Charitable Living: Charitable Loving: Learning to Love Others With the Love of God1
Dr. Paul Kingsbury
When the love of God is manifested through the life of the child of God, someone becomes the recipient of that which the Bible calls “charity.” God’s supreme and sacrificial, unconditional compassion for mankind is captured in the Greek word “agape” and is on most occasions translated love. However, in more than two dozen instances in our King James Bible, we find the word charity selected to describe God’s love at work in and then through a believer to a needy person. People who live in the love of God are living charitably. This way of living leads to loving others with the love of God, hence, “Charitable Living: Charitable Loving.”
One particular chapter in the New Testament of the Bible captures the essence of living and loving charitably. That chapter is the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. Beginning with the final verse of the previous chapter and concluding with the first verse of the next chapter in First Corinthians, we have sought to capture in this book the instructions from God, in context, on this desperately needed way of life called charity.
The Corinthian church was a seriously troubled church. Even as the Apostle Paul concluded his two inspired letters to these believers, he feared finding, when he came to Corinth once again, “debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:” and “uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:20&21) These issues characterize many Christian homes and Bible believing churches today. But there is hope! The Biblical antidote for division and strife was then, and is today charitable living.
While preaching through First Corinthians chapter thirteen recently, I have personally noticed an increased commitment in our church to loving others with the love of God through charity. Needs are being met through unselfish God-initiated generosity and the joy of the Lord abounds in the hearts of both the givers and the receivers of God’s love. And, a wonderful tranquility prevails among the brethren.
My prayer unto the Lord for you who read this expositional study of the great love chapter of the Bible is that you too may experience and express the agape love of God in greater measure in your personal life and your relationships with others as a result of your investment.
Paul Kingsbury I John 4:7-8
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