Follow Charity – Part 2

1 Corinthians 13. And if I may, we will begin at verse 4 and read to the end of the chapter, 1 Corinthians chapter 13, picking up verse 4 and reading to the end. “Charity suffereth long and is kind. Charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth, but where there be prophecies, they shall fail. Whether there be tongues they shall cease. Whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away for we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 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 I shall know even as I am known. And now abideth faith, hope and charity these three, but the greatest of these is charity.”
This is the second week that we are spending time on this discussion of charity or love in the context of Hebrews 13 and there are some things this morning that stand out to me as points of reference that are worth our consideration. I think the first sentiment that comes to mind this morning as I am thinking about the passage is a statement that Paul made in Colossians, I believe it is somewhere in Colossians 314 and he commands us to put on charity which is the bond of perfectness, “Put on charity which is the bond of perfectness.” That is Colossians 314. And as I thought of that commendation and as I have reflected on this passage, I have a large sense of the inadequacy that I personally feel in terms of walking after these expectations, these commendations. And as I was reflecting on the passage this morning, it struck me, actually the Colossians 314 passage came to me when I was reflecting on the passage because as I was looking at it in the context it appears from the context that if you are walking in love, you are walking perfectly, if you are walking in love you are walking perfectly. I am going to make a generalization right now just to save us all some anxiety, but I believe that it is true that you and I do not walk perfectly, that is in the literal sense of the day in and day out world that we live in, we do not walk perfectly. There are occasions of sin. When we think of charity being the bond of perfection, we actually have something of tremendous substance because we have the capacity to say that if you are truly walking in love at any moment, you are walking perfection, you are walking perfectly. Now obviously we have to walk in love as defined by the Scriptures. But when you and I think about ourselves we probably think something like this, “Now generally speaking I try to love everyone the way God would have me to be.” And we put this large net around us and we generally catch the whole substance of what we try to do and we sense our general desire to walk in love and we think that that is enough. Love is enough. If this message is going to have any benefit to us, we are going to all have to leave here feeling rather heavy with our guilt. If you are not interested in leaving heavy with guilt this morning, you might want to leave now because it is not going to get better, it is going to get worse. I am just telling you now but when we’re finished hopefully the Lord will have met with us and showed us our guilt. Love is the bond of perfectness and it is possible to say that if you are walking in love, you are walking perfectly. Therefore, it is also possible to say, if you are not walking perfectly, you are not walking in love. Think about that for a moment. Put that as a point of reference by which to examine yourself at every point. You know what we tend to do? We tend to just bend down the edges of our guilt a little bit, “I know I am not perfect.” We mar it up a little bit. We have this general sense of goodness, we have this general sense of grandeur and we see a little mar in our personality, a little performance lack and we turn down the corner a little bit, “You know I am not perfect,” and yet the Lord calls us to perfection doesn’t He? In Matthew 5 what does the Lord say at the Sermon on the Mount? “Be ye perfect as Your Heavenly Father is perfect.” That is the call. Last week we mentioned a verse that fits in here quite substantially and that is a verse that Christ was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” And He answered that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. The second commandment was like it, you are to love your neighbor as yourself. Then He went on to say, “For on these two, hang all of the law and the prophets.” That is a pretty substantial statement. If you take your Bible and you attached a little hook to it, you could hook everything that God ever wanted to give you, you could hook it on the little hook of love, love toward God and love towards my fellow man. It is possible to say that if you are walking in perfect love toward God, you will be walking in perfect love towards your fellow man because James kind of catches us there, doesn’t he? He says, “How can you love God who you do not see if you cannot love your neighbor who you do see?” There is that context, the love of God emits over and there is the love towards our fellow man, there is that sense of relationality one toward another. So you can hang everything on love. What I am finding though, and it is important that I share this for my own self, I am finding that the older I get the more difficult it is to maintain my focus. It is getting very hard for me to maintain my focus in one week. It is amazing what knocks my focus out in the busyness and the activities of life. I need something to keep simplicity in view. This teaching on love is serving to sharpen that focus to the miniscule point. If you are walking in love, you are walking perfectly. And if you are not walking perfectly, you are not walking in love. I dare say that you and I misunderstand love too much because we think of it in too human of terms. We think of love in terms of that which we give and receive; that kind of mutual affection, that sharing of care and that delight of walking one with another in a sweet fellowship around the commonness of our faith, etc. Of course those are some of the beautiful things about love. When we are walking in love we do get to give and take if we are walking in a body of love. But this test here that Paul is bringing to the church, it’s a test of evaluation; it’s a test of point of reference, something is more important than anything else. Frankly, I need to evaluate myself. I need to have a point of reference by which I can ask myself a question, “Am I walking perfectly?”
If I am not walking perfectly, I am not walking in love. And if I am not walking in love, then nothing that I am doing has any value. I skipped those verses this morning, not because I wanted to skip them but because we covered them primarily in last week’s context and I am trying to move on. But nothing is of any value if it lacks love. Are you troubled this morning? Or maybe I shouldn’t ask are you troubled this morning, maybe I should ask you, “What is troubling you this morning? What is it that kind of lays against your soul and has a little burning stirring of concern and perhaps dissatisfaction, perhaps confusion? What is it?” That can be perfectly resolved in the love of God. I am a little bit concerned about where I am going with this topic because there are many sentiments that have boiled up as I have meditated on the passage. I do want to get into the meat of the passage because that’s what we’re studying. But I want to highlight a couple things, a couple key words and one that I have to save because I do not have it written down anywhere is the word “glory.” You and I can never separate the word “love” from glory and at that I’m really referring to who’s glory? Who’s glory? When I am walking perfectly in the love that we’re called to walk in, I am not seeking my own glory and that is apparent, that is clear. When I am walking perfectly in love I am not seeking my own glory. But when I am not walking in love perfectly, I am seeking my own glory. Those are two non-separable facts. It is absolutely one or the other. I am either walking after the glory of God and when I am walking after the glory of God, love breaks out upon me and in me and through me, but if I am walking after the glory of man I don’t have capacity to walk in love because is entirely selfless. Love is entirely selfless; it entirely has a fixed object outside of myself by which every resource I have and possess is focused to serve and bless. It has no room for myself, pride or glory. It is just no room for it at all.
