“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 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.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 KJV
Most of us are familiar with this powerful passage of scripture. I am once again reminded of the statement that impacted Brother Kenneth E. Hagin’s life and ministry so profoundly. As a young minister, Brother Hagin heard a Bible teacher make the statement that, when it comes to studying Bible principles, and even Bible doctrine, that it was much like climbing a mountain. When you go up one side of the mountain, you have a beautiful view of the mountain looking at certain trees, rocks, streams, etc. When you are going up the opposite side of the mountain, you may have an equally beautiful view but it will be different because there will be different trees, rocks, streams, etc. Which view is “right?” It depends upon which side of the mountain you are looking at at the moment!
This month I believe the Lord would have us look at this scripture from the side of the mountain related to fear. Most believers don’t look at these verses from the perspective of how they relate to fear. You must remember that a mature, working knowledge of love casts out fear! We’ll look at this in more detail shortly.
As we begin to look at this subject, I would like to lay a foundation by allowing the Scripture to interpret Itself where a couple of things are concerned.
Look over at John 1:1 KJV, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Word IS God. God IS the Word.
Now look at 1 John 4:8 KJV, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
God IS love. Love IS God.
Now look at 1 John 5:3 KJV, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
The love of God IS keeping His commandments. Keeping His commandments IS the love of God!
It is very important to note that in each of these Scriptures the Greek word translated “is” denotes their very being. It literally states that is their very existence – their essence!
It is equally important to note that this Greek word translated “is” does not appear even once in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In the three instances that it does occur in the English, King James Version, it is actually part of the characteristic being described.
Ok Brother Weeter, what difference does that make anyway? It makes ALL the difference!
I have seen and heard so many people go to those verses in 1 Corinthians 13, point at them, particularly in the Amplified Classic translation, and say, “That is what love is” and try to make themselves act like those verses. It won’t work. Why?
Listen to me very closely. . .
These verses are NOT what love IS! Those verses are a description of what love produces or what actions love produces.
Stay with me. We are going somewhere with this!
Ok. Let’s put these trees, rocks and streams in place and take a look at this side of the mountain. We found out earlier that God = The Word = Love = Keeping His commandments (or being a “doer” of the Word as James 1:22,25 states it). With that understanding, lets’ now look at 1 Corinthians 13:4 in the Amplified Classic translation and make a Biblically correct substitution.
“GOD endures long and is patient and kind; GOD never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.”
“The Word endures long and is patient and kind; The Word never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.”
“A doer of the Word endures long and is patient and kind; A doer of the Word never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.”
This is why this is so important! Without the understanding of what love IS, there is no POWER to produce what love does! The power is in the Word and in doing the Word!
Now let’s go one step further and make this personal! We are to be doers of the Word, the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts and our spirit man is born of the Word, so we have every right to put OUR name in those verses and make declarations of faith! For most of us, it may be “calling those things that be not as though they were” but hey, that is what changes it from being that way!
I am giving you a faith assignment this month. It will take a bit of time but, if you will do it, you will see your understanding and knowledge of love grow exceedingly!
First, go through each one of those four verses in the Amplified Classic translation (verses 4-8) and read them substituting the word “God” then “The Word” and then “A doer of the Word” whenever you see the word “love” and let it expand your concept of love.
Second, read through those four verses out loud at least once a day and replace the word “love” with YOUR name! Say it boldly and say it in faith every single time!
What does this have to do with fear?
I have just gone through a process with you that develops and increases the maturity level of love. It helps bring a better understanding of the breadth, and the length, and the depth and the height so that we KNOW the love of Christ! And what does mature, developing love do?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18 KJV
I really want to encourage you to watch the Covenant Living broadcasts during the months of September and October as Lynn a I go into quite some detail on these things.