Love Like Jesus – Without Rudeness


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.


Without Rudeness

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider.

Love is not rude.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is not rude

1 Cor 13 - rude

As many who read these posts know, I am Canadian by birth, and the typical characteristic of a Canadian is that they are sooooo polite. One of our favorite words is “sorry”, and my mother drilled it in my head to say “please” and “thank-you” everytime I opened my mouth.

This rude thing – I got it. I am the most unrude fella you will come across (A bit arrogant aren’t we Carl?)

Sorry ’bout that mate!

This anti-description of love is only spoken of twice in the New Testament. The other passage is also in 1 Corinthians.

 1 Corinthians 7:36

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.

One thing to notice regarding my definition of “rude” is based on speech. This Greek term is a verb, and not simply a description of a fella saying the right polite words. Don’t get me wrong – Christians should exhibit honor to others in their speech, and part of that is politeness as I have described.

I think Paul has a bigger picture going on here in this passage. Notice that the Greek word we are looking at begins with “a”. This is the prefix a Greek writer would use to negate the word. We do the same today, when we use “athiest” to describe one who says no to God, or to the existence of God.

Lets look at the term without the negation.

Paul uses the greek word euschēmonōs to call for proper, decent or seemly behavior on the part of believers

Romans 13:13

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

Okay – walking properly is described in negatives in this verse and confronts self control, sexual fidelity, anger/pride and jealousy. Nothing specifically about politeness Carl – You may want to reconsider your limited assumption at the beginning of the post!

1 Corinthians 14:40

But all things should be done decently and in order.

Paul is giving a summary conclusion at the end of a chapter dealing with tongues and prophecy. These gifts, that is the tongues gift, was being coveted by the Corinthians. It was showy, flashy and “proved” God was talking to and through you.

No matter where you stand on the tongues issue, be decent! Behave properly in the exercise of your gift in the body of Christ. Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 4:12

so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Paul does not restrict a believers responsibility to act properly to those within the church. This is a characteristic of the spirit led believer, that is to act decently, properly and seemly amongst those who do not share the faith we have.

Being argumentative, proud and “rude” does not further the Kingdom.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Let’s summarize the idea of rudeness described in our passage. To be rude is to not behave properly, decently and in an orderly fashion.

Was Jesus rude in speaking to the Pharisse’s in Matthew 23, giving a scathing indictment on their actions. Remember, rude is an action word and may not apply to a prophet declaring the truth. So I think not. He was simply expressing love in giving them warning!

Well, how about when He overturned the temple trade tables, and whipped the animals out of the Temple. This is an action that may be construed as rude, but for two things.

  1. It was His Father’s house!

It was not done in an unseemly way. Check out the description of how Jesus prepared for this action.

John 2:15

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

2. This action took time!

It is informative to note that the Lord took the time to “make a whip of cords”. This speaks of a deliberateness, a time of controlled anger, of planning and performing in a specific manner. I suppose this statement removes from my thinking that He simply reacted to the situation. A bad situation, that He addressed in a proper manner. The very definition of not being rude

Please join me in our next study where we will consider love as not demanding!

It would be silly for me to insist you come visit next time, but it would be good to see you visit, as we continue considering the Bible and the message we are hearing on the topic of love.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Arrogance


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Arrogance

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love is not arrogant

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is not arrogant

1 Cor 13 - arrogant

Arrogance

The fifth term that describes what love is not is arrogance

This term is often translated in the KJV as “puffed up” and I always chuckled when I read those passages. It seemed so descriptive.

Paul was careful when he chose this term to describe what love is not, since there is another term translated as boast in the New Testament.

That word is kauchēsis, Strong’s # G2746. This word is used to describe the boasting in the Lord that Paul (and all believers) exhibit in their lives. It is the act of glorying in the Lord. It is a positive characteristic of the believer, and it is used of our estimation of the Lord and of His people.

Pauls boasts of the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 7:4

I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

Paul boasts of his fellow workers

2 Corinthians 8:24

So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

The word we are looking at in our current study is physioō, and this word closely imitates our common thought of pride, arrogance, haughtiness, selfish elevation over others. The root word describes the bellows used to blow a fire. (A bit of an association with hot air!)

Love does not boast, does not inflate itself, does not tell everyone to “look at me”, listen to me, I’m more important than that fellow over there. As a matter of fact, I’m more important than you. Me me me me…..