I was doing a little reading in Isaiah and in Jeremiah and I was just astounded, just astounded, by the simple tests that these great prophecies were bearing down upon for the nation of Israel. The simple test that was bearing was this test of glory. What men were seeking was their own glory, they were seeking their own way. In Jeremiah 35 there was a real interesting story and somehow I had never recalled this incident, but it was Jeremiah who said, “Go and get the sons of,” I forget the name of the sons. You can look it up in Jeremiah 35. “Go and get the sons and set wine before them. Bring them into a chamber in the temple and then set wine before them.” And that was all the word of the Lord said and so he went out and he got these guys from the sons of Rechabites. And they all come and they sit down and he puts out these big vats of wine and he says, “Drink.” And then he heard the response of the Rechabites, “Oh no, we cannot drink. We will not drink. We will not drink.” He said, “Why, why will you not drink?” They said, “Our father commanded us, he commanded us to,” and this is what he commanded to and this is an interesting picture of the proper frame of mind of selfless living, he commanded them to not drink wine, he commanded them to own no house, to own no field, to plant no seed, to raise no harvest, to plant no vines and harvest no vintage. But rather he said, “You shall live in tents all the days of your life.” This father had a vision for preserving the motivational heritage of his children. What strikes me as amazing is that this motivational vision that this father had was found at the time that Jerusalem, the final acts of God was dropping to the roots and judgment was on the house of God and God’s people were being deported to Babylon, the final judgment was on them. And here is this family living faithfully before the Lord, hearing the commandments of their father. If you know anything about Scripture you know that such a command as the Rechabites had from their father, that such a command had never been given generally speaking to the Israelites or to God’s people. So this was a command that derivated from the father of the family. It was the father who said, “This is how we are going to walk, this is the path we are going pursue.” So, at that occasion when this testimony stood forth, the Lord said to Jeremiah, “Now is not this a strange thing? Here these children are walking in obedience to the commandment of their father all these generations but my people have failed to listen to My commandments, My people have failed to respond to My commandments.” This whole practical aspect of living after our own glory centers around this illustration that the Lord used concerning the Israelites, concerning the children of Judah. He basically closed the discussion concerning the Rechabites saying that this family is going to be preserved in the coming chaos. They are going to be preserved in righteousness. And that picture of preservation comes out of that preference of God’s glory over man.
There is another word that centers around this issue of love and we are going to get into the text but there are some little background points of reference I think that will make it fuller for our understanding. But another word that stands out to me besides the word “glory” is the word “judgment,” the word “judgment.” And this ties significantly into the exact passage that we are in now. You may be familiar that frequently in the Old Testament, especially in the prophets, there is the reference in the use of the word “judgment.” And basically if we just surmised real loosely from the overall context, it is important to recognize that God’s people love judgment. God’s people are called to love judgment. You say, “Well what is judgment? Are we not told not to judge one another?” And of course if we say that we portray really our own lack of understanding of the Scriptures because this kind of judgment in the context of Scripture has nothing to do with judging one another as a master would judge his servant, but rather it has to do with judging that which I am called to judge within the scope of the authority that I am called to judge. A beautiful thing emerged in my heart as I began to think on this concept of judgment and that is this in order to have proper judgment, you have to have a proper understanding of authority. You cannot have proper understanding of judgment unless you have proper understanding of authority. And you cannot love Biblically, you cannot have perfect love unless you have a proper understanding of authority because authority and judgment go hand in hand. If you’ll turn to Genesis 1819, we are not going to do a whole study on Genesis I promise you, but if you’ll just turn to Genesis 1819 for a second there is a beautiful passage and it is addressing Abraham and it should rip the heart out of us fathers. It should really grip us deep to the core. And it says this, the angel of the Lord is on his way to Sodom and Gomorrah and before going to Sodom and Gomorrah, these three angels speak to themselves and they say, “Should we withhold from Abraham what we are going to do?” And here is the reason why Abraham was included in revelation (Abraham is being given special revelation, special prophetic revelation but there’s a reason for it) and notice the reason, this is the character focus, verse 19, “For I know him,” that is Abraham, “that he will command his children and his household after him and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.” Here is the testimony of Abraham before God. We know that Abraham is the great illustrator of faith. He believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. So in this context of Abraham’s walk with God, we see this occasion where God said, “I am going to tell Abraham something because he has a kind of character that is useful for completing My purposes. I have some plans and it is going to happen because of Abraham’s devotion.” And basically his devotion is centered on this, “He will command his children after him and the children, they will do justice and judgment.” There is a good place for us to separate the understanding of justice and judgment in a natural context for where you and I live. Justice in this context, the Hebrew word in its most simple sense means to do right. What is the right thing to do at a given moment? The right thing to do at any given moment is that thing which brings God glory and does not promote my own glory, that is the right thing. Doing justice means to do the right thing in the context of my own actions, my own obedience. When the Bible talks about justice, it is usually speaking about personal actions that I am taking that relate to my obedience to God. And then you have this next word right next to it, “and to do judgment.” Well what does that mean? Because the word judgment here is a judicial term, very strong term and it has to do with preparing a declaration or an edict or passing a judgment of some kind. And here we have this picture of Abraham commanding his children after him in such a way that his children would do judgment. You cannot do judgment unless you understand what the seat of your authority sits on. Where are the lines of your authority? When you do judgment you are passing edict out of the authority that God has vested in you. And you cannot do judgment except within the scope of your authority. And this is one of the most beautiful things about the work of God and the purpose of God in our lives and in our heart because God’s people who do judgment, they are responsive with an incredible sensitivity to the authority structure that God has for them and they are going to find God’s blessing in that authority structure, not out from it. When I do justly, I carry out what is right. When I do judgment, I give an edict, I give the verdict, I give a decision concerning a matter that rests within my capacity, a matter that rests within my power. I want you to understand this morning that you cannot have anything to do with love whatsoever, you cannot have anything to do with love if you cannot walk in justice and in judgment. It is impossible because everything that has to do with true love has to do with God’s point