What is Love in the Mind of God?

God is Love I can think of nowhere more significant that the Humanists have made inroads into than the re-definitions of scripture, as is in the identity of love. And it is any wonder that would be their primary target?

A statement that I keep in mind and repeat is: Redefine love and you have redefined God, Himself – the way He thinks, the way He acts, what He requires. Is it any wonder that the Prince of Lies would strike at the foundations to create a false version of God?

That is why I am taking considerable time in looking at 1 Cor 13. First, allow me to make some general observations about what Scripture say about love that seems to be off the radar for most Christians, especially when they are feeling wronged.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. “No chastening seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Heb 12:5-8

 

Even if the chastening comes by way of murderous hatred or jealousy, we must realize that what men mean for evil, God means for good. He makes all things work together for good for those that love him. The reaction of the mature in Christ will be first to thank Him for whatever HE is doing, and then to seek His response to the offender, if there is to be one. And it will never be one of retaliations (if smote on the cheek, turn the other cheek, etc) Any other reaction proves our self interest and focus on our reputation, our feelings, our flesh, and not on our new man in Christ Jesus. It also displays an attack against God as if He is not good for allowing the real or imagined wrong. The purpose of every trial is to conform us to the image of Christ and to see God more clearly. Job 42:5 (see below) Why are our flesh and our rights more important to us that knowing Him and being conformed to His image? Trials tend to show us where our heart is. The God of Good is not the god of nice. Christianity teaches another god. The god of nice and its followers have forgotten how God has treated His best servants, Job, the prophets, the apostles, and His own Son, Jesus. The God that Job knew was very different from the god of nice now ruling in the lives of many Christians.

Let the Humanist assess God by Job’s words.

He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. [not nice, mean of God] 20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. [not nice, mean of God] 21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me. [not nice, mean of God]  22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. [He lets me down, dashes my hopes] 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. [all he could count on God for was death, the fate of everyone] 24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. [God will not hear me from the grave] 25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? (Job did that which was good) 26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. [seems like God was not being nice to Job]. Even if He did not cause it, He did not intervene) 28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. Job 30: 19-28

And after all was over, what did Job understand?

By the hearing of the ear I heard Thee, And now mine eye hath seen Thee. 6 Therefore do I loathe it, And I have repented on dust and ashes.  Job 42: 5, 6

Evidently, it no longer has value for Christians to hear God with the ear and see Him with the eye, and draw closer to God because spiritual deafness, hardship, pain, and misunderstanding is that path instead of worldly comfort. Christianity has forgotten that through much tribulation we enter into the Kingdom of God, even though bible history is filled with that truth. One cannot see the kingdom of God without the death of the flesh — and that is never without pain.

Is the prize of knowing and seeing Him worth more than all else? Now, that precious truth is despised and taught against and fought against. The god of nice is on the throne. It is frightening to realize that Christians make a ministry out of protecting others from the trials that God brings through other good men and bad men. They interfere with God’s work too many times. Oswald Chambers calls them amateur providences, thinking they know best without consulting God as to His purposes.

Those people have their eyes fixed on the god of nice and his ways, not the God of Heaven and His ways. I can’t imagine what would have happened of one of these modern day “ministers” had been able to reconcile Joseph and his brothers before they sold him to the Egyptian traders. They may even have said it was Joseph’s fault for being proud about his coat and for sharing his dreams (Scripture does not even hint at that.) Certainly they would have been well satisfied and thought, I have performed my ministry well. Unwittingly, what they are doing is promoting the religion of nice and preventing their disciples from entering the Kingdom of God. They need to heed Jesus’ warning to the Pharisees who had replaced God’s system with another.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Mt 23:15

God’s goodness and niceness is always in the context of eternity, the god of nice operates in the realm of now. The god of nice operates in the pleasures of sin for a season, but God, like a good parent does whatever it takes to cause His child to walk in ways that will be in His best long term interests at the sacrifice for momentary pleasures or ease, or comfort.