It is interesting that the majority of the time this word is used is in 1 Corinthians. The only other time this word is used in the New Testament is in Colossians 2:18, where Paul describes enemies of the gospel, being puffed up without reason about visions they have had!

Again, it is important to remember the nature of the Corinthian church. This group of believers were immature, fleshy, and in division! Boasting is a tool used to create division, of pitting self over a brother.

As many who read these posts have come to realize, I have a struggle with how to handle knowledge. My relationship with knowledge brought about great boasting in my life early on, to the point of defining my knowledge as the pure doctrine of the gospel, mocking discussion and discourse with other believers. I somehow convinced myself (I wasn’t convincing any one else!) that I had the pure teaching. How proud and haughty.

In the following passage, Paul addresses the Corinthian’s relationship with idols in the City. It is my go to verse when I consider how to handle knowledge. We all possess (some) knowledge. Remember that love builds up the fellow believer.

1 Corinthians 8:1

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

One of my Old Testament memory verses speaks on this topic. Hannah was praising the Lord for the answered prayer of God in giving her a son, Samuel. She had weaned her son, and brought him back to the temple, giving her son to the Lord.

As you many remember, Hannah’s husband had a second wife, Penninah, who bore children and mocked Hannah for her barrenness. 1 Samuel speaks of Penninah provoking Hannah, seeking to irritate Hannah.

Hannah’s prayer speaks of the Rock, our God and then slips into a portion concerning Penninah.

1 Samuel 2:3

Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.

Boasting of oneself, in the believers life, as he seeks to love like Jesus, is excluded.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Walk humbly with thy God. This characteristic of a believer is such a rare commodity in the days we live in.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus is not arrogant

This term is so closely linked to our previous discussion on boasting that I will refer the reader to our previous post – Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting.

In summary, Jesus, the Son of God cannot be arrogant since His own word’s define His attitude of life, that is of gentleness and humility.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Boasting


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Boasting

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love does not envy or boast

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus does not envy or boast

Boast

The second term that describes what love does not do is boast

This word is used only once in the New Testament and we find it in the verse we are looking at.

The term is built on a root word to describe a braggart. Our modern descriptions would include a show-off, a blowhard, and egotist.

How does this relate to the popular self esteem movement that has travelled through the modern church in the last few decades? Is there a conflict with the teaching of high self esteem and the characteristic we are looking at today. Is being a braggart comporable to being one with high self esteem?

First off, let me confess my history with this movement. I have been involved with a church that jumped into this self esteem movement when it became uber popular in the 90’s.

I struggled with it due to the teaching that self esteem is equated with self love, and this is definitely a teaching that we need no help on. The Word describes us humans as having no trouble with self love. As a matter of fact, it is self love that has drove us from the love of God and love to God.

One of the passages those who propose the self esteem teaching like to refer to is Matthew 22:39. I published a blog post a few months ago on this verse, trying to get some clarity on the teaching. You may want to check it out. What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – Matthew 22:39

There is a confidence we believers are to exhibit due to the love of God expressed through Jesus work on the cross, the sacrifice he has given to redeem us from ourselves. Focusing on our own self is a dangerous past time.

A number of Bible passages speak of our requirement to humble ourselves. Verses such as

James 4:6-10

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

If we seek our own exaltation, we will fail. Humility before the Lord is the only way to be pleasing to the Lord and to find our self worth.

1 Peter 5:5-6

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

One more passage that speaks of the need of humility. It is imperative that we see this as an action we are to initiate. We are to humble ourselves.

Romans 12:3

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

It is interesting that Paul does not tell believers to not think of himself too lowly than he ought to think. Think with sober judgement. Serious contemplation of self before the throne of the Father will bring about a crumbling of our self love. He is the one worthy of our love. Bragging of our own self worth or of our accomplishments is not in the description of love we are considering in this post.

So is boasting to be evident in the believer? The Word speaks of boasting in a favorable light.

Psalm 34:2-3

My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Our boasting is to be in the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how David connects humility with boasting in the Lord. In our boasting of ourselves, we cut off opportunity to exult in the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:31

so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, prior to getting to our chapter on love, speaks of the proper place of boasting the the believers life.


2 Corinthians 10:17

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

It seems the Corinthians didn’t quite get the message last time since Paul needs to remind them one more time of the principle of boasting for the believer to be in the Lord, (and not in themselves).