of view, God’s purposes, and my role that God has placed me in for carrying out those purposes. And the object of my ministry, the object of my affection happens to be those to whom I fully divest myself of every ounce of resource and energy so that they may attain that which I’m called to serve them to. So love is that divestion of my own assets and resource for the benefit of somebody else within the context of my call, in the context of my authority. So true love has everything to do with recognizing the glory of God and walking judgment. When I give judgment in a matter, it’s God’s glory that I hold to versus man’s, period. That is all it is. It is God’s glory that I hold to instead of man’s. An illustration of doing judgment and justice kind of at the same time can be found in 1 Peter chapter 2. I realize that you are starting to wonder, “Is this really going to be a discussion of love or everything else other than love?” But hold on here, 1 Peter chapter 2. Turn with me there. If you will turn with me towards the end of the chapter, let us read some interesting phrases here, verse 18 chapter 2, “Servants be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle but also to the froward.” Are you listening? Here we have a basic relationship, a superior and an inferior. The inferior is being called to obedience, to putting himself, herself in subjection to the master. And now the context of that is being raised and there is a statement being said that that structure of authority, servant and master, the structure of servant and master authority stands regardless whether the master is good and gentle or whether he is froward. Are you with me? You got it? I want to pause right here for a moment and I want to say something, you know what? We do not know how to walk in love because we do not know how to walk in judgment. We do not know how to walk in justice. We have our glory instead of God’s glory at the focus of our heart. And you know how that can always be proven? It can always be proven and tested that your glory is at your heart in any matter when you are treated unjustly, when injustice is meted out to you. When your circumstance causes you to suffer a loss in the occasion and doing God’s way causes you to suffer loss, that is when you bristle and immediately when you bristle at the point at which injustice is meted out by an authority that’s God-given, you demonstrate your heart. A man of God is going to do justice at that point. He is going to walk in love and he’s going to do justice; he is going to do according to God’s glory and not according to his own glory. That is the nature of spiritual vitality as it relates to love, the glory of God, the judgment of man and the domain that God has given him and the justice of man’s actions in any circumstance that he walks in. It is his absolute nature. Let us read some more, let us go on. Verse 19, “For this is thankworthy if a man for conscience toward God endure grief suffering wrongfully.” This is not a very difficult passage to take apart. It’s pretty obvious what this Scripture says here. “It is thankworthy if a man for conscience towards God endure grief.” It has nothing here at all about the sense of why the grief is caused. It says nothing about the source of grief and that person and their reasonings and their logics for bringing that grief, it has nothing to do, it does not reflect on that whatsoever. It reflects rather on the condition here in my heart where I have an obligation to let my conscience respond to God in the setting that I am in. A person who loves justice, a person who loves judgment, they find themselves in a situation and they ask this question, “Before God, what am I to do? What is the right thing to do?” That’s walking in justice. “What judgment if any am I called to make at this moment?” If I have a judgment to make, it is within the domain. And in one sense of the word and I don’t mean to get carried away with too much play on words, but you cannot do justice which is the action of doing right, you cannot do justice until you have done judgment. Do you understand that? Because when it comes down to it, my conscience before God is the most sacred private domain that is known to the created being. My conscience is the most sacred domain known to the human being, to the created being. My conscience is that which no man can broach, absolutely no man can broach my conscience. There is not a person on the earth, there is not a demon in the pit of hell that can broach my conscience. My conscience is mine and mine before God and God is going to deal with me based on conscience and not based on other factors outside of conscience. So when my conscience is at risk, I am at the place of judgment. You might say, “What kind of judgment?” Well it depends on what other kind of responsibility or authority. In this context the judgment is simply this my conscience toward God to give obedience to an unjust master. If I give obedience to an unjust master, because of my conscience towards God, I have executed justice, I have executed judgment and I am worthy of praise. Not praise before men, you are not likely to even get it in that situation because you are getting the other, not praise before man but praise before God. It’s important that we understand love in this context. There are some fundamental issues that relate to you and I spiritually that are inpenetratable by any spiritual force whatsoever. They are absolutely so sure, they are so fast, they are so fixed in confidence that you and I cannot be rested from it except it be by our own unbelief, except it be by our own self-seeking and our own glory. If we lay a hold of these things in God by conscience for God’s sake, we cannot be taken from it. It is absolutely moving into the camp of the absolutely victorious. You cannot be defeated. Here is this incredible model if for conscience sake towards God I endure grief, it is a thankworthy thing, it is a thankworthy thing. Here is where judgment comes into play. Let us play the tape a little faster, go forward, verse 20, he talks about the obvious fact that if you are being punished by a ruler because you disobeyed, there is no thanks in that even if you bear it patiently. No problem, go on, the end of verse 20, “But if and when you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” I want you to have a little peek this morning of some of the access that we have to God. What things are acceptable to God? What things are well pleasing to God? Have you asked that question about yourself recently? Am I walking in well pleasing to the Lord? You know we are called to that, in Ephesians and Colossians, we are called to walk in well pleasing to the Lord. Am I walking in well pleasing to the Lord? In order to measure that well pleasing, that acceptableness of my behavior, I have to recognize that it is generally expected by God that I’m going to find myself in a situation of authority by which I am going to suffer wrongfully, wrongfully at the hand of my superior. That is the general context of this kind of expectation. And in this context of general abuse of power in the human context, it is at this threshold that God holds up a standard for us and says, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” This is the way of life, this is the way of light. So he brings to bear upon something that for you and I perhaps is dim very frequently in our lives and that is this question Do you care today that God is pleased with you or not? Does it matter to you? When you close your eyes tonight and go to rest, does it matter to you, does it matter to me if God is pleased with me today? If I did that which was acceptable in His eyes, does it matter? Is it of any importance to me? I want to say practically speaking, brothers and sisters, if we do not have this concern that we close our eyes with the acceptance of God on our heart, then no wonder we know nothing of love; no wonder we know nothing of justice, we know nothing of judgment. And we have never yet from the first moment escaped pursuing our own glory. Do you see the connection here, how that in order for me to suffer grief wrongfully I have to surrender my glory? Can you see that? You have to surrender your glory if