• Matt Beaney

#617 (7/6/22) LOVE CELEBRATES WHAT IS TRUE



‘Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth’ (1 Corinthians 13:6)

These last few weeks have been saturated with celebrations of the queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Unusually for a person with so much attention, she has set an example of good character. Our queen is worthy of celebration I think.


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. If we only fight against what is evil, we will only be negative. However, if we only rejoice in what is good, we will fail to confront evil. Christian leaders and all Christians will have a propensity to one side or the other.


HOW DO WE REJOICE WITH THE TRUTH?

Could you say that your daily life is marked with noticing and celebrating what is good and true? There are the common grace things of good weather, flowers, wildlife, music, art, things that lift your heart… Do we notice and give thanks to God and, do we, regularly, praise people for truth and goodness?


Do we rejoice to see our brothers and sisters seeking to walk in the truth? Do we praise God for any evidence of grace that we see in people? Are we encouraging people for the good we see in them? Don’t just rush on from this! If you’re married, do you daily praise your spouse for the good you see in them? Do you take them for granted? If you have children, do you pick them up on the good they do? In your friendships, do you praise the good that you see?


Then there is the truth of the Bible. As we read the Bible, do we give thanks for the truths that we read about?


Can we follow the example of Paul who, when writing to the Corinthian church who had so many serious problems, could also rejoice in the truth:

‘I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge.’ (1 Corinthians 1:4)

RESPONSE

A great principle, which I certainly need to work on is: Praise what you want to see more of.

 

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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