We must ask ourselves whether the One True God does show the same “nice” characteristics that the god of nice promotes. Yes, He does. All truth comes from the One True God and no god or philosophy can conjur up something of their own. They can only corrupt what is true. They re-define and twist truth, and take it out of context until it accomplishes the opposite of what God intended.

The god of nice presents a very narrow view of goodness and niceness. It is a damning influence and is to the runination of truth and the people of truth. It is like the indulgent father who does not insist that the child take responsibilities but caters to the wants and desires of the child mind. As always, we must look not only at the definitions of words of scripture, but the behaviors of those who obeyed God and His scriptures. The One True God is not against niceness (even as the Humanist define it), He only puts it in its full meaning and in a proper context. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is where we see Love as He defines it. It is also is the place where we find where Humanism has most corrupted definitions. We will examine it carefully to reestablish God’s definition and perspective.  (The numbers in the are from Strong’s dictionary of Greek or Hebrew words.  I have also place my comments in those brackets in grey color)

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long , and is kind ; charity envieth not ;charity vaunteth not itself , is not puffed up , 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly ,seeketh not her own , is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil ; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity , but 61>rejoiceth in the truth ; 7 Beareth all things , believeth all things , hopeth all things , endureth (5719) all things . 8 ¶ Charity never faileth …

Redefine love and you have redefined God, Himself – the way He thinks, the way He acts, what He requires. Is it any wonder that the Prince of Lies would strike at the foundations to create a false version of God? Currently, love has more psychological meanings for most Christians than it does theological meanings. It is the intent of this chapter to separate the precious from the the vile. It does no good to know the verse if its words have been redefined. It is not only 1 Corinthians 13 which defines how He loves (and even those words have been redefined to man’s liking and accepted by Christians as true). Verses like the following properly demonstrate neglected (but critical) facets of love in action. The bible spends much more time demonstrating this face of love than it does the popular one that Humanists promote.

  • Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth , and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
  • Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
  • Heb 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
  • Re 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten : be zealous therefore, and repent.

If we truly want to see and understand and know what love looks like, we must watch God in action as He deals with His people and those not His people throughout the entire bible. God is not moody and does not have mood shifts. He is never changing. His wrath is an expression of His love, His sending people to hell is an expression of love, His allowance of evil in the world is an expression of love. Rebuking, chastening, and scourging have lost their place in Christianity and we see it so rarely because men have lost the godliness to do it in the Spirit. It is obvious that neither Christians nor the church practice or believe in this part of love any longer. They would rather be compatible with the world than with Christ. To reduce it to only the same definitions as does Humanism is to misrepresent God and create another one. It also makes it impossible for true disciples to be made, rather it makes disciples to Humanism. Most of Christians now believe in the humanistic god who is nothing but nice and kind in ways pleasing to man. He is now a nice god whose main concern is man being nice to man.

Love 

4 Charity <26> 

Charity – Love
26 ἀγάπη agape ag-ah’-pay

from 25; n f; TDNT-1:21,5; {See TDNT 10 }

AV-love 86, charity 27, dear 1, charitably+ 2596 1, feast of charity 1; 116

  • 1) {Singular } brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence {#Joh 15:13 Ro 13:10 1Jo 4:18 }
    • 1a) Of the love of men to men; esp. Christians towards Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or expressed {#Mt 14:12 1Co 13:1-4,8 14:1 2Co 2:4 Ga 5:6 Phm 5,7 1Ti 1:5 Heb 6:10 10:24 1Jo 4:7 Re 2:4,19 } &c
    • 1b) Of the love of men towards God {#Lu 11:42 Joh 5:42 1Jo 2:15 3:17 4:12 5:3 }
    • 1c) Of the love of God towards man {#Ro 5:8 8:39 2Co 13:14 }
    • 1d) Of the love of God towards Christ {#Joh 15:10 17:26 }
    • 1e) Of the love of Christ towards men {#Joh 15:8-13 2Co 5:14 Ro 8:35 Eph 3:19 }
  • 2) {plural } love feasts expressing and fostering mutual love which used to be held by Christians before the celebration of the Lord’s supper, and at which the poorer Christians mingled with the wealthier and partook in common with the rest of the food provided at the expense of the wealthy. {#Jude 12 2Pe 2:13 Ac 2:42,46 1Co 11:17-34 }