you are going to suffer grief, endure grief wrongfully. It is not possible. The first words out of my mouth are protest, “But, but you don’t understand.” And we want to clarify and correct and vindicate and alter another’s judgment. We want our glory kept in tact and we are motivated by what people think of us. And if you are motivated by what people think of you at the peer level when they have no authority over you, how much more are you going to be motivated by those who are over you and have somehow authority to advance you? One of the most amazing statements in all of the Old Testament prophecies is this incredible reoccurring theme about judgment lacking in God’s people. Those who have authority using it inappropriately because they lack the capacity for character and for courage to suffer if necessarily to do right. It is an incredible recurring theme. Now here is an interesting thing. I am going to make you think for a second. In terms of restoration, what is redemption all about but restoration? God is redeeming to Himself a people who are being brought back into a close intimacy with God, who are being brought back into the family. He loves us, He is making things right in our life. Without Christ, one of the chief character qualities that we have in sin is that we don’t do judgment and justice because we do our own thing and we seek our own glory. So we are chronically exposed to serving our own interest. So as God calls us back and as redemption begins to work in us, what does he begin to do but train us to a new kind of mental attitude, that of seeking God’s glory and not my own; that of pursuing justice in His eyes and not fairness in my eyes and where I execute judgment in the capacity that I am called to execute judgment. And here’s an interesting principle if you were president tomorrow by some incredible stroke of miraculous effort by God, if you were president tomorrow I have a question for you, could you do judgment in the White House yourself? Could you walk in justice in the White House yourself? Is that possible for you to do that? Well I am not going to, I have given many hours to my own thinking of wouldn’t it be wonderful if someday. Ever since seventh grade I have dreamed about being president. The remarkable thing that you need to understand here is this if you cannot execute judgment in that littlest realm of authority that you have, do not kid yourself, you will never be able to institute judgment when you have greater authority and greater affects. Because judgment springs from the glory of God or it springs from the glory of man. And if you cannot but seek your own glory in the smallest cause, whose cause are you going to seek when it is the greatest? Do you see why it is such an incredible, such an amazing decadence in the land that we live in that people cannot walk in judgment because they are seeking their own interests? We are so frustrated. We are to the point of fury when it comes to our view of politics, at least those of you that I talk to about it. We are so sick and tired of the “wag,” about this time it starts wagging, everybody is quoting the Bible now. All the political parties and everybody is looking holy and righteous and good and then as soon as they are in office, they take off their mask and there they are the scorpions they said they were not when they were masquerading as angels of light. There it is again and again and again and we are frustrated with it. All I want to say is, while the frustration is real and the disappointment is high, who are you and I to complain if you and I cannot walk in judgment ourselves, if we cannot hold dear the reality that God’s ways are perfect?
As we go a little deeper, verse 21 tells us this picture of pattern, “For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow in His steps.” “For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that ye should follow in His steps.” That is a little practical gem if you need to stick something in your pocket for a cheat sheet when you need help. Notice the couple points here. First of all it is a calling. If you are a believer and you are called, the Scripture speaks frequently of us, we are the elect, the called out ones. We are the called, we are the chosen, we are that special group of God’s people. And in that calling, “Hello, come to me,” in that calling, He has called us to suffering injustice. When you sign up to be a Christian, you are signing up on the injustice campaign. It might be a more pure Gospel if we stood up in front and said, “Listen, any one of you who are willing to be smeared in the name, ruined in the fame, every effort of good is turned into evil, sign up today, this is it, this is the place to sign up,” because that is what it means to be a Christian. You are called, you are signed up under this banner of injustice, that is, where you get to be the one who suffers injustice. But not only are you called to injustice, you are called to follow Christ’s example in injustice. So it is not just any old model, there is a very clear model.
Let us look at the example of Christ, “So that you should follow in His steps.” I do not like it when we list a whole bunch of steps, there are 12 steps to this and there are 4 steps to that and there are 15 steps to this. I am cautious about those steps because I lose my way after the first two. I forget which step I am on and where I am going. But here are some steps that the Scripture points out that are worthy of taking note of, verse 22, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” Hold on to this one because when we get back to Corinthians it is going to be important to understand it. “Who did no sin and neither was guile found in His mouth.” First step, when you suffer injustice, hold your peace. When you are suffering injustice hold your peace. What is the first thing that we are inclined to do? Here is the rule of firsts the first thing that Scripture warns us about is probably the first thing we are disinclined to do. And when we suffer injustice, the first that we are inclined to do is speak. We are going to speak somewhere. We are going to speak to our authority or we are going to speak to our sibling or we are going to speak to someone else but we are going to let it out, “This terrible injustice I have suffered,” we are going to speak, we are going to let it be heard. First step, “Who did no sin neither was guile found in His mouth.” Verse 23, “Who when He was reviled, reviled not again. When He suffered, He threatened not.” There are three things Jesus did not do. There was no guile, there was no reviling and there was no threats. Do you realize that all three first steps, the first three steps are to avoid opening our mouths? It is a three-fold issue. Obviously this is a tough one, isn’t it? We are naturally going to be inclined to fall into one of those three. Speaking with guile, what is guile? Guile is basically deceit; the deceit to either get myself out from under the winch and pass it on to someone else or like Peter, he denied the Lord to get out from under it. He spoke with guile, “It was not me, it was not me.” We speak (tape turned here)…we speak reviling, “Who do you think you are? You’re nobody.” And our tongue just cuts loose with this sense of injustice. And the third one is threats, “You wait until my father gets a hold of you, you are going to be sorry then.” All those things Jesus could have said and He could have said in a sense with a correctness to it, except for guile there is no correctness in guile in that sense, but there was this rather issue that was going on. Let’s look at the rather issue, the big “but,” at the end of verse 23, “But He committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” He committed Himself to Him that judgeth rightly. When your conscience is at stake and you want to do judgment, the only judgment that you can dictate at this point is a committal, a committal of yourself to Him who judges rightly. In other words, here is the wrong. I can either protest the wrong and seek to have it corrected by some means or other by my mouth, the worst instrument, tri-fold issue, I can attempt to resist or I can simply commit my case to God, to Him who judges rightly, who judges