This is Pastor Ken and I want to welcome you once again to my Monday Marriage Message. Thanks for joining me. Today we will be continuing on our quest to understand more fully the attributes of love as given in what is commonly called “The Love Chapter”, or 1 Corinthians 13. So far we have dissected the meanings and application of verses 4 and 5, allow2 me to review those for you very quickly.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NKJV) 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
Today we will look at verse 6 and the two characteristics listed there for us. Just as last week we will look at two because they are complimentary of each other. In fact, they are the two parts of an “if-then” equation. If love does not do the first of these then it does the second. Verse six reads as follows; [Love] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
There are three words here that bear definition; rejoice, iniquity and truth. According to Webster’s these words are defined as follows; Rejoice – to give joy, or to feel great joy or delight. Iniquity – a gross injustice or wickedness, or a wicked act or thing.Truth – the body of real things, events, and facts, or a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard. Using these definitions, love does not give to another or find for itself, great joy in an injustice or wicked thing, but does offer another or find for itself great joy in having clear understanding, following after spiritual realities pertaining to the relationship and holding to the standards of that relationship.
The original text offers further definition. The Greek words we are considering are Chairó [khah’-ee-ro] which is translated rejoice but remember this is in the negative, so love does not do this. The meaning of the original word is delights in God’s grace, or to experience God’s favor in. The next word we are looking at is, Adikia [ad-ee-kee’-ah] which translates to unrighteousness and the meaning of the original is to be in violation of God’s standards or contrary to His righteous judgments. The third word from the original text I want to look at is translated in English as the transitive verb of rejoice (rejoices), simply put this means to be rejoicing. In the Greek however, the word used has an important twist. The original word was Sugchairó [soong-khah’-ee-ro] which actually means to rejoice with another person. Finally, the last original word we need to define is Alétheia [al-ay’-thi-a] this is the word we translate into English, truth and means not merely the spoken truth or the opposite of an untruth, but rather the divine truth revealed to man. Using this further understanding of the original text, we could offer the following explanation of this sixth verse. Love does not experience God’s grace or favor when it is in violation of His standards or contrary to His righteous judgements. Love does however allow for both people to find God’s grace and favor together as they act in accordance with God’s truths revealed to them through His word and their mutual relationship with Him. I know that searching the original text can sometimes be daunting but it almost always brings greater and deeper understanding of what God is saying to us through His written word. Personally, (and yes, I am aware I am a word-nerd), I find the exercise not only valuable but exciting.
Finally, though there are numerous examples from scripture I could direct you to for application of this concept, this week I would like to close with one of my favorites. I find it very fitting when taking into account all that we have discovered this week concerning rejoicing in truth.
Psalm 19:7-11 from the New King James Version reads as follows:
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
Questions to answer:
Prior to our study of these terms today, what would you say your understanding of what this verse meant was?
How has your understanding changed as a result of our closer look?
Accepting this new understanding, what things that are currently a part of your marriage might need to change to bring it into line with the scriptural definition of love?
What actions or attributes of your marriage would you use as examples of it being in agreement with the scriptural meaning?
Actions to take:
Consider your answers to the third question above and develop safeguards against violating the biblical definition of love in the future.
Make note of the opportunities you and your spouse have and have had in the past to rejoice together (experience God’s grace and favor) for operating in the truth (His standards for marriage).
So now, experiencing the favor of God as you search His word for His instruction to live and operate in your marriage the way He would want you to…Go Be Awesome!