Galatians 6:14

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Paul, in his teaching to the Galatians, speaks of the exclusivity of his boasting, in relation to his religious duties before the Father. He has none, as we need to recognize in our lives also, that before the holy Father, our deeds are not of boasting value. Only in the cross of Christ is the truth of boasting for the believer.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus does not boast.

Is that a good description of the Lord Jesus? A few posts earlier, I referred to the Lord’s self description

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

He describes Himself as lowly in heart. Humble.

Since He is God in the flesh, any statement he makes could not be boasting. Say He declared “I made the moon” Well, that is a true statement, and the element of boasting may be evident if I said it, (along with the bold face lie), but for Him to make this statement would only be stating part of a greater truth.

I can’t see, given the status of our Lord, where boasting would be a possibility. He cannot lie and any statement He supplies is truth. Boasting may also be considered an attitude of superiority, and Jesus has informed us that this is not His attitude.

His attitude is of humility, of gentleness and of a low degree. This mind of Christ is to be in us my brothers. We are to take on humility and gentleness.

Philippians 2:5

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Please join me in our next study where we will consider a sister characteristic of being “puffed up”. Hope you can join me as we continue our study.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy Reconsidered


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Envy Reconsidered

In our last post, we considered that Christian love is not expressed through envy. We learned that envy and jealousy are two different emotions, and that envy is prohibited in the believers life.

And then I mentioned that envy is to be a positive characteristic in a believer’s life.

So now I am surely considered a lost cause. As my momma used to say, Carl you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

It may seem so, but bear with me.

The verse we primarily dealt with previously, contained the description of love as not envying.

1 Corinthians 13:4 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast

I then found that John 2:17 uses the very same Greek word for envy in describing the Lord’s motivation for cleaning the Temple. Kind of shook me a bit.

Then, as I was looking at the context of the passage above, an additional question rose in my thinking. Check out 5 verses earlier in 1 Corinthians 12:31

1 Corinthians 12:31

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

What’s the problem Carl? Check out that the term “desire” is the very Greek word we were looking at above. Paul is commanding the Corinthian believers to earnestly desire the higher/best gifts, to be “envious” of the higher/best gifts, to want the higher/best gifts.

But Paul, you mention five verse later, that love does not envy! What is going on?

I see two issues to be addressed with this problem. The first is a misunderstanding of my common concept of envy.

Positive Envy

Envy may have a positive characteristic in a believers life, in that it may be describing envy in the pursuit of good, righteous and holy things. The ESV translates the word zeloo, (translated as envy in verses discussed in our earlier post), as zealous in the following passage.

Galations 4:18 (KJV)

But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Paul is encouraging good “envy” in the believer, that emotion which fuels us to do good, to be zealous in a good sense. We are so often considering envy in a bad sense, and rightly so, but the New Testament is not restricted in this way.

The Lord himself, as considered above, was consumed with “envy” for the Father’s house.

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

We are commanded to be zealous in Revelation 3:19

Revelation 3:19

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Yet, I can’t seem to get away from the fact that Paul is telling the Corinthian believers to be envying the “better gifts”. This seems to be against the spirit of love, expressed in humility and preferring others that is taught elsewhere in the Word. (Remember it is only five verses later that Paul teaches that love does not envy!)

Selfish Envy

The context of 1 Corinthians 12:31 may give us some help in understanding the intent of Paul’s message.

Are we to be desiring the higher/best gifts? Let’s consider a few questions that may clear help the reader understand the point.

  • I do not know of another passage that defines any gifts as higher/better than any other. The lists of gifts are lists, not rankings of quality. (Paul does describe a gift later that is “spiritual” that is to be sought, but that discussion will come soon enough!)
  • Paul just finished with an extended passage speaking of the importance of accepting the gift you have, of exercising this gift or gifts that has been given to each of us. The ear is not to be seeking to be an eye!
  • The Corinthian church is known for division, infighting and a competitive spirit.

Is this phrase in the last verse of chapter 12 describing the immaturity of the Corinthians. As baby believers, the Corinthians were seeking the showy, flashy gifts. Is he simply stating a fact, that is, you Corinthians are seeking the better gifts? I have read in the past that this passage may be translated this way.

It is an interesting idea, and seems to fit the context. Paul is going to show them a better way, a way that is better than seeking the “higher/best” gifts. This way includes not seeking what others have, which we have addressed in the previous post.