righteously. In this particular case we need to really understand just how severe this is. Christ was without sin, He did no sin. There cannot even be an indirect link that He deserved judgment or wrath or injustice. There is no link at all. He is perfect. But in that perfect state of Christ’s character, He still was treated without justice when men laid a hold of judgment. And you remember the account in John when Pilate was speaking to Jesus and Jesus was silent, He opened not His mouth. He was just totally silent to all the charges. And Pilate got a little aggravated and he said, “Do you not know who I am? Do you not know that I have the power to release you and the power to crucify you?” And what was Jesus’ response? It was the response of someone’s heart that is perfectly committed to God that judges rightly. He simply said, “Sir, you have no authority except that it came from God. Therefore, he that turned Me over to you committed the greater sin.” He realized sin was taking place, He realized sin was going on. But He wasn’t trying the ropes of authority to get His way. He was rather walking in absolute judgment knowing that God always has His way. And there is the secret of walking in judgment my confidence that God wins every time. God never loses. And Jesus is our example. He committed Himself to Him who judges rightly. What happened is is this incredible love of God manifest through the injustice of the crucifixion of Christ, who in His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness by whose stripes we were healed. Now all the sudden, we are beginning to see the bigger picture and the bigger model. The reign of authority, the rule on earth is not a rule that is merely measured by perfect justice as I receive it, but it is measured by perfect justice as God is granting it. And God, who is just, God who always does what is right (that is what justice means, doing what is right) God who is just, when He passes judgment, He’s doing judgment righteously. So if God permits injustice toward me, He is doing it righteously for a greater judgment with the authority that He has the right to bear out. God has the right authority to carry through. So in that context, God wins the greater goal when I surrender the lesser cause. The lesser cause is my justice in that minute. And if I will surrender my glory which is my cause and suffer loss, I win God’s greater glory and His greater call. That is where it gets advanced. Here is the most amazing thing you may be the source of salvation to your enemy. Can you believe that? You may be the source of salvation, how unjust can that be? This guy bears on me with the most incredulous unkindness and I respond and what does God do? He gives that guy regeneration! How unfair. Boy, your glory is really sticking out all over you. Here is the Son of God who is perfect without sin at all, deserving of nothing and He takes the whole judgment of God for every man. This issue gets us back to understanding love. You might say this does not sound very loving. I realize because you and I are not accustomed to walking in love because to walk in love means to walk in judgment. To walk in love means to walk in justice. To walk in love means to walk with God’s glory as the preeminent focus so that my conscience isn’t going to budge for God’s glory no matter what it costs me here, no matter the cost; absolutely, firm, resistant to the end. And that’s who we’re called to be. Do you and I succeed at this? I don’t think so. I don’t think we succeed as a continuum without breech or brokenness. But I do think that there needs to be growth. I do think there needs to be an increase of process. The ten times you flare up today, if you resolve it with confession and repentance tonight, by God’s grace might only be 9 1/2 times tomorrow and thus you are beginning to taste victory; thus you are beginning to taste life. But you are also sowing. That is the incredible thing. When you reap injustice, you are sowing seeds of justice and you are sowing seeds of judgment. There is that which brings to bear forcibly on the conscience of that person. Of course we have that wonderful account of Pilate. After the remarks of Jesus to Pilate, what did he do? He was determined more than ever to let Him go because He sensed the awesomeness of justice and judgment. He was left with that burden all on his lap. He did not have some quiveling, sniveling jailbird trying to find some way to get himself out of the fix, but rather he saw a guy whose jaw was set to go to the cross and He was not going to back out. And if it was the injustice of the person over Him that took His lift, so be it, “Let my life be taken, to God be the glory.” That is why Paul said in Acts as he bore that same vintage of Christ, he said, “I do not refuse to die.” There is that ego in that refusal to die. In Revelation the Scripture says of those who are the Lord’s, Revelation 14, “They loved not their life to the death, they loved not their life to the death.” Every aspect of walking in love and walking in judgment, walking toward the glory of God, walking in justice, every aspect of that has to do with dying to myself today and living rather for God tomorrow. That is it, that is it in a nutshell. Complete and thorough and there is no exception. Now here is the hard part brothers and sisters, I understand how much it can hurt, I have been there and I do not know if it is the first week or hopefully it is not that bad anymore but the first round of immediate responses are not necessarily holy. We are not necessarily willing to accept. There are often ways of “Can I avoid this, can I get out of this, what can I do to escape?” Until it slowly settles in on me and I realize well, “Wait a minute, what if God wants me to die? What if God desires me to go through this? What if it is His purpose?” And may we have that spirit of that Queen Esther of old when justice required her to walk in judgment and boldly come before the king, risking her own death. But when she knew what justice was, she took up her love, she took up her place of authority and she did what she and only she could do. And that is the case perhaps that is what the Lord has called you to “for such a time as this.” And as she walked into the king, we know the phrase, we love it’s resounding echo in our ears, “If I die, I die.”
Let us go back to 1 Corinthians 13 and let us take perhaps a few minutes of evaluation of this concept of love out of this context that I have shared this morning. 1 Corinthians 13, we finished last week through verse 7 and 8 in a preliminary overview and I said that this week we were going to focus on verse 8. You know if the first three words of chapter 8 were missing from 1 Corinthians 13, we would not have a clue of what real love is all about. We would not have a clue. But here is the clincher, here is the absolute resounding point of confidence by which none can waiver and vary from if they walk after God, “Charity never faileth, charity never faileth.” Did you ever think of that connection before? “Charity never faileth.” You and I in the flesh we always fail. Our own constant tendency is towards failure, but love never fails. I am not going to do a big Greek study here but let me just tell you a little bit about the word that is used here the word “never.” It is the most powerful form of “never” known. There is no word like this in the English language. In order to properly redound it in the English language “never without exception,” there is not the slightest possibility that something is going to be accepted because it’s never, absolutely, unable to fail. And so let us pause for a minute. This is why I said we had to do some evaluation, this is why I said we had to some self examination, because you and I fail, you and I fail regularly. And I just want to tell you, if you are failing it is not love’s fault. And let your failure be evidence against you for your need for repentance, for your need for confession of sin, for your need of correcting your attitude because love never fails. It absolutely never fails and when you fail, you fail to walk in love. You are in sin and you have a place of duty by which you need to repent. Love never fails, it absolutely never fails.
