Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fervent Charity

Temple Baptist Church - 2-17-2019
1 Peter 4:7-8


A.  Considering “the end of all things,” the Apostle Paul is giving admonition to the Hebrew believers concerning their relationship to one another. 

1.  The Holy Ghost uses the word “charity” when speaking of the loving relationship of the believers towards each other. 

2.  Love, in this sense, is an unlimited loving-kindness towards others and is held to be the ultimate perfection of the Christian relationship.  Charity both glorifies and reflects the nature of God. 

B.  I spend much time at Temple admonishing our people to love one another.  To get along with one another.  Why?  Because the greatest enemy of the local church is the enemy from within:  those who sit upon the pews and stand in the pulpits. 

C.  I want to look at this Christian virtue for a few minutes this morning.  Paul said to have fervent charity!  Fervent charity is to put your heart and soul into your love one for another.

D.  The best definition of charity is found in 1 Corinthians 13 with the Word of God giving it these characteristics:

Charity Suffers Long – “Charity suffereth long” 
Charity Is Kind – “and is kind”
Charity Is Happiness For Others - “charity envieth not”
Charity Puts Others First – “charity vaunteth not itself”
Charity Has A Proper Opinion Of Self – “is not puffed up”
Charity Behaves – “Doth not behave itself unseemly”
Charity Does Not Get Mad – “is not easily provoked”
Charity Gives The Benefit Of The Doubt – “thinketh no evil”
Charity Is Broken Hearted Over Sin – “Rejoiceth not in iniquity”
Charity Loves Right – “but rejoiceth in the truth”
Charity Is Forbearing – “Beareth all things”
Charity Hopes For The Best – “hopeth all things”
Charity Remains Constant – “endureth all things”
Charity Never Fails – “Charity never faileth”

1 Corinthians 13:8-13  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  (9)  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  (10)  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  (11)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  (12)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  (13)  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

E.  Charity Is The Greatest Of Christian Virtues – “the greatest of these is charity.” 

1.  We can have a faith that moves mountains, a hope that causes us to endure all that life throws at us, but the greatest of all gifts is the charity that binds us together. 

2.  If we have not charity, then we are nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

F.  Some things that charity does:

1.  Charity Glorifies God - John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

2.  Charity Edifies The Church - 1 Corinthians 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

3.  Charity Shows Our Spiritual Maturity - Colossians 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

4.  Charity Covers A Multitude Of Sins - 1 Peter 4:8  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

G.  Five “MUSTS” of Charity:

1.  Fervent Charity Must Be Carefully Cultivated - 2 Peter 1:5-7  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  (Even though it should come naturally.)

1 Thessalonians 4:9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

2.  Fervent Charity Must Have A Fertile Growing Place - 1 Timothy 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

2 Timothy 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

3.  Fervent Charity Must Be constantly Maintained - 1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

4.  Fervent Charity Must Be Our Motivation For Fellowship - 1 Corinthians 16:14  Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Peter 5:14  Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

5.  Fervent Charity Must Be Consistent Among The Members - 2 Thessalonians 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

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