Another Monkey Wrench in my Mind!

Ok Carl, that may be, but how do you handle Paul’s clear exhortation for the Corinthians in the 14th Chapter

1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Good question! (Tough question, but good question!)

Paul may be simply stating a fact in the last verse of chapter 12, but it is clear that Paul is commanding the Corinthians to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. It is interesting that Paul uses “best” gifts in 12:31 and changes the modifier to “spiritual” gifts in chapter 14:1.

Could Paul be a bit sarcastic in 12:31? “You Corinthians are chasing the best gifts (in your opinion, that is!)”

1 Corinthians 14:39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Paul summarizes the intent of his message regarding the the difference between prophecy and tongues in this verse, stating that prophecy is the gift to seek after. (The Corinthians can allow tongues.)

Consider the 3rd verse of this chapter, where Paul identifies the intent of the gift of prophecy

1 Corinthians 14:3

On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

Paul has spoken of love as being about others. Prophecy is about building up others. Pursue love Corinthians, and in doing that, find that prophecy is a clear expression of love.

Prophecy syncs with the better way of love. The gift of prophecy the Corinthians are told to seek is a natural outgrowth of true biblical love. Tongues seems to be a distraction for Paul, and I feel it was overemphasized by the Corinthians to the point of division.

If you are seeking another’s gifts or talents, stop. Put that envy off like an old shirt. Hoping to have someone else’s gift will only cause you pain and heartache. Wanting some one else’s abilities or talents is sin.

1 Corinthians 14:12

So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

As believers, Paul instructs us to exercise love. Love is not exercised by envying another’s abilities, but in supporting their ministry. Find your own talent and ability and quit wasting time and effort on envying someone else’s gift.

Love does not envy.

Thanks for visiting. I do hope you found something of interest and of challenge in this post. Drop me a line to discuss and hope to see you in our next topic, where we look at the topic of boasting in the life of loving like Jesus.

Its going to be the absolute greatest post ever written in the history of the world!!!!

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Without Envy

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love does not envy or boast

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus does not envy or boast

Envy

1 Cor 13 - envy

Let’s look at the first of the terms describing what love does not do.

The term zeloo means to burn with zeal, to be zealous, to desire earnestly.

Let’s think about something that is often equated in my mind. The synonyms of envy and jealousy. Surely they mean the same thing! Is that correct?

I have previously penned a series on A Jealous God, which may be beneficial to refer to if of interest. With that study, I found that jealousy, rightly held by the believer, was of benefit to both sinner and saint. You see, God’s jealousy sought out our best, by directing our love away from distractions and sin, and toward the springs of living water.

Envy, is not associated with God. Jealousy is. Interesting! Let’s consider the difference.

Jealousy

Jealous behavior is borne of the fear you may loose something or someone. It is rooted in a love relationship, and when referring to God’s jealousy, the love is towards His people. Therefore to be jealous has three participants. The one who is jealous, the one who is the object of jealousy and the one who is causing the jealousy.

Consider a cheating spouse, and the participants in the trial. The victim, the cheating spouse and the third party.

So often the Word of God describes His people as adulterous, and the emotion of jealous is directly linked to this.

Envy

Envious behavior is not so. Envious behavior has two “participants”

The one envious, and the object/person of envy.

Envy is addressed in the decalogue, where God’s command is clear. It seems clear that envy is not to be found in the believers life

Exodus 20:17

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

So lets conclude that jealousy and envy are different animals. Both jealousy and envy may have positive and negative intents associated with them.

Love has the component of jealousy, but properly held in the life of the believer, seeks out the benefit of the one loved. This is not the common practice of jealousy in our lives, where we act out of our own hurt, seeking revenge. Of course, this type of jealousy is not to be found in the believers life. Godly jealousy is selfless in its exercise.

Envy in the believers life is two fold also. Envy, in the natural realm is to be shunned by the believer. Love does not envy, and the New Testament commands us to not envy.

Galatians 5:26
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

This passage is linked with pride and a spirit of challenging our fellow believer. Envy, in the believer, has a source of separateness, of being in a “us vs them” relationship. Of course envy is to be shunned, and for me, it is an alarm that I have not the correct attitude toward my fellow believer. I am conceited, and from that heart, I become envious!