Syn.: φιλία 5373 ἀγάπη, signifying properly (v. s. αγαραω 25) love which chooses its object, is taken from the LXX, where its connotation is more general, into the NT, and there used exclusively to express that spiritual bond of love between God and man and between man and man, in Christ which is characteristic of Christianity. It is thus distinct from φιλία, friendship (#Jas 4:4 only), στοργη, natural affection (in the NT only in its compounds, v. s. ἄστοργος 794) and ερως sexual love, which is not used in the NT, in its place being taken by επιηυμια 1939.

Christians are very confused about “agape” love.  More often than not, what they refer to are the emotions.  The underlined words in the paragraph above shows the distinctions.

Love Patiently Endures

4 Charity suffereth long  <3114>

suffereth long
3114 μακροθυμέω makrothumeo mak-roth-oo-meh’-o

from the same as 3116; v; TDNT-4:374,550; {See TDNT 462 }

AV-be patient 3, have patience 2, have long patience 1, bear long 1, suffer long 1, be longsuffering 1, patiently endure 1; 10

  • 1) to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
    • 1a) to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
    • 1b) to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others 
      • 1b1) to be mild and slow in avenging
      • 1b2) to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish Patience will exhaust itself with gentleness until the point where gentleness has not accomplished its intention.

That point is only for God to determine. Men will come to the end of their natural patience long before God does. Being patient also does not negate the need at times for immediate harsh intervention, when required. A natural example would be the time when a toddler is heading toward a trafficked street and a gentle and soft word would not save it from harm like a sudden jerk on the arm would. Though the jerked arm may be sore for a while, it was the only course of action that represented true love. Patience allows itself to be taken advantage of, inconvenienced, and maligned. Patience has no taste for retaliation or vengeance for that which is done to it (Please note that being long-suffering or patient does not necessarily negate avenging or calling to account injustices – obviously God can rightly exercise vengeance in love). Patience never takes revenge. Like Love, its only concern is for the spiritual benefit and well being of others.

Like Christ, a Christian never retaliates nor holds a grudge or animosity toward the wrong done him. Today, it is considered normal and legitimate for a Christian to complain to or report the one doing the hurt rather than forgiving and forgetting it.

The concern is typically for oneself, not the other. That is not love. It does not seem to care what spiritual damage the offending brother or sister is doing to himself or herself when he/she has an intent to cause psychological hurt. Such a wrong doer needs to be set free more desperately than the one who has taken offense.  Both the insulter and the insulted are walking in the flesh, not the Spirit, to their own detriment.

Christ, Stephen and other martyr’s are those that exemplify patience. Christ said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Stephen, while being stoned to death ask God not to lay the sin to their charge.

The heart of salvation is God’s desire to show that patience toward sinners.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Lu 6:35

Love Is Kind

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind <5541>

kind
5541 χρηστεύομαι chresteuomai khraste-yoo’-om-ahee
middle voice from 5543; v; TDNT-9:491,1320; {See TDNT 849 }

AV-be kind 1; 1

1) to show one’s self mild, to be kind, use kindness

Kindness goes far beyond mere niceness. At times it may not seem nice in the Humanistic manner. The motivation of kindness is the spiritual welfare of others. John MacArthur accurately says

Just as patience will take anything from others, kindness will give anything to others, even to its enemies. Being kind is the counterpart of being patient. To be kind (chrēsteuomai) means to be useful, serving, and gracious. It is active goodwill. It not only feels generous, it is generous. It not only desires others’ welfare, but works for it. Kindness rebukes, exhorts, edifies and cleanses

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.  Ps 141:5

Is this even allowed to be said today in Christianity?

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  1Ti 5:20

Forbidden today, considered utmost unkindness and insensitivity and un-Christlike

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2Ti 4:2

Preach a soft word is OK, all else is not allowed.

  • This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Tit 1:13

Rebuke sharply? Not allowed

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Tit 2:15

Authority? “Who are you to say what is right? “Get the log out of your own eye first”.  There is a mean type of Humanistic kindness that foregoes the eternal for the present.