In order to understand this in the context, let us back up again to verse 7, this is a little bit we talked on last week and I will not go on to it too long I hope, but it says, “Love,” or charity, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” If you notice there, there is a common sequence and there are four things that are mentioned of love here and every one of those four things is connected to a word that means all things, all things. First I want us to understand one thing. This “all things” is taken in the context of judgment that we spoke of and this judgment that we spoke of was the message last week, verse 6, “Love rejoices in the truth and rejoices not in iniquity,” that is judgment. “Rejoices in the truth and does not rejoice in iniquity,” that is judgment. I am absolutely fixed by the truth and what is right. In that absolute sure, unbending, unwavering reality of what judgment is, at that point I am ready to walk in love and in that capacity I am going to bear all things. Now obviously the “all things” have to do with all things that I have to bear in order for me to love the truth, in order for my conscience to answer itself to God in the place that He has called me to serve Him. In other words, the significant picture of love failing not, has to do with an understanding that when your motive is right and your conscience towards God is in place and you are operating by love, you will not fail. There is no amount of injustice that could be heaped on you that will cause you to snap. Now one of the mistakes that you and I make is that we endure a five minute round of injustice and then we start reaching back to pat ourselves on the back, feeling like little heroes and then we get another round and then we are like surprised, “Wait a minute, that last round showed I was a hero, now how come I am not getting the hero’s parade? Instead I am getting more sluff.” The question is, how many rounds does it take? How long does it take to break you? Here is the hard judgment, and I am not judging you, the Scripture is giving us means by which we can judge ourselves if you break on round ten, you did not have love in round one. If you break in round ten, you did not have love in round one because love bears all things no matter how steep the injustice, no matter how horrendous the difficulty, love bears it all. Here is the difference, with love, my focus is on God who judges rightly, Him whom my conscience must answer to with righteousness and in that response to God who judges rightly, I rest my case. I say, “I do not know what God is going to do, but He is going to do something.” So I have completely extracted from the point of contention. If I am completely extracted from the point of contention, I have nothing on the table that I can lose. There is nothing that I can lose because I have already given it away. It is not mine to begin with, I am not seeking my glory but God’s. So at the point of contention, I just with this almost miraculous ease, just keep on winning, I just keep on smiling, I just keep on loving, I just keep on serving. And the amazing thing is is the tongue of the just. The tongue of the just as we illustrated with Christ. When somebody’s pressing and they even want to be on our side and they’re stuck because of the authority they are in and they are trying to get help and you just speak the truth. “You have no authority except it comes from God, therefore he that gave me to you has the greater sin.” The tongue of the just speaks like a knife, it opens up that truth so simply and so plainly and it lays bear the hearts of men that need laying bear. That comes by the Holy Spirit’s prompting right in the middle of the fire, not by something you planned up hours and hours ago and you just cannot wait to get in that room and tell them what you’re going to tell them. That just comes from the Holy Spirit, fire, fire away. Love bears all things. See this never failing aspect of love? It can bear. This word “bear” by the way is the same word that we saw there in Peter. It means to bear with silence. It has more to do with recognizing that your mouth is shut than that you are going through the fire; that you know how to close your mouth. You just hold your peace. You either make your protest to men or you make your protest to God. And if you protest to men, out come the three things. But if you are making your protest to God, then you are recognizing who God is and you are knowing, “Oh, God may have something for me in this greater than I can see. So be it Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Verse 7, second part, “Believes all things.” Obviously it does not mean that you believe everything that anybody ever says in the whole universe because that is nievity. That is nothing to do with what we are talking about here. It has to do with the absolute reality that you believe all things. That word “all” in every context, in every obstacle, in every point of suffering I believe. I believe in God who put me here. I believe in His divinely ordained structure of authority, I rest in it, I walk in it and I’ll die in it but I am going to believe God no matter what the price. It is a continuum. It is unbreechable. It believes all things. It hopes all things. Always hope, always having hope. It is the most amazing thing, a person who has given up every hope of their own glory has every hope of heaven to hold them sure and steadfast. Is not that amazing? You give up every hope of your own and all that you have left is the hope of the glory of God. That hope is sufficient to carry you fully, ultimately and completely through. I just want to warn you though, you cannot give up your hope abstractly. You only can give up your hope as the vision of the hope of the glory of God is given to you in a genuine way. Remember that story of the kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hid in the field? Which guy sold everything that had the field? The guy that had his vision clarified so that he saw the treasure and he realized the value and then he was not a problem, he could divest everything that was of less. That New Testament example of divestment, Paul, the Philippians, “Those things that are behind me, I count them but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” He called all that a cruel of earthly claim, a wheelbarrow of manure. It was completely worthless without any value, used matter compared to the excellency of the glory of God. See this vision of hope, hopes all things? Just continues. The point of it is, if you have a high enough hope, nothing matters. I can illustrate this for the children a little bit. You just speak to your dad and he says to you, “In ten minutes if you have your room clean, I am going to take you to get ice cream in town.” “But when you tell your brother, I do not want you to tell him about the ice cream, I just want you to tell him that daddy said to get your room clean.” So in walks brother and he says to little brother, “Dad says if we get our room cleaned, we will be glad we did.” The other guy is in the middle of his little model and he is deeply engrossed in it and he has just got one more little wing to attach, it is only going to take him about seven minutes and he can clean it and fix it and then he will get his room. And he is fixed on this present glory, this present context, this present moment, and he fails to yield to the words of instruction from his father through his brother. But the brother is strangely, amazingly busy about cleaning the room. The covers are flying, the pillows are moving around, toys are lifting themselves off the ground as if by magic. Everything is moving and this other brother kind of looks and he says, “He really believes that it will be good if he gets his room clean.” That is the way of hope. When I have hope, I have something fixed, something sure, something that is not going to fail and it is shed in my heart, it is pointed and I have confidence. And I alter my behavior instead. I put my primary resources in that which is of God and I take care of my necessary things with a secondary emphasis, secondary resources. What is the surprise on the face of the boy doing his model when his seven minutes slip to thirteen, but at ten minutes dad walks in the room and he says in justice and in judgment, “Oh son, thank you for cleaning your room like I asked. Come with me to the joy of the ice cream parlor.” And your brother here, he is relegated to gnashing his teeth. He is going to clean the rest of the house the rest of the day. What an incredible transitional adjustment. The hour of judgment arrives and justice is meted out based upon the promise of God and that is our hope. Now I am at Peter again, I do not know what happened to Corinthians. “Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things and endureth all things.” The difference between bearing all things and enduring all things has to do with the point of focus. When I am bearing all things, I am keeping my tongue under control. I am not using the power of my language skills to bring diatribes(?) and threats upon those that I am under the lease. But those that endure all things, they just stay there. They just stay there. “Another round tomorrow, I will stay there.” Here is the question, “How long? How long? How long do I have to stay here?” This is where it is really tough for you and I as people and here is why it is tough I look over my shoulder and I see my brother and I do not see them having the same trial that I am having. I do not see them suffering the same loss that I am suffering. And in fact, the very area that I am struggling with, they are reaping a harvest. They are reaping a harvest. And the temptation is to ask, “Why? Why should I any longer continue? I am never going to get relief, I am never going to be satisfied.” That is a test to prove that you never were loving God in the first place. You never were walking in judgment in the first place. Because if you, let us just take real easy example, I am going to catch a lot of people’s attention with this anyway. A lot of people here that are waiting on God’s chosen spouse for their life and to some degree or another there is anxiety, intrepidation and worry and in that anxiety the question is asked, “How long? How long O Lord do I have to wait?” And we look around and brother A, wow, kazoomee wham powee, gets married at 20, 21, 22, some young age and here I am at 17, “I do not see anybody on the horizon yet,” and I start getting anxious and disappointed and discouraged. And all the sudden, lacking love I lose my forbearance. I lose my endurance and I begin little tricks of the world to win a husband because I am in fear because I am in fretfulness and I am not enduring. When the trial goes too long, I quit. I pull out my hat trick, I get my way and I get what I wanted. I call it love, God calls it a lie. I call it love and God calls it a lie. “You are not seeking My interests,” says the Lord, “You are seeking your own interests, you are seeking your own end. Therefore, you get your own end.”