1 Peter 2:1

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

Galatians 5:26 addressed envy in relation to our fellow believer. Even as I was commenting on it, I was considering if envy would be addressed in the believers life in relation to those out of the body. Golly, wouldn’t you know it, but Peter speaks on that very topic.

Peter notes that we are to put away all envy. Notice the group of characters related to envy in this verse! Definitely a group of sins that believers need to reject.

As a matter of fact, Peter tells us to lay these sins aside, as an old garment, toss them off, and not to pick them up again.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus does not envy?

The root word of the term Paul uses in our passage is used once in a description of our Lord in the book of John

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Oh my, that throws a monkey wrench in my thinking. The term for envy, which I described as not being acceptable for a believer to exercise, is actually used to describe the Lord as His motivation for cleaning the Temple.

What was all this post about then Carl? Are we to be envious or not?

Please join me in our next study where we will consider where “envy” is to be sought after in the Christian life. I hope you can join me.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Love Like Jesus – Kindness


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Kindness

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love is kind

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is kind


1 Cor 13 - kind

Kindness, in my mind, is the same as being “nice”.

But does the Bible teach believers to be nice?

Let’s consider a comparison of these two concepts. I owe this information to Crumps Corner.

KindNice
Speaks upStays quiet
HealingToxic
Tells the truthLies to keep the peace
Moves forward with careHolds back
Takes courageLacks courage
Is more concerned for others than selfIs more concerned for self than for others
Desires to be helpfulDesires to be liked
Leads to successPrevents success

Nice

I read a book a few years ago, simply because the title was so outrageous. “Don’t Be a Nice Christian”, or something like that. I had always assumed that Christianity was typified by niceness. You are so nice Carl, what a nice Christian. You do nice things Carl… The book started to bug me. Alot.

Let’s consider the concept of niceness per Bible teaching.

Okay I found three words in the Bible that refer to “nice”

Bernice, Eunice, Phenice – Definitely not the results I was hoping for! Nothing of any command for believers to “be nice”

Nothing to see here folks. Let’s move along…

Kind

Not so with the kindness Paul uses to describe Christian love. The passage we are reading today defines love as kind (chresteoumai). This word is used ten times in the New Testament, mostly describing the kindness (or sometimes translated as goodness, gentleness) of God. Nevertheless, love as expressed as kind is a goal for the believer to strive to.

What does that look like? This table above, I suggest gives us much to consider. If you are “nice” like I am “nice”, you will want to consider the differences.

2 Corinthians 6:6

by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;

Paul is describing the methods of service to God by which they commend themselves to others. It is interesting that two verses earlier, patience rears its head again in the description of the Christian life! I wonder which patience he refers to? The “makro” or the “hupo”? I gave you a hint in the last post if you remember!

Back to kindness. Paul’s method of serving God included kindness. Vines Expository Dictionary of the New Testament states

It signifies “not merely goodness as a quality, rather it is goodness in action, goodness expressing itself in deeds,

Kindness is not simply a feeling within your heart, or only a good attitude toward others, which of course is required, but it is expressed in acts of usefulness to others. By implication, to those who do not deserve it – those who may be neutral to us, or – dare I say it – our enemies!

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, not a work of the flesh. Focus on the source and not the fruit and the fruit will fruit out. (does that make sense to you?)

Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

A simple command for believers to obey. Be kind, by putting on the new man, the Christ.

In conclusion I have a question for my gentle reader.

Was the Christ kind when he cleaned the temple? I certainly do not think He was nice, but again, let us refuse that connection with Christianity.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

The gospels do not describe Jesus with the exact Greek term Paul uses in this passage, the root word chrēstos, is definitely used in relation to the Master. Many of you are zeroing in on one of the more famous descriptions of our Lord when He described Himself thusly.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He is gentle and lowly in heart, and yet the term we are looking at is describing the yoke He is providing to those who will follow. The yoke is “kind”. He is gentle and His yoke in easy, or kind. I have heard it described as a yoke that doesn’t chafe the neck of the one wearing it.

As we look to the Master, as we recognize His character, and the tremendous love He has for us, the yoke, no matter what it may entail in our lives at the time, is tailored to our need and condition. To realize this, we must understand His character, His meekness and lowliness of heart.

He directs us to learn of Him, and yet describes Himself as meek. If He were not the Son of God, this claim to learn of Him would be an act of extreme arrogance. If the Son of God, this direction to learn of Him is wisdom personified.

Learn of Him. He is the truth.

