But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Excellent means of great virtue, of great worth, of great dignity; eminent in any good quality. The way of charity is much better than the seeming importance of possessing spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians, Chapter 13
1 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.
We should excel in proper attitude, not in fancy talk and spiritual showiness.
2 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.
We gauge status on ability to know and do great things, but from the eternal perspective, this is incorrect.
3 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.
Giving away and martyrdom – by themselves – are acts of self-abasement only. They don’t necessarily entail the right attitude toward others.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
Willing to endure discomfort to treat others with benevolence and care.
Charity is essentially the 2nd great commandment that Jesus spoke of: ” Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Believing this rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” is charity.
I am not more important than others. Others are not less important than me. That others might benefit I can suffer awhile, I can wait my turn.
…charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
Unseemly means indecent, unbecoming, obnoxious. I don’t need to penalize others with a scene of unpleasantness to announce my own importance.
… is not easily provoked,
It says “easily” and “long” suffering, which is to say, within reasonable bounds. Charity has done its job if we endure a reasonable amount of time and wait until we are greatly provoked. Since we often make mistakes and then turn and repent when we realize we were wrong, it is reasonable that we extend to others the same patience. But it’s charitable to rebuke and oppose evil rather than let it fester on our neighbour or spread to others. There is a reasonable limit to long-suffering: silent martyrdom isn’t charity.
… thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
The first great commandment can never be compromised in service to the second one. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God” means truth and righteousness is much more important than charity.
True charity never entails evil and never extends beyond the bounds of truth and righteousness.
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
That is, all things that are good, wholesome, right, true, etc.
8 Charity never faileth:
It is an enduring principle that will last forever.
but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
This is not “knowledge” in the sense of knowing God and Bible. It is talking about the gift of having a “word of knowledge” – mentioned in 1 Cor 12:8 – which is supernatural insight into a particular situation. This gift’s importance passes away because once that situation is past, the gift of knowledge about it is no longer relevant. So with the other showy gifts that only had importance in confirming to the Corinthians and other churches the supernatural verity of the apostles and their gospel (i.e., the New Testament).
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Charismatic gifts had their place, but mature faith doesn’t require constant magic tricks. Supernatural proofs have already established that the word of God is true, and now we move forward in faith.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
It is greater since faith and hope will one day see their fulfilment, but charity’s fulfilment goes on forever. But it will go on forever in the secondary place of submission to God’s righteousness.
1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
Charity is our heart’s attitude to love our neighbour as our selves – but doing this isn’t the primary function of the Church in this age. We must preach the word and announce the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:2; Mark 16:15).
The saying, “preach Christ, and use words only if necessary” is a diabolical lie. Paul says, “rather that ye may prophesy” because people need to know the exact truth. Jesus Christ is the truth and the word of God, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (John 1:1, Revelation 19:11). Just being a “nice person” without proclaiming the words of God, and exclusivity of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, is not real Christianity.
Some great evils are promulgated by people who misuse this “Charity” chapter: #1 that the emphasis is put on loving our neighbour while ignoring the greater duty to obey God; #2 that feelings and emotions become our standards, rather than the word of God; #3 pretending that the chapter and its promises apply to non-Christians; #4 that charity is a means of salvation instead of being a manner of Christian living.
How do we have more charity and put this chapter into practice? Is it within ourselves to have this sort of attitude? No one is perfect, but by God’s help, yes, this chapter is about deciding to have the right attitude – and that is something we can always strive to do.
” Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
The Holy Spirit within us reminds our “will” and coaxes us to desire to do the right thing, but we must chose accordingly, adopting this attitude ourselves, and must not resist his draw. And when we decide to make our “will” obey that call, then he also helps us within, and without, to do accordingly. So God is with us to think properly and to do properly, according to his will. We can love others as we love ourselves, while always putting God in first place.
One day far in the future, basking with all the saints in eternal glory, I will not look back on my present lack of grand spiritual gifts with any regret, but of my present lack of charity, perhaps I will. Have charity!
I ran into a Christian the other day who has got nothing wrong him. He’s married and has a family, works, and even owns his own house. But the doctors say he suffers from a mental disease they call “depression”.
Supposedly “chemical imbalances” are at play – but that’s pure conjecture. Nobody can say what chemicals exactly are missing, why they are missing, how to measure them, or how to restore them.
The “depression” industry is a bunch of bunk.
First thing to notice is that being sad is a perfectly normal condition for every fallen human since Adam:
“ And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Genesis 3:17-19
Feeling that one’s life in this world is worthless is also perfectly normal:
“ Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 2:17
There is nothing unusual about feeling like God is far-away and has forgotten us:
“ How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” Psalms 13:1-2
Feeling guilty and miserable about old sins isn’t a strange thing:
” For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Psalms 38:17-18
” For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” Psalms 51:3
“ We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 3:25
It’s normal for other people to grieve us:
” And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.” 1 Samuel 1:6-7
And so on and so forth, a thousand more examples that show life is full of sadness. A life of sorrow is to be expected. There is no need for any “chemical imbalance” in your brain – it’s just the ordinary miseries of going through life in this fallen world with our fallen bodies.