How many of those marriages of those people who were seeking their own love, live in continual bitterness and disappointment because they never gave it over to God. Furthermore let me ask this question, what if you wait ten years, thirty years, you know I told you this story about this lady I met at Roxbury several years ago. I came before conference several days to do some studying and this couple was there kind of managing the camp, an elderly couple. In the chit chat of the opportunity I discovered that they were on their honeymoon. This dear lady was 65 years old and she had never been married. She had been a missionary overseas and serving the Lord years and years and years. Then in the fullness of time, according to God’s plan, according to God’s purpose, according to that which gives glory to God, she was married. She was as bright and cheery as any bride I have ever seen and she was full. But you know what she did? She paid a long price of faithfulness over the years. And I could tell by just the outside observation that she was quite happy and there was personal reaping of joy and peace in the marriage that she had yet to know before. See God is at work. You want to get married? That is nice, I am glad you want to get married. By the way, I am not just picking on marriage persay, but it is just an easy topic. I can get more people interested in what I am saying. That is all it is, cheating. You really want it, it is really important to you. You are all stirred up. Great. Great. Have you ever asked the question, what if God does not want you to get married ever? Are you willing to accept that? “Well if He will tell me today it is going to be never I will but I hate this waiting, this unanswered question day in and day out where I always have to go through the whole process of dying to my desires again and again.” And all I can say is, to this you were called my beloved that you should share in the sufferings of Christ, that you set aside your interests, that you set aside your ambitions, your wants and you say with justice and judgment, “Lord, I am not my own. I am bought with a price. By Your grace Lord I will glorify you in my body and not me.” There is that transfer, love endures all things. Again and again and again, love endures. I just have this little observation, this is my own observation and I am sure it has got examples where it is not true, but since love endures all things and God is at work bringing you and I to perfect love and marriage generally speaking does not have perfect love in it, I have a suggestion, perhaps God is going to train us in perfect love whether we are in marriage or out of it, whether it was before marriage or during marriage. And what do you need to be trained in perfect love? You need suffering. You need disappointment of your dreams and your hopes, your desires. God disappoints us at different places but we all get disappointed. We all get disappointed in our human perspective and our human desires and the only disappointment that you never have is when you have laid aside your appointments, you have none by which you can be dis-appointed for and if you have no expectations, you will suffer no loss. If you have abandoned yourself and if you have said readily, “I am not my own, I am not my own.” And I do not mean just say it but believe it, but live it, but walk in it. Love endures all things. The Lord is building people who have strength of conviction and character and purpose, who have exchanged an earthly venue for a heavenly calling and that is their dream, that is their zeal, that is their hope. And we are unwavering in that. Now do you understand the sentiment in verse 8, “Charity never fails.” “Charity never fails” is like the capstone to the expression of those four continuing aspects of love, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things. When you add love to that, love is like the overshadowing, conglomerate definition of those four. Love is the modus operendus; it is the means by which I walk and live in my life. That is the way it is. When he goes on here in the discussion, he turns a corner and he spends from verse 8 to verse 13 talking about things that fail, talking about things that fail. The things that fail happen to be the things that are causing divisions in the Corinthian church. The things that fail happen to be the things that are causing the Corinthians to be divided into little cliques and groups of spiritual prowess and exceeding maturity one above the other. The very things that are the purpose of God to minister to us in a temporary fashion, those very things are becoming isolated out as the main stay, as the primary focus, as the significant point of reference. So we have division in the church and a corruption of spiritual gifts, and though they speak with a tongue of men and angels and they have not love and they are nothing more than sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. If you can just get the distinction. I do not know about you but I understand this, I understand the pull of that, that incredible pull to be important by what I am, by what I do, by how I function. And it is so easy to be identified, “I am of Paul.” Identity is so straining to be recognized among men. And Paul is just completely dissembling the whole thing. Basically it comes down to this one thing, if you have love in the Heavenly administration of it, you have it all. You have perfection and whatever God puts in your hand to do or use, you are going to be able to use it to the objective of love. You are going to be able to build up, edify, strengthen, stand fast, encouraged. You are going to be useful because your objective is not going to be you but the one God has called you to serve. I love the phrase from Paul in 2 Corinthians, “I seek not yours but you.” Our classic statement, “I seek not yours but you.” When I am walking in love I seek you. When I am walking after my own glory, I am seeking yours. If I need your affection to be important, I am seeking your affection. I want something out of you. I have got an agenda. I have got an expectation. If I, then you – that is how we function. But perfect love simply says, “I seek not yours. I seek you.” That is the call.