Please join me as we continue our travels through 1 Cor 13, looking at the first description of love as a negative. (Say it isn’t so Carl)

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Love Like Jesus – Two Much Patience?


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Patience in the New Testament – A Comparison

In our last post, we considered patience that Christian love exhibits. Patience that is exercised by an anger that is far away, that is distant, that is put off. That patience is Makrothumia

Our current study is to concern ourselves with two Greek words that are commonly translated as patience, or long suffering.

Of course you recognize makrothumia, since we spent some time in our last post thinking on it. The idea of stretched out anger, anger that is put off.

The second word for patience in the New Testament is hupomeno. We will consider this type of patience in a later post on the 7th verse in this passage , but I wanted to consider these two words in comparison.

Hupomeno is also a compound Greek word, made up of the prefix hupo, with the meaning of “under”, typically when associated with patience. The root meno is also a very interesting word, which typically means to “abide”, “remain” or “dwell”. Taking these two word meanings, we can build a sort of synonym when we see hupomeno.

To abide under.

By application, abiding under a situation or condition that is not favorable, that is difficult, that might be crushing your soul. Exercise patience by not escaping from a difficult situation. If an opportunity to escape a difficult situation comes along, patience would require you to remain under the difficult situation. The opportunity to escape may be a temptation to do wrong!

One patience speaks of long drawn out anger, while the other speaks of abiding under. Two completely different terms, describing two different attributes of the patience in a believer.

Another interesting feature of these two Greek terms is what they relate to in the subjects they are active upon.

Makrothumia is patience related to people, whereas hupomeno is patience related to situations.

Makrothumia

A few examples

Rom 9:22

What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

These vessels of wrath are the people who have rejected God and His Messiah. The verse speaks of God enduring with much patience. Much “drawn out anger”. The Lord cast His anger far away when relating to these people, and yet this verse speaks of destruction. Patience has her limits!

Eph 4:2

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,

This particular verse speaks of loving one another, with the expression of humility, gentleness and “drawn out anger”. (Not your typical description of love we might find from the modern media message!)

When I consider patience as “drawn out anger”, it changes my perspective, since I have recently experienced anger towards people. This history of non – “drawn out anger” is sending off alarms in my head. This is not the Christian life I am to live.

We need to realize that anger is a real emotion that can be controlled under the leading of the Spirit of God. I need to possess my soul and control my thoughts under the Lordship of Christ.

Hupomeno

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Paul speaks of patience in tribulation. We may look at the term of tribulation later on in our study, but suffice it for now, the term speaks of a squeezing, of pressure applied. Paul speaks of being patient with his circumstances, with things that are not proceeding as he wishes, of trials that are fighting him.

Paul is telling us he remained under the tribulation. As a believer, I know I seek relief from trials and tribulations. Not so with Paul. Granted, there were times when Paul, in the wisdom of God sought relief when justice was being twisted, as in the time he was beaten in Philippi.

Nope, can’t use that as an example! He took the beating though unjustly. You see, the magistrate did not have the right to beat a Roman citizen, and yet Paul took the beating.

Something is going on here. Paul stayed under the tribulation. His faith was different than mine.

I have a theory about that particular incident in Paul’s life, and how the beating he took supplied a practical blessing to the ones he was ministering to. But that will be for a another post.

2 Timothy 2:10

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Notice that Paul speaks of a patience in everything, for the sake of believers. He saw the faith as a all encompassing life, that had a Father in heaven that worked out all things for his good and the glory of God. Even tribulation or trial that he may have rightfully escaped

Jas 1:12

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Temptation. The very word brings a sense of weakness to my heart. My temptations are so justifiable, so reasoned, so allowable. To the point that I do not recognise them as temptations. And there I go.

The believer is the abide under the temptation, carry the temptation instead of simply succumbing to it.

Easier said than done. Help me Lord to abide.

Lets get back to the topic of this series. Our next study will consider how love is kind. (Kinda obvious Carl!)

Let’s wait and see. You may be surprised.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Love Like Jesus – Patience


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Patience

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider.

Love is patient

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is patient

1 Cor 13 - patient

Patience is a major theme in the word of God. Almost exclusively of the patience of God.

Believers are to be patient. That is, if we are to express the love of God through Jesus Christ. The love of God through Jesus Christ does not look like the love that is popularized in the media, the emotional gushy teary eyed feeling that makes you go awwwww.