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.  Pr 9:8

We have a church full of scorners, not wise men.  And how can it be otherwise?  

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  Mt 5:44

Rather we complain about them and seek comfort for our “hurts”

Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.  Pr 19:25

Smite? Reprove? Is it any wonder that there is lack of knowledge?

As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.  Pr 25:12

A wise reprover? How would one recognize such a one, since such are not allowed to exist, under the definition of wise we now give it.  

Open rebuke is better than secret love.  Pr 27:5

The church says, “rebuke, when it is rarely required, MUST be done in secret”

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.  Pr 27:6

We now prefer kisses to wounds.  Judas knows how to kiss.

If anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two”  Matt. 5:40-41

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Lu 6:35

 “For My yoke is easy , and my burden is light. Matt. 11:30

The word He used for “easy” is the same one translated as kind in 1 Cor. 13:4. In His love for those who belong to Him, Jesus makes His yoke “kind,” or mild. His yoke is an easy one. Keep in mind, a yoke indicates restrictions and pulling a load. He does not say burden-less, but easier and kinder than the yoke of the world.

To be kind is far more than kind feelings. Kindness is to be based on intention moreso than feelings., and those kind intentions are always focused on the spiritual welfare and maturity of the other.  That is one of the loads it pulls.  Returning kindness for ill treatment, whether real or imagined.

The other load is enduring the cruelties of men and life. Whether by hugs or by admonishments, Or the pointing out of error, the objective is spiritual correction, not demeaning.

A. W. Tozer understood God’s kindness when he said

“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

God often has to deal “harshly” (according to the Humanist understanding of “harshly”) where pride is hurt (even destroyed) for it is at those times of harsh dealing when pride is most exposed. It is all too common that most Christians will defend themselves and justify their pride and other Christians will join them in that defense against the ones who have brought their pride to the surface. God wants pride and self justification rooted out – man does not. It is time that Christians stood with God against pride and its desire for self justification. When someone comes complaining of an offense seeking to be justified, first help them see their pride and desire for vindication.

Vindication is not the way of God.

Is it kind or gracious or loving to leave people in their darkness, sin, or disobedience where they will not participate in all that God has for them? It is not!

The means and method and timing of confronting can be as different and night and day. It may be very gentle, filled with human empathy, or it may be harsh (as the Humanists see harshness). The tone may be soft or severe. Both are on display in scriptures. Both have been used by God to effect His puposes   The most important thing is that we do not decide whether to be soft or severe. Only God knows that and we must do it His way. The Humanistic minded Christian will always consider any “harshness” as not of the Spirit because of the mingling of the god of nice and his lies. They tend to view things through its eyes.

The Humanistic Christian tends to be nice and soft to all. They see it as a virtue, as Christ like. And it can be. But our model is Christ, not the god of nice. These Humanistic Christians are favored among Christian groups and help present and promote the god of nice and its kingdom of darkness.

There are certain callings and giftings from God which tend to gravitate toward Godly softness and tender confrontations. Pastors and evangelists usually have that legitimate gifting. However, the evangelists can be confronting and offensive. John the Baptist was both. The entire gospel depends on a right understanding of “niceness” as defined in the bible.

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Mt 7:14

And the health of Christianity depends on things hated by the Humanists and most Christians.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  2Ti 4:2

Each of the bolded words above have connotations and meanings that are not “nice”. They involve saying things that will not be pleasant to hear by those whose egos are alive and well. Humanism and the new Christianity seem to exist to protect egos and the feelings that accompany them.

It is not with much joy and peace that we enter the kingdom of God, but through much tribulation and much of that tribulation is due to the flesh fighting the Spirit and the Spirit fighting the flesh. The flesh does not like to be exposed and will usually cry “foul”.