If you will slip down to verse 13, Paul says, “And now abides hope, faith and charity, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” I want to point out something in closing here. Because if I miss this one point I feel like I have failed. We have absolute complete confidence that if we walk in love, we have absolute assurance. There is no contest of ever failing, we will reach our objective without escape. There is no penetration to the confidence that we have if we walk in love. It is absolutely the surest thing that we have to live by as believers. Let us just back up a second and look at a few of the words that have been used around love as we close. Chapter 12, verse 31, “Covet earnestly the best gifts, yet I show unto you a more excellent way.” The best gifts, love the more excellent way.
If we look at verse 10, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” I want you to think about this issue of perfectness. First of all I do not believe that you and I can walk in perfectness permanently without fail day in and day out. I think it is a process of growth and increase and abounding and growth. That is all that we have. That is the process. One day we will walk in perfectness without fail. But right now we are learning to walk in perfectness. It is a different kind of scenario. Here it has this contrast, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” I want you to just think about this for a moment in the contrast. Love is the bond of perfectness, love is the bond of perfectness. Its objective is so pure and so holy and so precise to God’s objective and when we get to Heaven, that which remains is that which is perfect. Do you get it? Do you get the picture? That which remains is that which is perfect. Concerning these gifts, the incredible statement that Paul is trying to make is this, no matter how wonderful the gifts are, no matter how needful they are and no matter who has what and we are going to need to operate by the gifts, but no matter what you need to recognize something, these gifts are just temporary manifestations. They are partial expressions. By their very nature they are incomplete and imperfect and their very characteristic is that which fails. How many believers, we get so caught up in a love of iniquity, we get so caught up by what we do, “I cast out a demon today, you should pat me on the back. There should be a little plaque on the board up here. How many demons did you cast out this week?” And we get all excited about the wrong kind of thing. But this is a temporary thing. When we get to Heaven, all of these temporary things are going to be completed, they are going to be finished. Their purpose and their course is going to be over, it is going to have run. But that which is perfect is going to stay, it is going to remain. I do not believe we are going to have perfection. I do not believe we are going to have perfect love until we are in Heaven perfectly because the Scripture talks about that. There will be no more tears. Tears reflect the sorrow of man without that perfect stage. ‘But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” Now skip down to verse 13. “Now abides faith, hope and charity these three, but the greatest of these is charity.” Talk about transcendence. Love is the only transcendent gift and or quality of the Holy Spirit that we experience here that makes its place up in Heaven, that finds its way to Heaven. It is the only one. Faith, the Scripture teaches us about faith and hope. Paul says in Romans 8, “You are saved by hope. Now hope that is seen is not hope because if you see it, why do you yet hope for it?” Perfect logic. And what is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for; it is the essence of things not seen. So faith and hope are completely connected one to another and love exceeds them. Why? Because when I get to Heaven I will have no more faith. Did you realize that? When you go to Heaven you are going to lose your faith. You are also going to lose your hope because you will have realized your hope and have nothing more to believe in and nothing more to hope for, you have got it all. But when you get to Heaven you will never stop loving. You will know love more perfectly than you have even known before. You will see more perfectly and today, these heavy sorrows that we bear under, that we endure day after day, week after week, year after year, these things that we lay and languish under faithfully, when we reach that glorious place, love is going to be the lens that we understand all the work of God and all of God’s work is going to praise Him. We are just going to bellow out incredible shouts of glory and joy as we see the magnificence and the perfectness of God’s ways towards us on the earth. No wonder the Scripture says that all of our tears will be wiped away. We are going to see with a different kind of seeing. And we are going to be full, we are going to be filled. Bless God. That is what is ahead and that is what we live by today and today we have to be trained in love by learning how to surrender our treasures, to give up our glory and to pass through the fire by endurance and forbearance by faith and by hope. Notice that those four things of verse 7, they are inseparable in unison together. Bear all things, keep your mouth, hold your peace. Faith and hope, the object of promise, the obedience of belief. And then endurance. Why? Because I have to keep remembering the hope and I have to keep renewing my faith every step and so I need endurance to take one more step. Hold my peace, take one more step. Hold one more step, remember the promise, live by faith, take one more step, I endure. That is all the present tense structure of love. Love gives me that capacity. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. “Herein is love, not that we love God but that He loves us and gave Himself to be a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world.” When you leave today, you are probably not going to walk out in a perfectness of love. But I would like to challenge you, would you please begin examining yourselves on a routine basis according to the simple and pure standard, “Are you walking in love?” And measure that love and trace it back. And here is a suggestion, plainly, visibly here, here is a sin, a failure, a shortcoming. Now at that place of shortcoming, you can automatically assess an evaluation, “I failed to love. I failed to have God’s glory at heart, I had my glory at heart, therefore I probably did not hold my peace. Lord how did I open my mouth in this situation? How did my mouth betray my heart?” And just begin evaluating yourself with the evidence that you were not walking in love. Take the circumstance and evaluate and repent and make it right. Go back. Go back to the person you spoke wrongly and say, “Will you forgive me? I dishonored my God by opening my mouth in criticism of you. Would you forgive me?” Correct it, fix it, get it right, get back into the habit. If you have to say, “I am sorry,” as many times as Peter said, if you have to 490 times ask apologies a day, do it. But let us become serious about walking in love because we tend to walk not in judgment towards the place in our own authority, we tend to walk in judgment towards one another. And that judgment towards one another, you know how we execute judgment? We cut people off. We stiff on them, we cut them out of our heart. We remove them from our affections and they are pushed away.

Let us pray.

Lord I thank You that there is such a confidence that we have that is so fixed and sure whereby we can know that if we are truly walking in love, we will be walking in perfection. Lord we confess just how truly and how great our sin and our error is. Lord how easy it is for us to measure every circumstance in our lives by a law of fairness to our own interests, a fairness to our own present considerations. And Lord how shamefully we take matters in our hand again and again attempting to right the wrong that injustice done towards us and forgetting Lord that You are God, You are on the throne and all those in authority over us are there by your judgment. And that we can trust our case because You judge rightly. And even as Your own Son who was perfectly sinless in every manner, yet You laid upon Him in Your justice, the sin of the whole world. And by that justice Lord You brought forth mercy. (Tape ends here.)

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