Stay with me through these initial points…..my comment on verse 7 seems particularly relevant to all times, be they 1st century, or 500, 400, 300, 200 years ago, and until today.
These are times Paul writes that:
1Co 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1Co 13:12 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.
Our men’s breakfast study was in 1 Corinthians 13, after discussing the emphasis Paul placed on charity, I.e.
G26 ἀγάπη agapē
Thayer Definition: 1) brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence 2) love feasts Part of Speech: noun feminine
And btw the KJV actually translates, this Greek word more that 75% of the time as love, not charity….so they have a purpose in using each word, charity today, is just an organization for good works or giving/collecting donations. It used to be much more.
This is lost teaching…even as late as 1828…..200 years after the KJV we had this original Webster definition..
1. In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.
1 Cor 8. Col 3. 1 Tim 1.
2. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.
3. Liberality to the poor, consisting in almsgiving or benefactions, or in gratuitous services to relieve them in distress.
4. Alms; whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the poor for their relief.
5. Liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility, as to found and support bible societies, missionary societies, and others.
6. Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.
7. Any act of kindness, or benevolence; as the charities of life.
8. A charitable institution. Charity-school, is a school maintained by voluntary contributions for educating poor children.
But what was the real surprise was in the discussion on verse 7.
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Particularly this phrase where we pick up Gill’s discussion.
believeth all things; that are to be believed, all that God says in his word, all his truths, and all his promises; and even sometimes in hope against hope, as Abraham did, relying upon the power, faithfulness, and other perfections of God;
though such a man will not believe every spirit, every preacher and teacher, nor any but such as agree with the Scriptures of truth, the standard of faith and practice;
nor will he believe every word of man, which is the character of a weak and foolish man;
indeed, a man of charity or love is willing to believe all the good things reported of men; he is very credulous of such things, and is unwilling to believe ill reports of persons, or any ill of men; unless it is open and glaring, and is well supported, and there is full evidence of it; he is very incredulous in this respect:
So Gill speaks as Luther did 500 years ago as written in Wylie’s History.
“At the conclusion of Luther’s address Dr. Eck again rose, and with a fretted air and in peevish tones said, addressing Luther: “You have not answered the question put to you. We did not call you here to bring into question the authority of Councils; there can be no dispute on that point here. We demand a direct and precise answer: will you, or will you not, retract?”
Unmoved, Luther replied: “Since your most Serene Majesty, and your High Mightiness, require from me a direct and precise answer, I will give you one, and it is this. I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless, therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or on plain and clear grounds of reason, so that conscience shall bind me to make acknowledgment of error, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything contrary to conscience.” And then, looking round on the assembly, he said—and the words are among the sublimest in history—“HERE I STAND. I CAN DO NO OTHER. MAY GOD HELP ME. AMEN.””
“Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir. Amen.”
And he also warns of believing false spirits, preachers and teachers, nor of men and in particularly “every word” of men.
Note the article below, refers to how false teaching will deceive by mixing truth with untruth. Picking this out can be difficult and risky.
On the positive side Gill encourages a heart for openness to listening to men and seeing the good, but still cautioned….”unless it is open and glaring, and is well supported, and there is full evidence of it;”
This phrase echoes loudly.
The Berean’s were of this persuasion almost 2,000 years ago.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Anyway these are defining discernment principles taught clearly in the old texts.
I also noted today a contemporary article that say much the same..but do note, even those who put on the mantle of discernment need to be checked to God’s word. This includes me and Roger Oakland who wrote this article.