Love and Perfection
Love and Perfection
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three;
but the greatest of these is charity”
1 Corinthians 13:13
When faith is rooted in the living Christ and His wonder, it has wings to lift us above the carnal into the realm of hope. It births within us the purifying power of His grace. However, when faith is defined by our experience only, it becomes earthbound, stagnant, and powerless. Faith is the fuel upon which the fire of hope burns. A living faith ignites the purifying flame of hope.
“And every man that hath this hope in him
purifieth himself, even as he is pure”
1 John 3:3
May we read and savor these words. More importantly, may we grasp the power of the Holy Spirit that births such words of grace: “purifieth himself, EVEN AS HE IS PURE”! The limitless power of Christ has been given to raise us in the newness of HIS life, so that we may walk and live in heavenly places.
Many declare that there is no ultimate victory here, no full victory over sin in this life. There will never be an absence of temptations in this life but if we confess that there is no full victory over sin, we in fact declare that the disobedience of Adam is of greater consequence than the obedience of Christ. What a dismal gospel that is! I used to struggle with these issues, compromised by a faith that was dependent upon my own abilities, and conditioned by my own abysmal failures. Then one glorious day I read 1 Corinthians 13:5:
“Love…thinketh no evil…”
Light dawned, hope revived, and I realized my own experience of victory was limited only to the depth of my abiding in Him.
“Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not…”
1 John 3:6
The love of God IN ME is incapable of thinking evil. Incapable of lust, unforgiveness, anger, slander, seeking revenge, seeking its own. However, in MY love FOR God, I was capable of all those evil things while believing I was in good standing except for a few misguided flaws. In our embracing and, more importantly, receiving the Love OF God the deception and realization of what we can humanly produce is reduced to rubbish. There can be no lasting victory or change apart from all of Him invading all of me.
Only the Love OF God can free His people from fear, failure, and defeat. While many glory in miracles, knowledge, prophecy, and acts of generosity, Love is the only attribute God values.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.”
“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.”
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
The only measure that carries weight in this life or the one to come is His Love filling our hearts. The gifts of the Spirit are given that we may grow as a body into HIS Love. They are given, along with faith, to foster and receive portions of His Spirit from each other and to so interact that HE might fill all and be in all. The means to this Love are temporary (gifts and knowledge); the essential thing is eternal; love.
The key grace that will enable all who live godly in Christ Jesus to stand in the storm that is about to break, is LOVE.
Perfect Love: Casts out ALL fear
Love: Endures ALL things
Love: Never fails
Whosoever has “THIS HOPE, purifieth himself EVEN as HE is Pure”. The Hope that is born of the Spirit of God cannot and will not compromise with sin. This is the hope of which Paul spoke:
“Hope maketh not ashamed.
because the love OF God is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost”
To this end Paul agonized in prayer over the Church at Ephesus:
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”
It is through the Love of Christ we go beyond knowledge, we go beyond the precious gifts of God to where we touch and are filled with the FULNESS OF GOD Himself.
“He that loveth not,
knoweth not God…
for God is love”
1 John 4:8
Love is the simple proof of our knowing Him.
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