• Matt Beaney

#616 (6/6/22) LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL

Updated: Jun 7


‘Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth’ (1 Corinthians 13:6)
‘What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?’ (Romans 6:1-2)

What we celebrate tells us a lot about ourselves and our culture. On Tuesday 24th May, we celebrated the opening of the Elizabeth Line at a cost of nearly £19 billion! Some celebrated Manchester City winning the Premier League recently.


What does it mean to celebrate evil? To enjoy what is against God’s will is what it means to celebrate evil. We don’t judge good and by how we feel; by the effects it has on society even; good and bad are defined by God in His word.


Let’s remember that 1 Corinthians is written to Christians. This is telling you and me, as Christians, that we must not allow what we celebrate to become perverted. We must look at the ‘planks in our own eyes’ first! We can all go wrong in our thinking. We can rejoice in what is evil. We can become a Christian and still delight in certain evils and fail to rejoice in the truth as we should.


We are called to be ‘salt and light’ in this dark world. It’s only as refuse to celebrate evil and rejoice with the truth that we will influence the society that’s around us. For this purpose, the Holy Spirit wants to sanctify us. We could summarise sanctification as an increasing hatred for what is evil and love for what is true.


It seems to me that we don’t hear much about the pursuit of holiness (sanctification) in our churches. I could be wrong, but it’s not a theme that I hear much about. Holiness can be defined as: to be set apart from evil and set apart for all that is good.


RESPONSE

Are we rejoicing in the truth by pursuing holiness? Here are some reasons why we may be struggling to rejoice in evil and failing to rejoice in the truth:

  • We need to become Christians - Have we been born again through faith in Christ?

  • We may be lacking Christian fellowship - Devotion to being with our church family has a massive impact on us.

  • We may be ignorant of God’s word - If we don’t know the truth, we cannot rejoice in it. If we don’t know what is against God’s will, we cannot avoid it.

  • We may be in a church that promotes sin and fails to rejoice in the truth.

  • We may not be devoted to personal devotion in daily worship and prayer out of the Bible.

May we all, by God’s grace, seek to do what Paul commands in Colossians:

‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.’ (Colossians 3:5-10)
 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next aspect of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Last week we looked at how 'Love... keeps no record of wrongs’. This week, we are considering the next attribute of Christian love: 'Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.'


What we celebrate tells us a lot about ourselves and our culture. These last few weeks have been saturated with celebrations of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee. True love -Christian love (Apapé) 'does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.'


i. DON'T CELEBRATE EVIL

What does it mean to celebrate evil? To enjoy what is against God’s will is what it means to celebrate evil. We don’t judge good and by how we feel; by the effects it has on society even; good and bad are defined by God in His word. There is much correction in the book of 1 Corinthians which points to aspects of evil that we are to avoid:

i. DIVISIONS

ii. SEXUAL SIN

iii. VALUING EACH OTHER BASED UPON SOCIAL STATUS

iv. FALSE TEACHING


ii. CELEBRATE WHAT IS GOOD


The phrase we are looking at is balanced with two halves; first comes the negative: Love does not delight in evil; this is balanced with the positive: ‘but rejoices with the truth’. The two must be kept in balance. Again, the content of this book points to some of the things that we could celebrate:


i. LOVE CELEBRATES CHRISTIAN IDENTITY

ii. LOVE CELEBRATES THE GOSPEL

iii. LOVE CELEBRATES GOD

iv. LOVE CELEBRATES UNITY IN CHRIST

v. LOVE CELEBRATES DIVERSITY (of the gifts of the Spirit)

vi. LOVE CELEBRATES SEXUAL PURITY

vii. LOVE CELEBRATES JESUS’ RETURN


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) How do we know what is evil and what is the good that we are to celebrate?

iii) What good have your celebrated recently?

iv) What are the evils that our culture celebrates and that we feel pressure to conform to?

v) This section on love is about the correct use of spiritual gifts; how will rejoicing in what is good help us to have a church in which the gifts of the Spirit are used healthily?


SIV - What effect will refusing to delight in evil but celebrating what is good have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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