Basic Christianity

“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.”     I Corinthians 13:1.

The Greek language in the form it was written in the New Testament there were several words that were translated ‘love’ in the English. One such word was “agape”.   In the passage that is I Corinthians 13:1, it has a translation as charity. Some would say instead of charity it could read just love.

The trouble with the word charity is it can mean several thoughts just as the word love can. The word “agape”, love, here means a benevolent love that has a special idea. This means not what the person who is loved wants but has the concept what the person who loves desires for that person who is loved. It is actually a one-sided concept that is beneficial to the person who is loved.

This is summed up in the beautiful passage which is often quoted. It is John 3:16:

“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.”

The love, “agape”, shown by God is He sent his only Son to give we humans the opportunity to have eternity with the Lord of the universe. This is not a friendship based upon a common interest on a given subject. We know man is not able or even capable of creating his own rules to live by.

When men seek to formulate their own regulations, then destruction is inevitable.

This is the reason that when we humans seek to go against His mandates then corruption, war and destruction will come. If you do not believe this then look around at the world now.

GOD AND MAN

The Creator of the universe is a revealing God. His rules are inviolate. These revelations cannot be set aside with immunity. In one sense the revelations from God are written on stone as always there are people who refuse to believe this.

We know that God was revealing Himself in the Garden. Genesis 1:26,27 tells us this:

“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them
have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over
the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.”

When men do not know God then what happens is what is described in Genesis 6:13:

“And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me;
for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I
will destroy them with the earth.”

Again and again God spoke first to such people as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and a host of prophets in the time before Christ His only son. Men seek to speak for themselves. This is not morally possible.

When they try to write their own plans with Him disaster is coming. Someone asked Solzhenitsyn, the Russian what happened to the Russian people who had adopted communism. He answered in three words “they forgot God”.

There are people who seek to bring back a nations sense. These people in the 20th century were Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Eric Bonhofer, Billy Sunday, Frances Shaffer and other straight-speaking men and women. In each one of these people we may not agree with their special theology but the point is each had a message which was the way of God is the only way.

SOCIAL GOSPEL

When the messages from God and His prophets are diluted and watered down then disaster will be upon us. It is not just in the church that corruption comes but also in the social fabric of a nation. The following are areas of a collapsing of western culture:

  • Crime in the black cities’ ghettos
  • Middle class embracing drugs, dope and disease
  • Desire for entitlements from all government, locally, State and Federal
  • Churches closing
  • Class warfare
  • Crumbling of education standards
  • Wars for the last 100 years
  • Lack of discipline in legal systems
  • Clothing without dignity
  • Foul mouths in the media

This list is only a summary what has happened and is happening at this very minute.

The leadership in the church groups have not spoken the word of God. The population of the United States has increased but the Protestants and Roman Catholics have lost members. If you find this questionable then Google the Disciples of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, and Roman Catholics and decided for yourself if the statement is true that there is a decrease in memberships of each denomination.

Paul in I Corinthians 12:2 said it best:

“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even
as ye were led.”

He said quit being so stupid; therefore, men cannot come up with their own rules and expect to prosper in the long run.

It can happen that great talents may have been a gift to you but unless they are used properly then such a gift is not worth much. I Corinthians 13:2 is written to the emphasis is the right place.

“And thought I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
and all knowledge; and though I have faith, so that I could remove mountains,
and have not charity, I am nothing.”

Then in I Corinthians 13:3 it emphasizes the use of the world’s actions that there are not enough either.

“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.”

The concept of the Social Gospel of each denomination is to give money, food and clothing to the Untouchables without any kind of feeling for them and their eternal soul. The feeling for the poor and rejection is not present.

Churches are often open populated by people that feel the need to attend a Christian service but they would have withdrawal symptoms if asked to talk about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ from the tomb and punishment will come.

God has revealed His way to live. It has been the observation of this writer that many charitable institutions are nothing but write off’s for tax reasons and of course – vanity. You know bragging rights, also look at me and my foundation or corporation.

Look at some of the foundations as they deny many rules of God and then send people to hell.

Some of these even promote war. Keep the wealth from the government because evil men can see how corrupt even the rulers are and it is obvious there are many and these are called neocons.

   Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, espouses socialism and castigates capitalism. He made his fortune by promoting capitalism. It seems as if his mind is twisted  –  when wealth is accumulated, then a guilt complex begins.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARITY

The first part of this chapter is negative. Then Paul writes to those people in a positive manner. It must have been an issue because Paul mentioned tongues. It is assumed that people were showing they could converse in other languages but in fact Paul condemned this when the body of believers met. In I Corinthians 13:4,5 states the rebuke:

“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.”

He also stated do not use tongues unless there is someone who will interpret what was said so all will know the message. God has placed on that person’s heart.

It is a common experience for a speaker to attract others by words. It was true then and still is. In the Old and New Testament this was and still is true. However Paul stated that those who prophesy only have partial knowledge of the subject which is being spoken about. See I Corinthians 13: 8,9.

“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.”
“For as we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”

The greater power is found in charity, “agape”. As was said before in this blog the meaning is that the person who loves desires to give a gift that the loved one does not know of the offer.

This world is in need of the saving power of God’s Son  –  He freely extends the new life.

Trying to explain to the vast majority of people the need to come to grips what God wants from us in our life is a long process. Often we cannot understand the swirling events. It was this thought that Paul wrote about in I Corinthians 13: 11,12.

“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.”
“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.”

Our understanding what is being offered is very limited. This is the reason every week Christian services are offered. It is to keep the love of God before people. We must not forget. There is a special event among Christians each week to recall the death, burial and resurrection of God’s Son. The communion table tells us that the gift is open to all.

In New York harbor there is a gift to the American people from the nation of France. All know this as the Statue of Liberty. What the meaning is to the world is that the United States is a place of charity since people can accomplish here what no other country or land can offer.

Our nation offers hope and extends to all the faith what can come about. The magnificent gift is charity. In this nation one can receive the gift. It is about what starts the movement to faith and hope. First must come charity since this is what God tells us.

 

The obvious thought is: Charity is extended to all.

Keep the faith.

 

I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY

“I love to tell the story, Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, Of Jesus and His love,
I love to tell the story, Because I know ‘tis true,
It satisfies my longings, As nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story; For those who know it best,
Seem hungering and thirsting To hear it like the rest,
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
‘Twill be the old, old story, That I have loved so long.”

KATHERINE HANKEY

 

 

Gerald Fugit

November 8, 2015

www.diggingoldwells.com

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