One of the best ways to unmask Humanistic ideas of definitions is to find those in the bible that demonstrated the traits of those words. For example, “kind”. How many persons in the bible exemplify the current Humanistic understanding of “nice”? Go through the men and women of the bible and find those traits. If they are found, they will be overshadowed by traits of valor, of faith, of obedience, of pressing in, of taking no thought for their life. I have not found a single example of a bible person that would fit the Humanist’s definition of “nice”, not even Jesus.

Love Is Not Envious or Jealous

4 Charity suffereth long , and is kind charity envieth  <2206> not

Notice that God also tells us what love is not in order to more clearly define love.

envieth
2206 zhlow zeloo dzay-lo’-o
from 2205; TDNT-2:882,297; v

AV-zealously affect 2, more with envy 2, envy 1, be zealous 1, affect 1, desire 1, covet 1, covet earnestly 1, misc 2; 12

  • 1) to burn with zeal
    • 1a) to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger
      • 1a1) in a good sense, to be zealous in the pursuit of good
    • 1b) to desire earnestly, pursue
      • 1b1) to desire one earnestly, to strive after, busy one’s self about him
      • 1b2) to exert one’s self for one (that he may not be torn from me)
      • 1b3) to be the object of the zeal of others, to be zealously sought after
  • 1c) to envy

It is very significant when used in the good sense (1a1) and in the wrong sense. When used in the good sense, it causes much good. When used in the negative sense (1a) it is very destructive. We will discuss it in the negative sense for that is how 1 Cor 13:4 does.

Jealousy (envy) is not compatible with Love and is a destroyer of love. Where jealousy is, love is not. Words and deeds inspired by jealousy or envy are never God’s words and are always meant to destroy, not build.

We see someone more gifted, getting more honor while we see we have more wisdom or understanding than they. Rather than celebrate and rejoice at all the ways God is using the person, we resent it and are jealous. They prosper and we suffer. They are known, we are unknown.

Jealousy may start with desiring something another has (which is covetousness) But jealousy soon devolves into the desire for evil to the one it is jealous of and takes on more wickedness.

It was jealousy and envy which brought about the first murder in the bible.

There is absolutely no reason for jealousy or envy other than unbelief and worldly desires. God has told us

2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

What more could we want? Just because what He has given us does not appear to be as good to the world as something He has given another is of no consequence. For He has given every Christian all things that pertain to life and godliness. What more should one want?

Prov. 27:4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy?

Jealousy fuels a multitude of sin and fleshiness. It is not passive, but aggressive against those envied.

Jealousy is, at the root, telling God that He is not wise, is unfair, does not know what He is doing and not giving you your just rewards compared to another. Jealousy is an assault on God moreso than on man.

Love Is Not Arrogant or Prideful

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself ,  is not  puffed up <5448> 

puffed up
5448 φυσιόω phusioo foo-see-o’-o
from 5449 in the primary sense of blowing; v;

AV-puff up 7; 7

  • 1) to make natural, to cause a thing to pass into nature
  • 2) to inflate, blow up, to cause to swell up
    • 2a) to puff up, make proud
    • 2b) to be puffed up, to bear one’s self loftily, be proud

The greatest danger of pride is not what the prideful do to others but how they destroy themselves in the worst way possible

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts  Ps 10:4

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Pr 16:18

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit Pr 29:23

Maybe the most subtle and acceptable form of pride is pride in service to God. It is so easy for those to whom God has gifted more than others to take on this lie against themselves. It was the same lie satan told himself and the one that destroyed him.

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Isa 14:14

Jesus presented an entirely different way.

 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Lu 17:10

Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverted mouth, I hate”  Prov. 8:13

How then is pride and arrogance to be dealt with in the church and among brothers? Paul knows that pride destroys the prideful and contaminates those around them. Although Paul does not state specifically what he will do, it does not sound like he will be considering the god of nice in his dealing with the prideful.

Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Cor. 4:18-20

The prideful can not forgive, for they must maintain every reason that distances them from others.

