The Highest Love
1 Peter 4:8 “And above all things have
fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall
cover the multitude of sins.
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
3. God Glorified
Jesus Christ prophesied nearly two thousand years ago that before HE would come again [to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth] that the time would be characterized by a massive increase in iniquity [abound] and concurrently in a vast decrease of love.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” [Matthew 24:12]
Verse eight and nine: “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”
In verse eight there is found one of the basic truths given to us in this old sin-filled world. This truth … is of a heavenly origin, and is made available to us all … in the English language …in the Authorized Version of the Bible of 1611 [or any of its editions], which is commonly known to us as the King James Bible.
Here is the truth. Charity covers a multitude of sins. Charity applied by a true believer in Jesus Christ to another Christian “shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Now, there are three kinds of love in this world and they are all revealed in the English Bible, without running to the Greek. It is in the English … right before your very eyes.
1. Physical Love:
This one will be obvious to us, even to the most casual observer, as to the true nature of this love. This is the fleshly kind of love. The Spirit of God shows us this fleshly kind of love in First Kings chapter eleven. This is the kind of love that Solomon had for strange women … a fleshly love. “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:” [1 Kings 11:1]
2. Brotherly Love:
The second kind of love is highest form of love found among men. Now, this is as good as it gets for the unsaved, unregenerate people of this world. This kind of love is brotherly love, or the love for your neighbor or for your friends. The very best marriage in this world will only hope to attain this kind of love.
Now, in the Gospel of John, we see Jesus asking Peter if he loved HIM … three times.
[This is located in chapter twenty-one, in verses fifteen thru seventeen.]
[Now why did Jesus three times did ask him?] This is a good question!
Now, friend, there is a reason why. Here it is. The reason why Jesus asked Peter three times was for this purpose, that Peter would come to the place of expressing the highest form of love … which is charity for the LORD. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.”
Peter expresses man’s love for man. This is brotherly love. “He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” Peter again … expresses man’s love for man.
Peter needs to go higher. “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” [John 21:15-17]
Peter arrives … to charity, which is God’s love.
3. God’s Love:
Here is now God’s love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16]
God’s love is “charity”. Charity is the very highest form of love that can ever be expressed by anyone on this planet. The unsaved mass of humanity cannot express nor even comprehend “charity”.
Again … they [the world] cannot even begin to understand this kind of love. That is why a lost sinner is in awe when he comes to the foot of the cross of Mount Calvary and gazes upon the Lamb of God who COVERS for all our sins. Oh, such love is this. CHARITY COVERS THE MULTITUDE OF SINS!
• When we have charity for the brethren then we will cover the sins of the brethren.
• When we have charity for the brethren then we will be hospital to our fellow believers and apt to freely [without grudging] minister to them.
Verse ten: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
It is not about our self at all. It is all about others. If we have personally experienced God’s “charity” in our heart then we will desire from the heart to minister the same “gift” “one to another”. This will indeed show us to be “good stewards”.
Nine times the word “charity” appears in chapter thirteen of the book of First Corinthians. What do we learn there? We learn this. If we have not charity then are missing the boat! Verse one: “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.” [1 Corinthians 13:1]
Charity edifies others. It promotes others, not self. “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” [1 Corinthians 8:1]
Knowledge puffs up self.
Here is a command for us all to obey. “Let all your things be done with charity.” [1 Corinthians 16:14]
Now, this should be our goal as a true Christian. Consider Colossians three, verse fourteen: “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” [Colossians 3:14]
And according to Second Thessalonians chapter one verse three, our “charity” should abound toward each other. “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;” [2 Thessaloinans 1:3]
Also, First Timothy chapter one, verse five, states very clearly the purpose of God’s commandments for men. Ready? “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:” [1 Timothy 1:5]. “Charity” is higher than “brotherly kindness.”
Look at the order in Second Peter chapter one, verse seven: “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” [2 Peter 1:7]
3. God Glorified
Verse eleven: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
In general, man was made to glorify God. David in the Psalm eighty-six, verse twelve wrote this: “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” [Psalm 86:12]
The LORD wants us call upon in the day of our trouble. See Psalm fifty, verse fifteen: “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” [Psalm 50:15]
In the New Testament, Paul by the Holy Ghost gave us this direction in Romans chapter fifteen, verse six: “That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Romans 15:6]
We need to “minister” to others. We need to “speak” to others with the mind-set of this BOOK. Amen! We need to do this … so that God will get the glory. Stare at the verse for a moment. Now let it sink into your heart. This is the truth that is staring you right in the face: “that God in all things may be glorified.”
Now, do you have it?
[Ultimately, this is all that matters in life.]
This is what we need to do [based on this verse in First Peter].
We need to glorify God with all our ability … with all our heart … by ministering to the needs of other believers in Jesus Christ.
CHARITY COVERS THE MULTITUDE OF SINS!
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” [1 Corinthians 6:20]