|Messages By Ovid Need|
Love 5 - 1 Corinthians 13:5
It probably seems like we are taking forever to get through these few points, but as you know by now, I do not like to rush through a passage. Rushing through destroys the context as well as the message.
As we have mentioned every time, 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 of the supernatural workings of the Spirit among them, yet they were exceedingly carnal.
Each one of these points dealt with a problem that was prevalent in this church, which shows us two things: 1.) Supernatural workings of God's spirit does not necessarily mean a people are holy and, 2.) genunine Christian love will solve all the ills of 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 and in today's vernacular, - self-esteem.
VI. Doth not behave itself unseemly.
1. To me, this primarily speaks of keeping at all times the proper relationship between the sexes. Love keeps that relationship decent at all times.
2. Love also has good manners in actions and in words. Love seeks to be proper at all times and in every relationship of life.
3. Love respects the opinions of others.
4. Love avoids 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. Love is proper at all times.
5. Unseemly action could include refusing to do something because we feel that it degrades us. In other words, any action which does not reflect an attitude of Christian humility.
6. It shows due respect for superiors, and those in authority. This includes in the home. It will behave itself properly toward parents and children.
7. Christian love also gives proper regard for those under and around us.
8. Doth not behave itself unseemly also is against breaking down the distinction that God made between individuals. This is one of the more important points here. I Cor. 4:6, 7 (LU)
The world is as much at war against God ordained distinctions as any one other principle of God's word. The Antichrist crowd seeks to place all of mankind on one level, and in one group their efforts are obvious for all who will observe. Every one is to conform to the elite's ideas, and join in their one group. Seuce Himrod, this has included erasing national boundaries.
I think it was on CNN's Cross-Fire (what ever talk show that has Pat Buchannan and Robert Knovack on) last night [2/23/91] ; they had Richard Lugar as their guest. Pat listed about 3 reasons that Bush is so hostile against Husein. The two were standard fare, and I do not remember them. But the third stood out. The reason was because Husein refused to fit in to Bush's new world order. Lugar agreed that this was the reason for the war.
The wicked are determined to subdue all to the same level and in to one group, erasing any God ordained distinctions and boundaries. All that is except the ones in authority.
1. The first area we mentioned that is under attack would be the difference that the Lord made between men and women. This includes an all-out war against the family. This is one reason sodomy is in the open and prtoected by law, the godly family is being systematically destroyed.
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.
As we mentioned, the God-ordained 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. The success has been imminence.
As we pointed out, the current war is introducing 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.
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.
3. Another area under attack is the area of wealth. As we pointed out from 1 Cor. 4:6, 7, God gives deferent abilities and circumstances to deferent people. These abilities are worth deferent amounts of pay in the market place. Therefore, some people have more wealth than others. God made this distinction, not man.
Through the tax system, the antichristian element of our society seeks to take from the haves and redistribute to the have-nots. We are living in a day that considers a person of means as somehow an evil person and the responsibility of the state is to redistribute that wealth. (Everyone's wealth that is, except the politicians and their friends.)
But this seems to only apply in industry and manufacturing. We do not hear lawyers being charged with oppressing the masses for their own benefit, and they are probably the biggest offenders. Them and the politicians.
4. Our look at the ungodly attempt to erase the God-established order would not be complete without a look at this attempt in the church.
This is one of the major issues being dealt with by Paul here in chapter 13. 1 Cor. 12:11 This worldly church was arguing over who had been given the best gift and ability by the Spirit of God.
They were dissatisfied with what the Lord had given them.
They were lifted up with pride over their deferent gifts, looking down their noses at those who hadn't obtained to their level of spirituality. Nor were they giving respect and honor to the leaders in the church as required by God.
14:33, the Godly order of the church was being ignored, and confusion was reigning. They were behaving unseemly, and were proud of it. Evidently this person and then that person was jumping up and disrupting the services. They were not being appropriate.
14:34 we see that women were the major creators of this confusion. The Godly order of this church was being undermined on every hand, with everyone claiming the same authority. The distinction established by God within the church was being destroyed.
This is another obvious point today. Women are being ordained, and we are seeing more and more women stating the doctrinal position of a church or denomination.
We are also seeing the state stepping in and demanding that the church permit sodomites as members and on the staff. And that the preaching not condemn them in any way. The state is demanding that the God-ordianed distinctions be abolished.
5. A fifth point, and maybe the most important as well as obvious in this breaking down of the distinction, is the war against the difference which God has established between sin and righteousness.
The church which tries to make and maintain that sharp distinction between sin and righteousness which the word of God makes, will be in trouble with the people and the state. A church which tries to make the word of God dealwith issues will not draw people. People want a church which makes the word of God to make them feel good.
That church will be small and will not attract people. It will only grow with great difficulty because people want a message which clouds this line. They will seek out and go to churches which will not make a firm distinction between right and wrong. They will seek out a church which will permit their love for the world (drinking, smoking, immorality, worldly dress, indifference to the Lord), because they are extremely uncomfortable in a church which condemns worldliness. If we were not so dogmatic in many of our stands, we would have many people here now.
The growth that we see of churches that ease this line of distinction between sin and righteousness, is the growth of decay and death.
The world, flesh and the devil are working full force to erase the God-established distinction between the saint and the sinner, between the saved and the unsaved, between sin and righteousness. The wicked hate this line of distinction and are using every means possible to destroy it.
The insert in the Bulletin today has an article about this very thing.
"A federal district court has threatened to fine pastors in Buffalo, NY, $10,000 if they protest abortion from their pulpits. In an unprecedented restraining order, Judge Richard H. Arcara further vowed to fine pastors who are "attempting, inducing or encouraging" members of their churches to take part is arrests at a local abortion clinics."" The state and its judicial system is at war against any attempt to draw a distinct line between sin and righteousness.
We can say that we do not like to hear about these things, but that will not change the facts. I do not like to report about them either, but someone must say something and do something. I would guess that the vast majority of the pastors in NY will say that since they are not prohibiting the preaching of Jesus, they will abide by the order which tells them what to preach and what not to preach.
6. One more point here. Godly love will not behave itself unseemly in the place where God has placed us.
Christian love will live within its income and not try to keep up with the neighbors. It will be content with where God has placed the individual.
Christian love will not try to be something that it is not. It will be honest with itself and with others.
Christian love will not behave itself unseemly in not acting its age. I will never forget my pastor telling be of a couple of women in the church in LA who refused to grow up. They were trying to act like their teenage daughters. They were trying to relive their teenage years in their teenagers.
But, obviously this is not restricted to mothers. Dads do the same thing, especially in the field of sports. Maybe they were good in sports, maybe not. But they desire that their children excel in that area because they either did or didn't.
Too bad that our society doesn't permit us to desire our children to excel in areas like work, dependability and character traits such as honesty, love, compassion and consistency in our service for God. As long as they excel in a sport of some kind, we are proud of them.
True self-love acts according to its age and status in life. This includes a proper attitude and respect toward those older than us. (And I should mention, those older should at least expect to be treated with the respect which is due to 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.
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