Christ is your Environment (Part Nine) The Infallible Qualities of Love

Continued from the last episode

As Apostle Peter continues to admonish us in the same chapter that we have taken our text from in verse seven it says and I quote “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:7). The last attribute we are asked to add is charity according to this King James translation but I like the way New Living Translation (NTL) puts it. It says that we should add “love for everyone”, so the word charity is translated “Love for everyone”. This is very interesting because it is a generalized statement without any preclusion in it, it doesn’t matter who the person, the believer should be obliged to love him or her, race and background notwithstanding. The ‘obligedness’ here as you permit me to use it, is not the making of the believer, because left for him or her; he shouldn’t be pleased to have a heartfelt compassion for another especially one who is not of his or her race. But because he does not have control of himself or herself again, as a result of his inclination towards the instruction of the Holy Ghost residing in him, he finds himself living out the act of charity. 

Having the love for everyone to a believer in Christ, becomes a symbolic or an identity because it is the way it should be and there is no other ways out. A believer, in this aspect doesn’t just have any option rather than to have the love for everyone, and this essentially makes him the believer he is called. Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians wrote thus and I quote “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. 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 13:1-8) 

Contained in the above quote is the various ways Apostle Paul has tried to juxtapose the infallible quality of Love to other qualities a believer may have possessed. This implies that, instead of a believer going or adding these other qualities though necessary he or she should first of all add or have love for everyone. Therefore, every other thing is like a complement to this quality and without this quality, every other thing is useless, though they are needed. Their needfulness therefore, is anchored on the presence of Love, if love is not present or found in the life of any believer, there is no point for him or her to possess and demonstrate these other qualities because it amounts to nothing. It means that love or charity becomes the pivot by which every other quality can revolve and operate. This is to say that faith as essential as it is in the life of any believer can only operate on love and its usefulness will be noticed and accepted. Therefore, faith is not supposed to act alone and be effective, if it does, it will become a futile exercise. However, let me take time to correct some misconception that may arise if the love of charity use in this verse is not understood. This love or charity is different from been human. Humans can do certain things to other humans because they are humans and follow their feelings and compassion as humans, not because of the knowledge of Christ in them. This is the difference, a believer acts according to the knowledge of Christ in him.

The same thing goes to self-control; one cannot say that he has self-control without love, because self-control must be rooted in love before its effectiveness is noticed in the life of a believer. Any self-control outside love is a deception and must be checked. The law of love is bigger and stronger than the law of knowledge that is why knowledge should function around love in order to be able to execute its purpose. If knowledge starts to push itself without love, there is going to be a repulsive response from the recipients and it will not amount to anything even if it is a brilliant ideology in display. If Knowledge is rooted in love, it ingratiates into the hearts of the receivers and makes it easy for the receivers to accept whatever that is offered and at the same time cause the giver to have fulfillment in himself. Charity or love is the basis for every other attribute to function effectively. 

In concluding his admonition to believers Apostle Peter reiterated an important fact which cannot be overlooked and that is, I quote “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:8-9). This is very interesting because like I said in the earlier episodes that, it is important for someone to be in Christ, because that is the eternal intent and purpose of God for every individual on this planet earth. God didn’t make it a mere intent but He goes ahead to back it up with an action by providing His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16). So as far as God is concerned, everyone is saved because He has done what is required for all to be saved, and on the other hand it becomes a matter of choice to be saved. Whoever that decides to be saved and accepts Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior is accepted into Christ and in Christ, God has made everything necessary to sustain man available, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:3). Therefore, in Christ God will not give us, rather He has given us all things as pertain to this ‘life and godliness’, nothing is in short supply.

TC - Admin

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