When the miseries of life get overwhelming, a death-wish isn’t particularly unusual either:
Moses: “ I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.” Numbers 11:14-15
Jeremiah: “ But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” 1 Kings 19:4
Jonah: “ Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live…. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.” Jonah 4:3,8-9
Job: “ So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity. What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment? How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?” Job 7:15-19
So everything was already set forth in the Bible – this new pseudo-scientific diagnoses of “clinical depression” is nothing but hot air.
If somebody has really gone overboard crying all day and all night and acting bizarre, then he’s probably possessed of a devil:
” And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit …. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” Mark 5:2-5
Obviously that’s a much more severe condition – but the solution wasn’t found in drugs. When the devil was cast out by the Lord Jesus Christ, that man’s sanity returned.
“ Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.” Luke 8:35
What other solutions are there for dealing with normal sorrows of life? For one thing, pray about it.
” And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.” 1 Samuel 1:10
Sorrow caused Hannah to pray. Her request was heard, and she believed the word of the Lord, and her sadness was gone:
“ Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.” 1 Samuel 1:17-18
Save people have no reason to resent the Lord’s chastisement, as this passage explains:
” And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:5-13
Over-much sorrow is not appropriate for Christians:
” For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
” Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” 2 Corinthians 2:6-8
The Christian knows that his life is a contradiction, and that sorrow has a good purpose. It corrects us, it makes us concerned about others, it causes us to seek the Lord earnestly, it helps us pull away from the cares of this present world.
“ Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” James 2:5
” Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:3-5
” Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” Luke 6:21
” Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” Romans 12:15
” And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” 1 Corinthians 7:30-31
Since we are told to rejoice in the Lord, we must obey this command, despite all our sorrows:
“ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
” Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
I wonder how much so-called depression among Christians comes from ignoring the Bible? Disbelief and lack of faith is sure to cause unnecessary grief:
“ These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11
Lack of gratitude, self-absorption, laziness, and many other sins are sure to cause “depression” – but they are easily cured by repenting, forsaking, and doing right.
” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 1:9~2:2
Excess drinking and isolation also cause sorrow.
” And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:18-20
“ Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.“ Proverbs 23:29-30
[By the way, alcohol is also prescribed for sorrow in the Bible: “ Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” Proverbs 31:6-7. I wonder how many Christians will pop exotic mind-altering drugs handed out recklessly by a “doctor” while refusing to take what the Bible prescribes, alcohol?]
If people were moderate in all things and carefully obeyed the Bible, how much unnecessary sorrow would they eliminate from their lives? Probably a lot.
Plus the Christian can be filled with supernatural joy by the Holy Ghost, even in the midst of deep sorrow from the world’s perspective.
” But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:6-7
” Then had the churches rest throughout all Judæa and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” Acts 9:31
“ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
And finally we have a comfort in the promises of God that overshadow any “depression” we may be experiencing. We have the certain hope of being with our blessed saviour Jesus Christ forever and ever in a perfect heaven where sorrow and crying will be no more:
” And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:3-5
Medical doctors are great for many true medical problems, but eliminating “clinical depression” is not one of them. They can’t solve it because they can’t restore man from his fallen state, can’t cure his spiritual problems, and can’t give him hope for eternal life. Take your “depression” problems to Jesus instead.
” Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.” Psalms 37:1-40
” And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.” Jeremiah 51:46-47
Allegedly, American-born rabbi Yahuda Glick was shot multiple times at point-blank range by an Arab assassin because of his Temple Mount activism – yet he “miraculously” survived and is doing remarkably well despite being filled with so many bullet holes.
The radical rabbi has even now been elected as an MP to the Israeli Knesset – not for some fringe party as we would expect – but as candidate #33 on the list for Netanyahu’s mainstream Likud.(Freemasonic number 33?!? Who writes this stuff?).
Turns out the “extremist” Glick is actually an ecumenical liberal quite comfortable with the leftist positions of “reform” Judaism – accepting reject the Bible, have women rabbis, approve of sodomite “marriage”, etc.
Glick and his apostate buddies want their future “temple” to be that abomination of paganism described in Ezekiel chapter 8.
Quite an animated fellow – waiving his broken arms around like crazy and jumping up and down despite having no stomach and only half a lung left.
MP Glick’s “miraculous” survival is now “proof” validating his vision to re-build the temple (on the site of a Roman legion fort).
Interesting questions about the alleged shooting are raised here:
The anti-Zionist vitriol of that site is a big distraction- it discounts everything as the biased ravings of a lunatic. And certainly not all the allegations seem valid [especially the supposed dummy (no need to fake that – just frame a patsy and then shoot him)], but nevertheless some inconsistencies do raise doubts.
Is Glick part of a hoax? I don’t know what to think at this point. I find his story difficult to accept at face value knowing that psyops are going on all the time and neither governments nor the media can be trusted to tell the truth.
” As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;” Psalms 103:15-17