Love Behaves Civily

1 Corinthians 13:5  Doth  not  behave itself unseemly 

Unseemly
807 aschonew aschemoneo as-kay-mon-eh’-o from 809; ; v

AV-behave (one’s) self uncomely 1, behave (one’s) self unseemly 1; 2

1) to act unbecomingly

This word seems to have more to do with manners and civility. We must not disregard the ways of a society when they are not infringing on the truth of God or the health of His kingdom or children. Unfortunately, it is very often our focus and regard for manners and civility which interfere with our hearing and obedience to God. We let society define manners and civility rather than God. That is never a good idea.  God calls it rebellion.

Behaving unseemingly is a disregard for others. Its regard is only for itself and its self expression. It is more about civility and manners and rudeness. The Corinthians at their love feasts were behaving unseemly in their lack of care for their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. They showed off their gifts at the expense of all. It was not only rude and unbecoming in society but even more so in the body of Christ.

Often the behavior of another is given as an excuse for rudeness. Those who act unbecomingly are self focused, not Christ focused and are not about the business of bringing all to maturity in Christ.

Civility would be another word for not acting unbecomingly. But civility has caused much harm. The BBC series Downton Abbey was an excellent example of civility used as a mask for injustice and discrimination and inequality.  It was civility ruling over truth and reason that cause the downfall of establishments based on civility more than truth. Truth was avoided if it would cause embarrassment or hurt someone’s self esteem.  That sentiment reigns supreme in churches today.

The god of nice always causes a blind eye toward part of the truth in order to warp and twist it.

What would an unbeliever have to say about Christ before you would severely take them to task? Would calling Jesus a homosexual or a consort of Mary Magdalene or a deceiver and a liar? If you are answering to His honor and holiness and not defending your own belief, then it is difficult to believe that you would be acting unseemly.

And there are some who are far more jealous of God and His holiness and it would take far less for them to take up against the blasphemer, even though it would mean being misunderstood by Christians. It is not the character of the person, but their beliefs and lies that are to be the target of the godly.

The one who confronts more easily will be looked down on as spiritually immature or worse. The one who waits until it gets extreme will be applauded among men. But whom do the courts of heaven praise?

Where are the prophets and apostles today who care not for the protocols of kings or society when they have a message from God? God cares not for the protocols and niceties of society when they interfere with or tarnish His truth or affect His servants and sons wrongly. Where are those who will set their faces like flint and not flinch at protocol or humanist niceness that is designed to shield people from the truth? I think that most Christians, if they had lived in the days of the prophets and apostles, would have considered many of their actions unseemly.

It was gentle Jesus, meek and mild, who made a whip and scourged the vendors from the temple and overturned their tables and scattered their money. It is the Prince of Peace who brings not peace but a sword. We must not turn a blind eye toward God’s ways in defining unseemly. Nor must we hide behind that as we act unbecomingly for our own interests. It was this same Jesus who opened not His mouth in defense against His accusers. We must not judge on the basis of outward appearance or actions or temperament

What is sorely needed is for Christians to forsake worldly and Humanistic ways and see things only from His perspectives. That is the only sure way to avoid being unseemly in God’s eyes.

Love Does Not Seek Its Own

1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly ,  seeketh <2212> not her own <1438>

Seek
2212 ζητέω zeteo dzay-teh’-o
of uncertain affinity; v; TDNT-2:892,300; {See TDNT 286 }

AV-seek 100, seek for 5, go about 4, desire 3, misc 7; 119

  • 1) to seek in order to find
    • 1a) to seek a thing
    • 1b) to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into
    • 1c) to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after
  • 2) to seek i.e. require, demand
    • 2a) to crave, demand something from someone

 

Basically, the Christian should realize that he is to have nothing of His own. He along with his family and possessions belong to God and he is but a servant of a generous God. There is nothing for him to seek other than pleasing God and by helping others to know Him and serve Him out of right hearts.

Paul brings together the sin of pride and relates it to what we should seek

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,  Phil. 2:3-7

The answer to improper behavior is the same as it is to pride – to serve others so that they may be more conformed to Christ. Not to make them happy, or to meet their needs primarily, but to meet the only need that is important. Knowing Him.

Love Does not Engage in Evil Thinking

It does not attribute evil to others.

