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Volume 8 ... #24
Charity is Greater Than Faith? says Paul
The apostle Paul spoke of charity and then he said:
I Cor. 13:13 ... And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
When we look closely at Paul's definition of "charity", we see charity is the ultimate in keeping our flesh down.
I Cor. 13
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity is opposite from the flesh who wants to exalt itself above all others ...
The flesh is more like antichrist ... seeking to be god ...
II Thess 2 ... 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Yet Jesus who was God and is God and is the son of God, made himself of "no reputation" ... Phil. 2
Charity is the ultimate in godliness ... by Paul's description in I Cor. 13.
Then Paul says ... "Follow after charity". I Cor. 14:1
The world calls giving of money "charity" ... But a person could give money and be puffed up in their own good work of giving money.
Therefore Paul explains: I Cor. 13 ... 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.
It seems to me that most of our life we are taught to exalt ourselves ... especially in school.
And in our appearance, clothing and such, we usually exalt ourselves when we follow after these things.
And in life itself, do we try to "keep up with the Joneses" ... ?
We do not have to be taught to do these things for they come naturally to us by the nature of man, our flesh.
After we belong to God, we see the opposite way to go, keeping our body under, as Paul says ... running the race, being aware of our flesh which is just waiting to rise up and exalt itself.
As we consider these things, we see how charity is to be followed after, keeping our body under control, keeping the old nature down in order to exalt and serve God instead of ourselves.
I Cor. 9 ... 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
So often we read ... "Watch and pray ... that ye enter not into temptation."
Watch and don't let your flesh rise up ... When you are aware of the flesh rising, pray, asking God to help you to keep your flesh down ...
This is the essence of charity as described by Paul ... and it is one of the primary things we are to do as we live on this present earth and await for the return of Jesus.