|Messages By Ovid Need|
Love 4 - 1 Corinthians 13:5
In the past three messages from this text, we have covered five of the points which Paul uses to describe the inner attitudes which are to be behind our actions toward other people.
It is important that we understand that just because a person exhibits these attitudes listed here, that does not mean they have fulfilled the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. This only scratches the surface as Paul identifies the attitudes which are to be with the actions that are required by the word of the Lord.
As we mentioned, Paul is dealing with some problems in this very worldly church at Corinth. The context of this passage tells us that these people had some supernatural workings of the Spirit among them, such as speaking in tongues, yet they were exceedingly carnal. The time frame would say that this was taking place before the fall of Jerusalem, therefore the tongues were true.
In vs. 1-3 he made it clear that all of the outward actions which speak of spirituality and love are nothing unless these inner attitudes are dealt with.
Each one of these points dealt with a problem that was prevalent in this church. Truly, love will solve the discord and worldliness that might be in 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.
As I mentioned last time, I think these next three are the most prevalent problems among Christians, as well as maybe the most overlooked.
III. envieth not.
As we mentioned, this is the feeling of displeasure produced by seeing or hearing of the success or prosperity of others. It speaks of a zeal or desire against any person. In other words, LOVE does not feel bad about the happiness or success of another. Rather it delights in their welfare and success; the increase of their abilities, rank or reputation. LOVE delights in their health, wealth, comforts. LOVE rejoices when others prosper.
IV. VAUNTETH NOT ITSELF.
This speaks of bragging and boasting. This is the only palace that this word is used in the NT and it follows envieth not, and precedes is not puffed up. With this Paul is dealing with the problem presented in Chapter 1 and the boasting over worldly wisdom and abilities.
This 'bragging' or 'showing off' is not pretending to have something which we do not have. It is a realization of what we do have in gifts and abilities, then showing them off, or bragging about them. What do we say to ourselves and maybe even to others? "Not bragging, just the facts," and with this we excuse our wickedness in this area.
Vaunting is being sure that everyone knows about what we have obtained to, how hard we are working or what we are doing for the Lord.
V. is not puffed up.
This means to blow, to pant; then to inflate with pride, vanity and in today's vernacular, - self-esteem.
This word is almost identical to the preceding word - vaunteth, with a major difference. The previous word primarily means to tell others about how good we are doing, or how much we are doing. But this word is just what it says, puffed up. This speaks of an inner feeling of superiority, self-esteem, not really expressed outwardly.
Now to the ones which we have not looked at yet.
VI. Doth not behave itself unseemly.
The other place this word is used is in 1 Cor. 7:36. Thus, Paul is primarily dealing with the improper relationships between the sexes that was prevalent in this church. In fact, ch. 5 deals with this in great detail.
A. To me, this primarily speaks of keeping at all times the proper relationship between the sexes. This includes dating relationships of nothing improper. This immediately identifies the one who wants to even approach us in an improper manner, as one who does not love us. This is especially true in the boy-girl relationship.
And as we mentioned on a WN, in the time in which we find ourselves, this includes the work-place. The co-ed work place and military is a spark looking for the dry paper to ignite. And it does many times. The more we are around someone the more this proper behavior is chipped away at. As the saying goes, "Familiarity breeds contempt."
I read an interview of employers and the vast majority said that they had no concern about the adultery among the employees who worked together, as long as it did not interfere with their job performance. We are seeing a breakdown of civilization.
Love is always decent according to the standard established in the word of God at all times. It avoids anything that would offend the purity established in the word of God.
B. This also has to do with good manners, not only in our actions but in our words. In this one love seeks to be proper in all circumstances and relationships of life. It doesn't do anything of which it would be ashamed.
C. It respects the opinions of others. Sinful human nature is tempted to count any disagreement to our opinion as close to sinful.
D. This includes avoiding profane, vulgar, dirty and indecent language. This avoids improper allusions, double meanings and innuendoes, coarse and vulgar expressions. This includes what is called 'second-hand cussing,' dang, darn, shoot, god, lord.
Christian love is always proper in all of its words, actions and emotions.