1 Corinthians 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly , seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked,  thinketh <3049> no evil <2556>;

thinketh
3049 logizomai logizomai log-id’-zom-ahee
middle voice from 3056; TDNT-4:284,536; v

AV-think 9, impute 8, reckon 6, count 5, account 4, suppose 2, reason 1, number 1, misc 5; 41

  • 1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over
    • 1a) to take into account, to make an account of
      • 1a1) metaph. to pass to one’s account, to impute
      • 1a2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight
    • 1b) to number among, reckon with
    • 1c) to reckon or account
  • 2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate
  • 3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer
    • 3a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on
    • 3b) to suppose, deem, judge
    • 3c) to determine, purpose, decide

This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.

This thinking is not merely have a passing thought about something. It is a purposeful consideration and determination to follow through on the thinking. It imputes what it thinks. While this is an essential quality of those who are righteous and think no evil, it is a deadly quality of those who keep track of evil and enumerate it against the account of others regularly.

God thinks this way in regard to our sins. He considers them as settled and cleansed. But unlike God who no longer accounts our sins against us (2 Cor. 5:19) Loveless ones do the opposite. They do not forgive as their Father has forgiven them.

  • And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Eph 4:32.

The long and short of it is: Do not keep records of wrong done against you, whether real or imagined, whether slight or great.

Love Does Not Rejoice Wrongdoing 

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity , but rejoiceth in the truth ;

Rejoiceth

5463 χαίρω chairo khah’-ee-roa primary verb; v; TDNT-9:359,1298; {See TDNT 840 }

AV-rejoice 42, be glad 14, joy 5, hail 5, greeting 3, God speed 2, all hail 1, joyfully 1, farewell 1; 74

  • to rejoice exceedingly
    • to rejoice, be glad
    • to be well, thrive
    • in salutations, hail!
  • at the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute

Love is not somber nor depressing nor negative. Joy is its trademark. It rejoices when its children are set free from the world, the flesh, the devil and all their ways and attractions.

iniquity 93 ἀδικία adikia ad-ee-kee’-ah

from 94; n f; TDNT-1:153,22; {See TDNT 23 }

AV-unrighteousness 16, iniquity 6, unjust 2, wrong 1; 25

  • 1) injustice, of a judge
  • 2) unrighteousness of heart and life
  • 3) a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness

Love does not partake in iniquity, nor rejoice when others prosper because of their iniquity or suffer for their iniquity. It hates all iniquity for iniquity is the expression of deviancy from love and is destructive to it.

Love Rejoices in the Truth

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity,  rejoiceth <4796>  in the truth <225>

rejoiceth
4796 συγχαίρω sugchairo soong-khah’-ee-ro

from 4862 and 5463; v; TDNT-9:359,1298; {See TDNT 840 }

AV-rejoice with 6, rejoice in 1; 7

1) to rejoice with, take part in another’s joy

2) to rejoice together, to congratulate

The word rejoiceth in the second part of this verse is different than in the first part. It is a rejoicing that implies unity of love and truth and the one walking in and adhering to truth.

Of all that is said about Love, there seems to be a primary thing that Love rejoices in. It rejoices in truth. Love knows that truth is the foundation of happiness. It is Love’s greatest joy when its children walk in truth. If we do not walk in truth, cherish truth, we have none of Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Jesus saith unto him , I am the way, the truth , and the life  John 14:6

Note that the same Greek word is used for truth in John 14:6 as it is in I Corinthian 13:6. Is it any wonder that the god of nice wants to demote truth? Rejoicing in truth is rejoicing in Jesus. Jesus is the way to the Kingdom, the truth of the Kingdom and the life of the Kingdom.

 

Love Bears All Things

1 Corinthians 13:7  Beareth all things

Bears
4722 στέγω stego steg’-o
from 4721; v; TDNT-7:585,1073; {See TDNT 738 }

AV-can forbear 2, bear 1, suffer 1; 4

  • 1) deck, thatch, to cover
    • 1a) to protect or keep by covering, to preserve
  • 2) to cover over with silence
    • 2a) to keep secret
    • 2b) to hide, conceal
      • 2b1) of the errors and faults of others
  • 3) by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure, bear, forbear

A person that loves can not be hurt, for love is not about oneself, it is about the other. It will bear up under insults, personal injury and injustice, even unto death for its objective is always the eternal welfare of others.

