pervert the gospel. He rejoiced in their downfall.
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