E. We might add here that this unseemly action could include refusing to do something because we feel that it degrades us, that it is beneath our position in life. Although this could also fit under # 4, vaunting. If it needs to be done for the cause of the Kingdom of God, if we have the ability and the time, then love will do it.
F. It shows due respect for superiors, and those in authority. It does not make one a passive slave to them, we can disagree agreeably. But authority is still authority. This is Romans 13:7 in action: Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Daniel and his three friends are the best example of this that I know of. They refused to submit to the requirements of the heathen king, but they did this with godly respect.
G. Christian love also gives proper regard for those under and around us. It does not despise their social status, their economic status, their dress, their home, their possessions.
It gives everyone their due respect, whether wife, husband, child, parent, brother, sister, co-worker, boss, employee, civil authority, or friends.
H. Doth not behave itself unseemly also is against breaking down the distinction that God made between individuals. In fact, this is one of the more hated principles of the word of God, God's distinction between people and even nations. The Antichrist crowd seeks to place all of mankind on one level.
This is what is behind the laws which are forcing our manufacturing into other countries where the labor is cheaper. The Antichrist dream is of all nations on the same economic level and standard. Nimrod's spirit is very much with us. They do not want to recognize that God exalts one nation above another in accord with His law.
The problem that Paul was dealing with here can be found in 1 Cor. 4:6, 7 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
1. The first area we have that is under attack would be the difference that the Lord made between the sexes, between men and women. Now, I don't know about you, but I like the difference that the Lord made and have no desire to have it broken down. I want by wife and daughters to be all feminine.
I have an article here from the Star, 12/22/90. The title is NONTRADITIONAL FAMILIES MAY REGISTER IN BREAKTHROUGH MOVE IN CALIFORNIA. Of course, as the title implies, the state is trying to make provision for sodomites to be united under the guise of marriage. This move is seen by the Sodomite community as "an exciting application of the law for everyone," because they see this as "the foundation for what could become case law that ultimately leads to protection of lesbian and gay families." This is just one of a great many areas under attack to break down the godly distinction between men and women, leading to the destruction of the families.
Thus we see the antichrist's attack against God and His provision for women. 1 Peter 3 is extremely clear on this, v. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Timothy 5:12-15 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.
God placed the woman in a sheltered position, under the protection and authority of the man, either her father or her husband. There is an all-out war against this by the Antichrist crowd, as they seek to place the man and woman on the same level. All we have to do is look around and we can see this. The obvious goal today is to destroy God's definition of the family, a man and woman united in Holy wedlock. The war is against God's principles and word.
There was a movie on the Disney channel, I think it is still running. The name of it was the Quarterback Princes. She was the quarter back on a High School football team. She was the best, of course, and led the team to their regional championship under her leadership. She was one of the boys on the field and in the locker room, with her mother's support.
The men in the community who stood against her playing on the football team were pictured in the worse possible light, and brought to shame when their team won. Then she was nominated for High School homecoming Queen. Of course, she got that also.
The message was loud and clear. A girl can have the best of two worlds, a man's world and still excel as a woman. Equal rights for both, and by rights they mean total removal of any distinction between the two. And anyone who stands against it is considered an old fashion fool.
The God-established sex barriers are under attack as never before in history. WW II brought this about when the men went off to battle and the women went into the factory. It devastated the family and, no doubt, was one of the purposes of WW II.
Notice what is being introduced in this current war -- women on the front lines. It really doesn't matter what we personally feel about it, the word of God is firmly against women in the armed forces. There is not one place in the word of God, OT or NT that permitted the women to be in such a position.
Let us not suppose for a moment that if the draft is re instituted, that we will not see a serious effort to include women. This is a vital part of the war against all Godly order, especially the family.
What we are seeing is a continuing war against this God-established distinction between men and women, just as sure are the efforts in California permitting state recognition of Sodomite marriages.
God placed the woman in the shelter of the home. The devil has taken her out and the results are obvious as the godly order of the home is destroyed. Divorce is out of hand, as is the generation coming up.
2. Another area we see under attack by the antichrist to erase the difference that the Lord made, is in the work-place. The attempt is to place everyone on the same level.
1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. What are we seeing take place? With the group system and the unions, the employee tells the employer how to do the work. And if the employeer tries to enforce his rights as an employer, both the union and the state are on him like a duck on a june bug.
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