Love will also bear the burdens of others, their weaknesses, their sins. It will conceal sins from undue exposure while it works to set the captive free. It will not consider others incapable of being set free nor being critical of the sins of others. Love is about the business of liberty and restoration.

Love Believes All Things

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things,  believeth <4100>  all things <3956>

believeth
4100 πιστεύω pisteuo pist-yoo’-o

from 4102; v; TDNT-6:174,849; {See TDNT 634 }

AV-believe 239, commit unto 4, commit to (one’s) trust 1, be committed unto 1, be put in trust with 1, be commit to one’s trust 1, believer 1; 248

  • 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in
    • 1a) of the thing believed
      • 1a1) to credit, have confidence
    • 1b) in a moral or religious reference
      • 1b1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul
      • 1b2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith
    • 1c) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith
  • 2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity
    • 2a) to be intrusted with a thing

This does not mean that love is gullible. Rather it means that it always believes in God’s power and grace for all to be given light and freedom by the Spirit. It does not focus on the sin they see, but on all that is promised in Christ on the behalf of each sinner and saint. Even if the person attacks them and betrays them, they remain steadfast knowing that God will set the person free and rejoices to know that. Rather than criticism, their heart is filled with confidence in deliverance for the sinning one.  Love does not resent or become bitter toward the other, because it believes in the goodness and power of God toward all.

Love Hopes All Things

1 Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things,hopeth <1679> all things <3956>

Hope
1679 ἐλπίζω elpizo el-pid’-zo
from 1680; v; TDNT-2:517,229; {See TDNT 237 }

AV-trust 18, hope 10, hope for 2, things hoped for 1, vr hope 1; 32

  • 1) to hope
    • 1a) in a religious sense, to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence
  • hopefully to trust in

Hope is the companion of faith. It is not hoping in the way we understand it today. It is confident expectation that is only waiting on God for what it knows He will do

Love Endures All Things

1 Corinthians 13:7  Beareth all things

Bear
4722 στέγω stego steg’-o
from 4721; v; TDNT-7:585,1073; {See TDNT 738 }

AV-can forbear 2, bear 1, suffer 1; 4

  • 1) deck, thatch, to cover
    • 1a) to protect or keep by covering, to preserve
  • 2) to cover over with silence
    • 2a) to keep secret
    • 2b) to hide, conceal
      • 2b1) of the errors and faults of others
  • 3) by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure, bear, forbear

A person that loves can not be hurt, for love is not about oneself, it is about the other. It will bear up under insults, personal injury and injustice, even unto death for its objective is always the eternal welfare of others.

Although it is stated above, it is worth repeating for so few Christians practice it:

Love will also bear the burdens of others, their weaknesses, their sins. It will conceal sins from undue exposure while it works to set the captive free. It will not consider others incapable of being set free nor being critical of the sins of others. Love is about the business of liberty and restoration.

Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8   Charity  never  faileth

Fails
1601 ἐκπίπτω ekpipto ek-pip’-to

from 1537 and 4098; v; TDNT-6:167,846; {See TDNT 633 }

AV-fall 7, fall off 2, be cast 1, take none effect 1, fall away 1, fail 1, vr fallen 1; 14

  • 1) to fall out of, to fall down from, to fall off
  • 2) metaph.
    • 2a) to fall from a thing, to lose it
    • 2b) to perish, to fall
      • 2b1) to fall from a place from which one cannot keep
      • 2b2) fall from a position
      • 2b3) to fall powerless, to fall to the ground, be without effect
        • 2b3a) of the divine promise of salvation

There is nothing that can make love fail for it is not founded on any worth or goodness in oneself but on the truth and faithfulness of God. It is only when men get their eyes and trust off from God and on man or traditions or standards born of them, that faith and relationships break down.

Contents

It is suggested that you read them in this order because some thoughts and themes are based thoughts developed in previous articles.

 

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