To love as Jesus loved is impossible for us humans. That is why we need to depend on Him for the strength to do that which is not natural.

This is where patience comes in. To be patient means to wait. To possibly loose opportunity. To sacrifice instead of to consume. I don’t know about you, but this is not natural for me.

And yet, this Greek word Paul uses is trying to teach us much more. You see, the Bible uses two Greek words for patience. The first one we come across in this passage is makrothumos, This is a compound Greek word from makro, which we use in English with words like macroeconomics, or largeness of economics. It defines largeness or farness, distant. Thumos, surprisingly speaks of passion, anger, wrath.

Putting these two together we get the concept of anger being far away, long enduring temper. It is the practice of putting off anger, even rightly deserved anger. This is a blessing in the nature of God. This is sorely absent in the nature of man.

We come across the idea of patience once more in the passage we are considering. 1 Corinthians 13:7 speaks of

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The concept of patience is in the word “endure” and yet it is not the term we are looking at. This Greek word in this second passage is hupomeno. There are two terms for the concept of patience in this text. Interesting!

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Based on common knowledge of the Word of God, patience is surely a typical characteristic of God, and by extension Jesus the Messiah. Many examples in the gospels show His seemingly unending patience with His disciples, and towards those who were planning His death.

Yet, in my research, I found only one passage in the gospels that uses this term in relation to God’s patience. This is surprising since the Word speaks of the patience of God in numerous passages, from the Psalms to the book of Revelation.

Luke 18:6-8

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.

And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?

I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Our Lord speaks of God’s reaction to His saints as they seek relief from Him. As we wait on the Lord, and sometimes feel like He is delaying long, Jesus gives us a different perspective. The Father will give justice speedily. Delays from our perspective are what works in us a greater glory, an exercise of patience required to build character. When the exercise of our patience has come to full fruition, the Father will quickly, at that time, supply justice.

The exercise of our patience is typically related to our suffering, and the relief is the justice we seek. His patience over our situation is for our good.

In closing, I would ask for help with understanding Jesus’ last phrase. You know, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” How does that relate to the patience of God in providing justice speedily? This parable has always given me more questions than answers, and your input would be appreciated

Our next study will take a bit of a rabbit trail, since the idea of two greek words speaking of patience for the believer kinda intrigues me

Hope you will join me as I look into the difference, and understand the love of Jesus more.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Love Like Jesus – Introduction


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

But Carl – that is so obvious!  How could you miss something that is so clearly taught in Scripture?

I am a man that is easily distracted.  Don’t get me wrong – these distractions were good and holy and christian.  Distractions like Bible reading, study, teaching, evangelizing…

But Carl – these are not distractions.  These disciplines are ministry that believers are called to!  Granted, that is true, but the very thing that is good, can easily become an idol we worship, an end of it’s own, a goal instead of a channel.

My friends, Love is the goal of the Christian life.  Let me try to explain.

When I first became a believer, I gulped down the Word of God, consuming it’s message like a starving man.  It is such good news.

Eventually, I became a believer that others would ask questions of, a source of Bible knowledge for others.  This fed my pride, and fueled my desire to know the Word even more.

This is where I tripped.  I became a Bible worshiper.  Jesus just became a topic.

I sought to study the Word more in order to define the message clearly.  Looking back, I “defined the message” so tightly that I built walls around a message instead of bridges to Jesus. 

One fine Sunday, as I was teaching a Bible class, I listed all the specific doctrines I trusted on the white board. I used theological terms like soteriology, and cessationism.  Foolishness oozed from my marker, elevating my self image above my brothers and sisters in the class.

My foolish pride fueled this display of arrogance. Looking back on that day, I hang my head.

John tells us to love our brothers and sisters.  I simply lifted my self above them.  I became nothing, as a matter of fact, I became less than nothing, if I take the Apostle Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 13:2 seriously.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Although I may have self deluded myself into thinking I “understood all mysteries and all knowledge” (how foolish!), Paul put me in my place – I was less than nothing!

Paul described this believer as knowing all knowledge and yet was nothing.  I definitely did not possess all knowledge – therefore I was less than nothing!

All this to say that love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.

For the next few posts, I would like to settle on a passage that describes Christian love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

I hope you find the time to join me in considering the action of love, and how it is to be worked out in our lives. As we tunnel into this passage, your comments and thought would be appreciated.

May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.