Paul Defines or Describes what God’s Love Does Part 3
1 Corinthians 13:6 Does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. NKJV
Paul now describes what makes the heart of one filled with the love of God joyful and at the same time what makes the one filled with God’s Love sad. Joy is listed in the cluster of fruit that proceeds forth or comes forth directly from God the Holy Spirit dwelling in the heart of true believers. We human beings define joy as the emotion of great happiness or that which makes someone glad. Paul declares to these Corinthian believers and to us that when we are filled with the love of God we will not rejoice in iniquity. The English word rejoices Paul used here is translated by the Greek word chairo a primary verb which means to be full of cheer or to be well off or exceedingly glad. This word expresses the heart being filled abundantly with overwhelming exuberance over a situation, circumstance, or an outcome. When Paul writes to the Galatian believers and details for them the “fruit of the Spirit” he uses the Greek word chara (joy) which is a word akin to chairo and essentially means the same thing. Paul wanted here by using this word rejoice to take the Corinthian believers and us into the recesses of our inner man or woman to bring up the things that bring us and give us pleasure. Love takes no pleasure in iniquity. This English word iniquity is translated by the Greek word adikia which means legal injustice, moral wrongfulness or treachery of character which leads to wicked actions and lifestyle.
Paul here is making a distinct contrast in the person who is filled with the agape love of God verses the person who does not even know the One True God (Jesus Christ). The Apostle John framed the contrast also for us but he wrote it in this manner when he said, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:9-10). What both Paul and John declares for us is that the love of God in the heart of the renewed man or woman will work its way out in the crucifying of the flesh (Galatians 2:20 & Galatians 5:24 & Colossians 3:5) and the hatred of evil (Psalms 97:10). Love could never affirm someone living openly in sexual immorality of any kind, but what love does is embrace that person or persons lovingly at the same time praying for their hearts to be regenerated by the Spirit of God. To take pleasure in seeing sinners constantly walking down a yellow brick road that will lead them to their eternal torment in hell (2 Thessalonians 2:12) is the exact opposite of agape love. The Psalmist writes these beautiful heartfelt words that capture the heart of love for those who are still dead in their trespasses and sins, “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law” (Psalms 119:136).
Paul declares that love instead rejoices in the truth. The English word truth is translated by the Greek word aletheia which means objectively what is true in any matter under consideration; verity (conformity to reality and actuality); excellence or that candor of mind which is free from affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood, or deceit. Love expresses itself by being glad when the truth is revealed, proclaimed, and lived out in the world as the Proverb declares in this manner, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). Love absent the truth is nothing more than pretending or feigning love for someone. The mother who loves who child protects her child by revealing to her child the truth of the things in the world her child is discovering, even when it causes her child to be irritated or annoyed with her. The mother’s love does not say, “Well I love my 3 year old so much, I will let him or her just pick up anything they please and put it in their mouth” that would be foolish and so is the one who claims to be filled with the love of God, but hates the truth or ignores the truth.
The Apostle John writes these words to brother Gaius, “The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 John 1-4). John was joyful to discover that Gaius was walking in the truth and the English word walking John used is translated by the Greek word peripateo which means figuratively to live one’s life in a certain manner. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul is declaring for us here in 1 Corinthians 13:6 that agape love is opposed to living in the gratification or pleasure of sin and sinning, but is joyous in living a lifestyle that is pleasing and honoring to God the Father as the Psalmist declares with these words, “For thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth” (Psalms 26:3).
“It is pleased when those who differ from us conduct themselves in any manner in such a way as to please God, and to advance their own reputation and happiness. They who are under the influence of that love rejoice that good is done, and the truth defended and advanced, whoever may be the instrument; rejoice that others are successful in their plans of doing good, though they do not act with us; rejoice that other people have a reputation well-earned for virtue and purity of life, though they may differ from us in opinion, and may be connected with a different denomination. They do not rejoice when other denominations of Christians fall into error; or when their plans are blasted; or when they are calumniated, and oppressed, and reviled.” Matthew Henry
“Those who are filled with the love of God and man rejoice in the propagation and extension of Divine truth - in the spread of true religion, by which alone peace and good will can be diffused throughout the earth. And because they rejoice in the truth, therefore they do not persecute nor hinder true religion, but help it forward with all their might and power.” Adam Clarke
“Love never takes pleasure in seeing others trapped in sins grip, but love is joyful when they are released by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blood and given His Resurrection Life.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…