Grace and Truth
Virtue Love is a right thing done in the right way
In our continuing study of the doctrine of love, we are presently discussing virtue love that is based in humility as compared with pseudo love that is based in arrogance.
Last time we started a discussion of 1Cor 13; that discusses the characteristics of virtue love along with a brief parenthesis about the temporary spiritual gifts. Virtue-love is the adult spiritual life and is never phased out but the temporary spiritual gifts were.
We saw in 1Cor 14:22; that tongues are for a sign but not for those who believe but to unbelievers.
1Cor 13:1; The sounding brass or peddler's gong called attention to tactics of the carnal believers in Corinth who were seeking to gain the approbation of others with the misuse of tongues. The "sounding brass" therefore represents the distraction of the arrogance complex of sins.
Pseudo love is also related to the self-absorption of the arrogance complex because it is a syndrome that demands that people treat you a certain way or be rejected.
This self-absorption creates self-deception and self- justification and makes it very difficult to stop associating love with what someone else can do for you. Under self-absorption, human love is self-serving.
The result is pseudo love that functions under self-deception by responding to flattery and the lust patterns of the sin nature. The result is self-justification, that distorts pseudo love into the failure to take the responsibility for one's own decisions.
When mankind was created, mankind's point of contact with God was the love of God. Once man sinned, the point of contact became the righteousness and justice of God that form his integrity.
People in pseudo love attempt to use the love of God just as they use people to satisfy their lusts and desires. This is why people often perceive God as he is described in the OT as being harsh but there never was a time when God has not expressed virtue to any creature. That is true love.
When someone says, "I love you", and their interests are not virtuous what they are actually expressing an aspect of the lust of their OSN in total depravity.
Under self-absorption, human capacity for love is self-serving. It may be occasional love or no love, but in either case it is pseudo love. Under self-deception, the person with occasional or pseudo love responds only to flattery.
In self-justification people fail to take responsibility for their own bad decisions and as a result have a hostile reaction to the inevitable frustrations and antagonisms that they themselves have created.
1Cor 13:1; The "clanging cymbal" refers to the ecstatic noise of the cults in the ancient world that were famous for the use of cymbals to make noise as a part of their worship. This is a description of noise without meaning, an emphasis on self rather than on the message, and an emphasis on emotion rather than on the content of doctrine.
Sound without meaning corresponds to pseudo love without virtue.
1Cor 13:2; "And if I have the spiritual gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have the temporary gift of faith, so that I could remove mountains from one place to another, but do not have virtue-love, I am nothing."
Apart from the filling of the Spirit all production and good deeds are absolutely nothing and worthless before God. A right thing done in a wrong way is wrong only a right thing done in a right way is right.
1Cor 13:3; and if I give all my possessions to feed the poor and if I give my body to be burned but do not have virtue-love it profits me nothing.
In this verse, the first illustration is sacrificial giving. "If I give all my possessions," the aorist tense refers to a point of time when I'm motivated by emotion. If you make the sacrifice in carnality it doesn't count; "if I give my body to be burned" is an illustration of martyrdom. Both of these extremes are more than just good deeds they are sacrificial good deeds.
but "if I have not love," If I am not filled with the Spirit; "it profits me nothing." When one is operating in the energy of the OSN it is just an imitation of the unbeliever.
The whole point is that if one operates in the energy of the flesh no matter what is done it is still wood, hay, and straw and will be destroyed by TLJC at the evaluation of the believer. 1Cor 3:15;
1Cor 13:4; Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not arrogant.
Patience is describing a mental attitude of grace toward others. It is an attitude of relaxation. Instead of trying to control others or being resentful toward them, it is a relaxed mental attitude because of one's confidence in God and his agenda.
" is kind," refers to the overt activity of grace and it means to treat others in grace rather than what they earn or deserve.
"is not envious or jealous" When one has the filling of the Spirit the love that is produced in the mentality of the soul is totally free from jealousy. If you are jealous of someone or some thing you are definitely not filed with the Spirit and you have not set aside your own agenda because there is no jealousy in God's agenda.
"does not brag" The filling of the Spirit, actually produces the neutralization of ego. This does not mean that you stop using the pronoun "I" or that you stop having a personality that exudes confidence, but it does mean that self serving ego lust is neutralized.
" is not arrogant" refers to a desire to inflate one's self at the expense of others or to seek to advance the expense of someone else. The filling of the Spirit produces a very relaxed mental attitude that waits on God for promotion. 1Pet 5:6-7;
1Cor 13:5;"is not shameful," or does not behave dishonorably or indecently. Generally it means not to behave dishonorably.
"is not self serving," a reference to the various lusts of the old sin nature, the filling of the Spirit never tries to gratify power lust, approbation lust, materialism lust.
"is not easily provoked," does not easily become angry or irritated. The Greek word for "provoke" here is used for tantrums. A believer who is filled with the Spirit is never going to have a tantrum.
"does not keep a count of wrongs done," When you are filled with the Spirit you commit matters to the supreme court of heaven and forget about them.
1Cor 13:6; "does not rejoice in unrighteousness" those with locked in negative volition rejoice in unrighteousness. Rom 1:32;
but "rejoices in the truth," this refers to Bible doctrine. The filling of the Spirit produces a desire for the Word. "Rejoice" refers to an inner mental happiness directed toward the Word of God.
© Copyright 2007, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.
This document was created on 9/8/2010
© Copyright 2007, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved. This document was created on 9/8/2010